Atlassian has announced the general availability of its developer experience platform, Compass, which provides a centralized space for engineering teams and the technology they use on a daily basis.
With modern software development becoming increasingly decentralized and complex, engineering teams are constantly battling to find information that is spread across multiple tools. This has created an environment where devops work can outpace time spent writing code and shipping new features, Atlassian said.
“It’s not really just a technology problem, it’s a collaboration problem,” said Taylor Pechacek, head of product at Compass.
“This is something Atlassian thinks a lot about,” he said, adding that the company is focused on helping thousands of organizations solve some of those information and collaboration gaps they are facing.
Generally available to customers starting Tuesday, Compass is designed to provide a unified developer experience platform that simultaneously helps to promote a healthy engineering culture. The platform was first showcased at the Atlassian ’22 event in April last year.
“We’re in a very unique position to do this because we’ve known developers and software teams for over 20 years, many of whom don’t start their days without working at Atlassian tools,” Pechacek said. “Being able to meet this growing need for a group of people that we know very well is really exciting to us.”
Compass ships with four capabilities — a unified software component catalog, health scorecards, software templates, and extensibility. The unified software component catalog is aimed at helping teams better track, search, and discover technical architecture and critical component metadata.
Compass provides a single, consistent identifier to connect disparate data across tools and improve collaboration, while engineering teams using GitHub, Bitbucket, or GitLab for their source code management can set up their software component catalog in minutes using an automated integration app, the company said.
Personalized health scorecards and DORA metrics in Compass are designed to help developers establish and track software delivery and team health metrics, allowing users to identify points of friction and improve reliability for existing services.
Compass’ new software templates automate the creation of new services for developers, allowing for integrations with engineering teams’ best practices, policies, cloud provisioning, and deployment pipelines.
Finally, the extensibility feature in Compass is meant to allow developers to connect all their observability, CI/CD, testing, collaboration, and source code management tools to prevent context switching and easily surface all of the relevant data from an organization’s software toolchain.
“We believe this brings the best of both worlds, a supported SaaS product with an open, extensible marketplace around it,” Pechacek said.
Compass offers a Free tier that allows for three full-time users and an unlimited number of basic users, or a standard tier that costs $7 per user per month and can host up to 35,000 full-time users and an unlimited number of basic users.
Fostering a more collaborative engineering culture
Online clothing retailer Boden had been looking for a way to foster a collaborative engineering culture but was finding the growing number of disparate systems and tools it was using increasingly difficult to manage.
The company became a beta tester of Compass last year and since deploying the platform, the company said it has made “significant progress” in addressing the pain points it had previously been experiencing.
“The most significant benefit has been offering engineers a unified view of each service/component, enabling them to concentrate on the current task at hand,” said James Crowe, head of software development at Boden. “Compass expedites the onboarding of both new and existing engineers and provides insights into the effects of service changes throughout the platform.”
Compass has since become an integral part of the developer experience, but Crowe explained that while developers are eager to adopt the platform, the company has needed to strike a balance between delivering immediate business value and adopting a service that enhances their long-term developer experience.
While acknowledging that Compass is still in its early stages, Crowe said there is ample room for the platform to offer more insights, in particular highlighting a want for app integrations to be accessible with other platforms like Data Dog and AWS.
“We are also looking forward to changes around component templates, to allow teams to set up services quicker and more efficiently,” Crowe said.
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