Atlassian Compass: A Command Center for Better Software Development

Modern software development is a complex collaborative process that involves an ever-growing number of tools, workflows, and responsibilities. This high level of complexity risks causing organizations to lose agility and productivity and exposing development teams to unnecessary stress and frustration.

Today's application architecture has shifted from monoliths to microservices in order to achieve greater effectiveness and efficiency in terms of scaling, cost, and resilience. The bottom line is that software is not simply written, but assembled from countless individual parts. In addition, development teams are now responsible for both the creation and the operation of the software, including maintenance and availability.

According to Atlassian's State of Developer survey, 69 percent of developers say the number of tools they need for their role is permanently increasing. Fifty-five percent say this growth makes their jobs more complex. And each new responsibility brings more tools. But there is no central place where all their activities converge. The result is unhappy, overworked development teams that struggle to innovate and move quickly.

Now Atlassian has announced at the Team 22 conference its new product, Compass, which is competing to reduce the complexity of distributed software architectures and lower the burden that must be shouldered by software teams. Compass is made up of these three building blocks:

  • Component Catalog: It provides development teams with a map of all the components they use to assemble their software and all the teams that collaborate on them and act like owners. Developers can access shared components, documentation, and other important information in one centralized location.
  • Scorecards: This is a health tool from the DevOps concept. It enables development teams to assess and evaluate their architecture based on baselines, security requirements, or compliance requirements they need to meet.
  • Apps: This is an extension engine for installing apps, so that information from a variety of SaaS developer tools flows together in Compass. On the one hand, this creates alignment across work; on the other, it gives teams the flexibility to choose the best tool for their tasks at any given time.

Mapping of the software architecture and teams with components

The components feature provides a unified interface for tracking the technical infrastructure and the teams involved in it. Here you have access to shared components, docs, and other important information to build all the software in one place.

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The catalog also maps dependencies between components and their owners. This makes it faster and easier for developers to find what they need, or which team can help in a particular way. For example, recovery in the event of disruption is made easier by having a central view of all the latest information: What has been changed in a particular component? What dependencies exist in this context?

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Define and improve the health of development and operations with scorecards

Many teams perform audits on their software components every few months to ensure that they are safe and reliable. When these audits reveal errors or problems, it's often far too late. With the health scorecards in Compass, on the other hand, auditing is done virtually in real time. They tell the team exactly how a particular component is doing and what, if anything, needs to happen in order to fix a problem.

Scorecards enable organizations to establish baselines and reference configurations around various operational, security, and compliance requirements that are visible at all times. They provide insights into problem components that require action and changes over time. This helps teams improve their architecture and minimizes the impact of disruptions.

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Scorecards also provide best practices to help teams optimize operations over time. Through regular assessments in Compass, the team can identify operational challenges, assess component performance and health, and create action items for known issues.

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Build a custom platform with the extension engine

Compass brings a powerful extension engine called Apps that allows the solution to be extended and customized to meet the unique needs of teams. The open toolchain approach brings together information from a wide variety of SaaS solutions (for example, for code, CI/CD, monitoring, incident management, APM, and security) into Compass, creating a user experience that precisely matches the working practices and tools of development teams.

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Compass is fully compatible with Forge, the Atlassian cloud app development platform for building secure, reliable, and scalable extensions. Forge's integrated Functions-as-a-Service platform enables teams to extend Compass at any time, with minimal setup.

The Operations Center for Distributed Architectures

With Compass, Atlassian provides a deployment center for distributed architectures that offers a holistic view of software development components with their evolution over time and the teams that work on them.

Compass will soon enter the beta stage and will be intensively developed taking into account customer feedback. Click here to join for free. As soon as there is more news about this new product, you will find it here.

Further Reading

Forget Less and Ensure Quality with didit Checklists for Atlassian Cloud Forget Less and Ensure Quality with didit Checklists for Atlassian Cloud Forget Less and Ensure Quality with didit Checklists for Atlassian Cloud

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