Using marketplace add-ons to get the most out of your Atlassian investment

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Software has become ubiquitous across all functions of daily life, but for businesses, this asset is especially critical for ensuring that employees are able to carry out their tasks in an effective, productive manner. For large program builds, users are likely to see new versions only every few years, whereas we are now accustomed to the quick changes that are made for mobile applications. This means that if a critical functionality is left out, business programs aren't likely to see changes until the next full version is released.

Waiting this period is clearly unfeasible, which is why providers like Atlassian have established a marketplace of add-ons to ensure that each solution meets unique business requirements. These supplemental apps come from a variety of vendors and support any type of project management need from information sharing to test management. Leveraging test management add-ons for Atlassian can help organizations get the most out of their Atlassian investment and guarantee that their teams have the best tools on hand at all times.

Helps validate changes
With any program, it's essential to make sure that it is performing up to expectations and continues to provide users with the features they need. Atlassian Technical Account Manager Dan Radigan recommended regular checks for incompatible add-ons, new versions and expired licenses in order to keep systems running smoothly. Smoke testing tools can help validate changes and quickly spot any data integrity issues. This will help ensure that any adjustments don't have unexpected consequences and that users can still operate effectively.

"This test space serves as the proving ground for the smoke test used in upgrade testing, platform migrations, and new add-on testing," Radigan wrote. "It's a small up-front investment that will pay rich dividends by validating changes to Confluence easier. Remember, something is better than nothing. Start small and modify your smoke test over time as you learn common pitfalls."

Promotes flexibility across the board
Development teams typically like a certain level of flexibility and the Atlassian marketplace provides this in spades. Atlassian contributor Nick Wade noted that their products are built with developers in mind, enabling them to take the feature source code and extend upon it to meet their specific needs. Organizations also no longer have to be contracted to one single vendor - they can pick and choose their add-ons as necessary and move onto another feature that emerges if it better suits their workflows.

"This belief in unshackling our applications is fundamental to our model," Wade wrote. "We put all the information and flexibility our customers need into customers hands immediately, and we sell our enterprise software only on the internet. There's no sales person holding premium features or pricing information back, and there's no limit to the things you can make your own systems do."

Can support emerging trends
Many organizations are looking for test cases tools that allow them to easily automate and test within their critical programs. Luckily, because the Atlassian marketplace has over 2,000 registered developers and 1,500 public add-ons, companies can pick the one that will best support emerging trends they decide to pursue. Businesses can use Script runner for automation integration, for example. According to ServiceRocket, this add-on allows teams to create custom workflow scripts, fields, JQL functions and more to successfully automate development processes.

Other add-ons like Zephyr and JIRA Capture enable quality assurance teams to keep up with defects and collaborate across projects. With these tools, users can report bugs faster and ensure that their testing efforts keep pace with agile values. QA can also use Zephyr to monitor progress in real-time, prioritize items and keep everyone on the same page. These capabilities will be essential to constant collaboration and will be an enhancement to any Atlassian solution.

Leverage add-ons wisely
As demonstrated, the sky is the limit when integrating add-ons into Atlassian systems. Organizations can easily customize their resources, but they must do so wisely and consider what types of features users require to complete their tasks. With the variety available on Atlassian's marketplace; global quality assurance teams can easily augment their solution and create the perfect solution for their needs. These benefits make a case for investing in Atlassian and making comprehensive strategies to use these tools to their fullest.

Learn more on how to work with multiple Atlassian add-ons at a time and still manage teams effectively in the upcoming session in the Atlassian Summit 2015