The world of software development is more complex than ever before and the expectations and demands on technical teams have increased dramatically: not only do they have to write high-quality code and deliver valuable products, but they also have to deal with constantly evolving security risks, configure cloud services, automate testing and implement monitoring tools.
Added to this is the explosion of microservices, APIs, and frameworks, as well as the high degree of distribution of modern development teams. Accordingly, it's no surprise that many a development manager is struggling to identify friction points that slow down delivery and are inherently risky.
Given the technical complexity, building world-class development teams is not only a technology problem but also a collaboration challenge. A new Atlassian product is stepping up to solve both: Atlassian Compass became generally available last week!
A modern solution for the new challenges of software and service development
Compass is a developer experience platform that empowers software companies to bring all their teams and technologies together to promote a healthy development culture, optimize risk management, build more reliable processes and increase the speed of development.
The solution helps development teams of all sizes to significantly improve the so-called developer experience:
Unique Catalogue of Software Components: An easy-to-set-up, centralized catalog of technical services and all relevant data reduces search times and makes the technical architecture visible.
Health scorecards, DORA metrics, and more: Compass supports metrics and tools that help track the health of development and teams. This makes it possible to identify friction points and optimize the reliability of existing services.
Software templates: For new service development, Compass provides proven best practices, guidelines, cloud provisioning, and development pipelines with its customizable templates. This means automation and consistency.
Extensibility: teams can connect their preferred tools with Compass: Monitoring, CI/CD, Testing, Collaboration, and Source Code Management. This avoids context switching and promotes the visibility of all relevant information about their own services.
Unraveling the technical architecture and making it visible
Tracking all the different elements that go into the code base is a Herculean task, especially on a large scale. Traditionally, teams have had to build, maintain, and operate their own internal development portal to do this. With Atlassian Compass, however, each development team can easily track, search, and visualize the technical architecture, critical component metadata, and all the groups involved in a centralized component catalog that requires no administrative effort.
Compass thus opens up the possibility of consistently identifying and linking disparate data across tools. Team members are not forced to search forever for information about dependencies, bugs, development histories or responsibilities, but can help themselves to a central system at any time.
If teams use GitHub, Bitbucket or GitLab for their source code management, they can set up the component catalog within minutes thanks to automated integration apps.
Assess and optimize team and process health
Every organization uses different metrics to determine how healthy their services are and how work is progressing against certain milestones. With Compass, development teams can monitor the operational health of their services and velocity using their own or supplied scorecards. This plays a key role in ensuring that the architecture remains reliable and secure and performs well. Compass speeds up feedback cycles, improves the developer experience and frees up space to work on the more complex, fulfilling tasks in the development process.
Health Scorecards enable software companies to make technical debt transparent in terms of reliability and performance of software delivery. Compass also brings DORA metrics. For example, they provide information on how often an organisation deploys code, how long it takes to move code into production, what percentage of deployments result in errors, and how much time elapses before such problems are fixed.
Teams can customize their health metrics via scorecards that are automatically tracked across the architecture. This results in transparent, easy-to-monitor, real-time insights into components that should be taken care of. Combined with Jira, teams are empowered to proactively address and resolve issues as they arise. And when used with Jira Service Management, Compass gives IT and ITSM teams more visibility into the infrastructure that supports critical services and access to relevant information from the development toolstack about the technical components on which business applications and services are based.
Last but not least, Compass has a team dashboard that empowers each team member to work autonomously. It allows all development teams to link information across Atlassian products and highlights which teams are responsible for which components. This transparency and openness promotes faster problem resolution in the event of incidents.
Automate service development
Developers and development managers are always looking for ways to minimize the time spent on repetitive tasks. The software templates in Compass support this effort by helping to automate much of the creation of new services.
Teams can connect their preferred CI/CD deployment pipeline, the cloud infrastructure is automatically provisioned, and all relevant details - including ownership, documentation, and repositories - are integrated. Thus, the software templates provide a starting point that not only saves time but also focuses on the code, as the initial infrastructural preparations require hardly any manual activities.
In addition, the templates can serve as a learning resource. In particular, it opens up an opportunity for less experienced or new team members to gain valuable practical knowledge from the predefined configurations for CI/CD tools and cloud services and by integrating best practices and approaches.
Seamlessly integrate teams' preferred tools
In many software companies, a huge challenge is that important information is scattered across the organization's tool chains. Compass brings them together and links them to the relevant services and teams.
Atlassian's open toolchain approach allows development teams to work with their preferred tools without their productivity being affected by constant context switching. Atlassian Compass connects data from many popular tools and platforms, including AWS, GitHub, Slack, LaunchDarkly, CircleCI, and Snyk. Atlassian is planning more integrations in the near future, such as DX, a popular platform for measuring and improving the developer experience.
Every organization and team has its unique approach to development work. Therefore, the open APIs allow many aspects to be customized. Compass focuses on the core features - components, teams, templates, scorecards - and gives customers the freedom to build their own user experiences using the many Marketplace apps.
And if a team can't find a suitable existing solution to a problem, the cloud app development platform Forge is available to create new integrations. Alternatively, teams can pull data and metrics from the solutions in their specific catalogue using Compass' GraphQL API.
Learn more about Atlassian Compass now
Do you have questions about Atlassian Compass? Want to learn more about the platform's features, capabilities, and use cases? Our experienced Atlassian experts are looking forward to talking to you and providing you and your team with a no-obligation test of Compass. Get in touch with us!
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