The last quarter of the year is always an exciting time, and we're closing out 2022 with a lot of great updates and exciting news on Forge. We recently hosted our quarterly Forge roadmap webinar for Q4 2022, where the team went over several key features that were recently shipped or are coming in 2023, along with some important product and team related updates.
From multi-user app ownership to our focus on reliability and stability, read on to learn about what's new and exciting on Forge.
Strengthening reliability and operational readiness on Forge
Before jumping into product updates, the presentation began with a few words from Colin Chauvet, Head of Engineering for Ecosystem Platform, and Joe Clark, Senior Product Manager.
In order to bring forward innovative ideas, partners need to know that the platform is ready for anything. With this in mind, we've designated 3 focus areas to strengthen our commitment to maintaining a stable platform:
- Balance delivery with stability
- Dedicate resources to focus exclusively on reliability initiatives
- Hold teams accountable to a high bar of operational excellence
After a recent blitz dedicated to developer platform reliability, we feel confident we have the monitoring systems in place to prevent and resolve more incidents before partners are even aware.
Demystifying the Forge platform
For partners who are used to running their own large-scale web services, a platform like Forge can seem a bit hidden. To give developers a better sense of the services running behind the scenes and unpack the implications for reliability, Colin did a deep dive into the Forge platform architecture.
Here's a visualization of the architecture, and you can skip to the 9:22 mark in the recording to hear the full explanation.
A big win for Jira webhooks
To illustrate how reliability initiatives can have a large, immediate impact on developer experience, Colin shared a story about recent improvements to Jira webhooks. Developers rely on webhooks to the tune of 1.6 billion webhooks per week. As a result, delayed webhooks can create big challenges..
Recently, the Jira team implemented a two-queue system for dispatching webhooks that resulted in 99% of webhooks delivered in less than 30 seconds. Since the number of webhooks doubles every 18 months, we are keeping an eye on how these improvements will need to grow in the future.
Defining operational readiness
Operational readiness describes the needs beyond feature capabilities that enable partners to build a thriving business on Forge, including tools, documentation, developer support, and insight into future plans for the platform. Joe Clark is leading the charge within Atlassian to evangelize this 360º view of developer needs, and he shared a few updates on pricing, documentation, and platform capabilities that support this effort.
Forge is Free Through 2024
One key input for operational readiness is pricing, and we’ve recently announced that Forge will continue to be free to use until December 2024. Beyond 2024, we are exploring ways in which we can charge developers for Forge proportional to the platform services or components used over and above a generous free tier.
We’ll be providing at least 6 months of notice before making any changes beyond December 2024. Read more on the developer blog.
New Forge Runtime in Early-Mid 2023
Performance is critical to your customer experience, and by extension, a pillar of operational readiness. We're currently in development to replace the existing Forge custom VM sandbox with a native Node.js execution environment. We anticipate that the new runtime will have substantial performance benefits over the existing architecture, and it will also address a longstanding issue where Forge is incompatible with a number of built in Node libraries.
Forge roadmap: What's coming next
Moving on to new features, Forge product managers previewed a number of new capabilities coming to Forge, including: Client-side UI kit, multi-user app ownership, and changes to app data access. Read on for details and estimated timelines.
This quarter, we've shipped two new features and are working on five more. Next quarter, we'll be focusing on UI modifications with additional views (such as issue view and transition view).
Bringing Forge apps to Jira Mobile
Forge Mobile gives you the ability to reach customers wherever they work – without duplicating development work. Developers will be able to build UI kit apps and take advantage of native mobile rendering support for selected extension points and UI kit components. At the moment, we have 2 extension points that are supported and we are working on adding support for 11 of the most commonly used UI kit components, which include text, image, and table.
If you're interested in trying Forge Mobile, look for our early access announcement in early 2023.
Collaborate with Multi-user App Ownership
Since apps are owned by a single Atlassian account, we know it can be difficult to work collaboratively in teams on a single project. We're excited to announce that multi-user app ownership will be coming to you in 2023 in several stages.
First, we'll allow you to add, remove, and list contributors. Contributors can make changes, deploy, install, and manage it through the developer console. Next, we're planning to allow people to work concurrently on Forge through the ability to manage multiple development environments. We'll announce more about this second milestone after we've released the early access program in 2023.
Removing consent screen for end users
We've heard your feedback and the consent screen for app end users will soon be a thing of the past. This work has involved some substantial auth changes under the hood, which has slowed down delivery. However, we're planning to finalize work by the end of March 2023.
Anonymous user access on the Jira Service Management customer portal
Currently, Forge apps that appear on the Jira Service Management are only accessible to users with an Atlassian license-holder ID. We are in the process of expanding access to less privileged user types, including anonymous users and customer accounts. We are targeting early 2023 for this release.
Better performance and flexibility coming to UI kit
Developers love UI kit for its simplicity and ease of use, but style and layout options are limited. We've begun a new EAP for a version of UI kit that runs in the client instead of the Lambda. This will give developers more flexibility in styling components, better interactivity in user interfaces, and snappier performance. Look out for a public preview of this feature in the first half of 2023.
Finalizing the next iteration of OAuth scopes
After a round of research with partners and customers, we are in the process of finalizing taxonomy for new OAuth scopes and beginning the build and test phase. We are targeting an early access program (EAP) launch in May 2023.
Enabling admins to better control cloud app data access
We shared an early look at a new admin capability that will enter early access in July 2023 at the soonest. Admins will be able to define app policies for selected Jira or Confluence spaces to restrict app access to sensitive data.
Connect-on-Forge apps can begin to adopt OAuth 2.0
If you're an early adopter of Connect-on-Forge, you can start testing OAuth 2.0. Connect-on-Forge provides backward compatibility for Connect modules and features on Forge and is intended as an optional incremental migration pathway from Connect to Forge. With this change, Connect-on-Forge apps will be able to authenticate with Atlassian services, as themselves. Learn more on the changelog.
At the end of the webinar, we opened up the floor for the audience to ask questions.
Will Android and iPhone screens only work if you are using Custom UI?
Currently, we will not be building support for Custom UI on mobile. We may revisit this decision in the future.
Regarding multi-user app ownership: will additional collaborators have the same permissions as the original owner?
For the early access program, all contributors will have the same permissions.
Looking forward to onChange in UI kit. Are there any concerns with backwards compatibility of existing UI kit apps?
There are some small changes with the components, but they are reasonably small. Some of the bigger changes are around product APIs.
Any plans to support Forge custom fields in team-managed projects?
It's coming! We're currently at an internal testing stage for this and don't have a timeline we can share just yet.
Until next time!
Thank you to everyone who joined us live, contributed questions, and shared excitement over these new features and milestones. We hope you have an amazing end to 2022 and we'll see you back for our next Forge Roadmap Webinar at the end of Q1 next year!
Legal Disclaimer: This webinar contains forward-looking statements which involve substantial risks and uncertainties. Atlassian undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements made in this presentation to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this presentation or to reflect new information or the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by law. The achievement or success of the matters covered by such forward-looking statements involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and assumptions.