Atlassian Compass Released to General Public

Posted on 12.21.2023
Written by John R Worsley

Originally announced at Team ’22, Atlassian’s developer experience platform is now available to the public in the Atlassian Cloud platform.  For organizations managing complex, distributed architectures, Compass is the perfect complement to Jira Software.

While Jira Software serves as a single source of truth for the work that engineering teams do, it’s not intended to manage the complexity or health of components and services.  Enter Compass.

Why do we need Compass?

The primary value that software developers bring to an organization – the main reason we hire them – is to write code and ship it.  Any time they spend not doing that should support their ability to do that, not detract from it.  When dedicated DevOps staff is unavailable, developers are increasingly expected to manage security vulnerabilities, configure cloud services, automate testing, etc.  It’s important work, but not what we hire developers to do.  Likewise, the more time it takes developers to figure out how components and services function and interrelate, who manages them with what tools and how to contact those people, and so on, the less time they’re actually coding.

Atlassian Compass serves as a comprehensive developer experience platform, unifying distributed software architecture and fostering cohesive collaboration among cross-functional teams. This sophisticated developer portal seamlessly consolidates and presents a real-time, unified view of the entire engineering output within a singular, centralized environment.

Atlassian compass

From its initial early-access launch, Compass has become the world’s most extensive developer portal.

With Atlassian Compass, you can…

Understand dependencies with a visual representation of dependency relationships, plus the last deployment date/time.

Improve build quality, security practices, compliance, and more, using custom scorecards with criteria each team can define.

Manage information across components, teams, activities, and scorecards from a central home page, allowing each user to focus on what’s relevant to their work.

Customize developer experiences with activity list/timelines views for each component, pulling from sources like BitBucket, Opsgenie, Github, and New Relic.

Make your developers happier, increasing both productivity and quality.

Compass key features


Each component gets a dashboard that shows Description, Repository, Documentation, Projects, dependency relationships, on-call schedules, and more.  This gives you a single source of truth for each element in your software architecture, and simultaneously makes it much easier to understand the big picture.


Once you’ve set up your components and assigned them to teams, each team also gets a dashboard showing everything they need to know to effectively build and operate their components.  Then each team can define criteria that constitute a healthy component from their point of view, and create a scorecard to summarize and track those criteria.  This could be security practices, build health, compliance, or metrics like DORA.


Every developer environment is unique, so Atlassian provides a growing app marketplace that offers additional functionality.  You can also use their app development platform and open API to customize your developer experience.

Key use cases

  • Governance: You need to track factors like reliability, security, and team performance across a wide set of services. Compass’s scorecards enable continuous evaluate of these factors, and give centralized teams like security visibility across hundreds of services and teams to spot low performers and remediate.
  • Team Health Operations: Each of your teams is responsible for a set of software components and for keeping them in a healthy, secure, and compliant state. Compass’s team dashboard, email notifications, and weekly digests will save them time and prioritize the necessary operational work within their normal sprint cadence.
  • Incident Management: Incident triage and resolution can never happen too quickly.  With Compass, incident tickets in Jira Service Management and Opsgenie will have additional context about the affected software components, recent activity like deployment events or feature flags, and any changes to dependencies, ultimately helping team triage and resolve incidents faster.
  • Software Templates: Developers who are assembling new services can lose a lot of time, and miss important pieces, if they have to manually bring in the relevant configurations.  Compass’s component templates make sure the right code, libraries, and other configurations are available from day one.
  • API & Dev Docs: No one wants developers to write code they don’t need to, but it’s hard save time by reusing code if you can’t find it, or figure out how it works, or who to ask your questions of. Compass collects a component’s repository presence, related documentation, contact information, recent activity, and more, all in one place, making it easier than ever to discover existing components that meet your need.
  • Developer Onboarding: The software world moves fast, and you need new developers up and coding as soon as possible.  Compass’s centralized information, activity, and communication around components and services saves time, and prevents mistakes that happen when a new developer doesn’t know something they need to.
Example health scorecard in Compass

Start your journey with Atlassian Compass

Taken on its own, Compass unlocks greater developer productivity, both individually and as teams, for those employing distributed architecture (or considering it). If you’re already using Jira Software Cloud, Compass’s ROI multiplies. And Atlassian has already been hard at work adding functionality to Compass and improving its integration with Jira Software – so the benefits of Compass will only expand.

Oxalis is here to support you every step of the way.

As Cloud-Specialized, Atlassian Platinum Partners, Oxalis is perfectly positioned to guarantee that clients receive the highest level of service and expertise. Software development is in our DNA, and we know from experience what successful distributed architecture needs.

Contact Oxalis today to embark on your Atlassian Compass journey.

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