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In the gadgets world, the UI is rendered entirely using HTML and JavaScript (on the dashboard server). To get dynamic data into the gadget, you will make Ajax calls using makeRequest back to the originating server.

Why a special API for making requests? When we render gadgets, even if the gadget specification is coming from your server out there, it is pulled into the dashboard server and parsed and rendered into HTML on the dashboard server. So your JavaScript can only talk to the server where the dashboard is running. The makeRequest call will proxy back (in a process that is called 'phoning home') to the originating server to request data, using one of the following:

  • The REST APIs that the application already supports.
  • A custom servlet that you build in a plugin for that product.
  • A custom REST plugin module that is built into the Atlassian Gadgets framework. This is the recommended option.
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  1. I'm not sure that this is inaccurate, but the pattern that is typical for using rest calls in gadgets is to use an ajax call via options in view.  Perhaps this page could document what Atlassian actually does in their gadgets.