Last updated Sep 6, 2019

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Cloud, server, and Data Center for developers

Atlassian offers three deployment options for our products: cloud, server, and Data Center. This article covers the differences in developing an app for the different deployment options.

New app developers and developers who want to build for more than one deployment type should read this page before getting started. In doing so, you'll be better prepared to make the right architectural decisions for your app.


Customers can sign up online and create an instance of one of our cloud products, like Jira or Confluence. The instance is hosted on Atlassian's infrastructure, with an subdomain by default. All cloud instances can be accessed through the public internet.

Cloud apps can be built on one of two development platforms, Forge or Connect. For a detailed comparison, see the Cloud development platform overview.

Server and Data Center

Server and Data Center products are available for customers to host on their own infrastructure. Server deployments run on a single server, and Data Center deployments can run on a cluster.

We’re making changes to our server and Data Center products, including the end of sale for new server licenses on February 2, 2021 and the end of support for server on February 2, 2024. Learn what this means for you.

For more on developing apps for Data Center, see Developing apps for Atlassian Data Center products.

Comparing deployment options

So, what's the difference between Jira Cloud and Jira Server? Or Confluence Cloud and Confluence Server? It may be the same Atlassian product, but that doesn't mean apps will automatically work on all deployment options.

The table below shows key differences between the deployment options for app developers to consider.

CloudServer and Data Center
  • Web apps
  • Hosted by developer (you) with Connect, or by Atlassian with Forge
  • Java backend
  • Hosted by customer
Internet availability
  • Can access the public internet
  • No guarantee of access to the public internet
  • Many customers keep their instances inside secure, private intranets (behind the firewall).
Tools and languages
Persistent storage
  • Forge automatically authenticates API calls on behalf of the app.
  • Connect authenticates apps using JWT tokens.
  • OAuth 2.0 is also available for REST APIs.
  • OAuth 1.0a is available for REST APIs. This method requires site admins to generate a private/public key pair and configure an incoming application link for your app.
  • Java APIs need no special authentication beyond requesting the needed permissions upon install.
  • OAuth 1.0a is available for REST APIs. This method requires site admins to generate a private/public key pair and configure an incoming application link for your app.
  • Atlassian manages all product updates.
  • Customers are responsible for product updates.
  • When listing your app on Marketplace, you must specify the range of product versions your app is compatible with.

It's possible for a cloud app to also interact with server and Data Center. For this to be possible, the customer's instance must be accessible to the internet (see Internet availability above), and you must authenticate using OAuth 1.0a (See Authentication above).

Not all Atlassian products are available on all deployment options.

For more information about the differences between cloud and server from a customer's perspective, see Compare Atlassian cloud vs server.

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