Atlassian ALM OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Buyer's Guide

Download the Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Suites Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: December 2022

What is Atlassian ALM?

How to use Atlassian to manage application lifecycle

Atlassian builds software to pull together all the elements of application lifecycle management. Product management, developers, Q/A, dev ops, and business stake holders all have their own ways of interacting with application lifecycle management and Atlassian splits up the process into a few buckets.

1) Collaborate to plan and envision work

Atlassian's Confluence is a collaboration platform for building and driving consensus. Call stake holders in to give approval, comment on, and share pages and integrate with the rest of the development toolchain.

2) Build and track roadmaps

Atlassian's JIRA Software offers incredibly flexible project management with custom workflows, plugins, and high visibility rollups through JIRA Portfolio. Issues can be embedded right in confluence, or be used to kick off new branches in version control. Keep everyone on the same page with project progress. 

3) Track and deploy code

Atlassian's Bitbucket is the world's most robust Git solution. The ability to deploy multiple-nodes with failover, global mirroring for super fast clones, and powerful code review control set it apart from competition. Bitbucket also has a mature plugin and hooks system that allows extensions and connection to a suite of CI software. 

4) Support and Iterate

Track support requests, bugs, and route users in the right direction with JIRA Service Desk. With the same custom workflow engine as JIRA Software, a tight integration with the rest of the stack, and a knowledge base function make it a powerful addition to the ALM stack. 

5) Tie it together

ChatOps helps tie every part of the ALM together. Get stake holders in the same room to manage a project, teams in the same page to manage their work, or plugin automated members to report on CI status, pull requests, page changes in Confluence, or bug reports. Like every piece of Atlassian's ALM there is a mature API for extending plugins and everything can be hosted behind your own firewall. 



Atlassian ALM Customers
Facebook, NASA, Cisco, eBay, Redfin, Toyota, Kaiser Permanente, Gilt, CSIRO, Autodesk, The Daily Telegraph, CODE, Illumnia
Atlassian ALM Video

Archived Atlassian ALM Reviews (more than two years old)

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it_user1090899 - PeerSpot reviewer
Director Software R&D at Fluid Data Services
Real User
Has good integration between the different products of the Atlassian suite
Pros and Cons
  • "The main power of this tool is the integration between the different products of the Atlassian suite. We have good integration with work management with Java. This is the major strength from this provider."
  • "The automation for scheduling software and doing software tests should be simplified because it's complex and too rigid."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is to have as an ALM Software. We develop Software, so we need to have a solution that supports the full cycle of the software development, starting from the requirements to work management, to source code management, to being tested. And on top of that, we have sharing capabilities with Confluence.

What is most valuable?

The main power of this tool is the integration between the different products of the Atlassian suite. We have good integration with work management and Software build automation (Bamboo).This is the major strength from this provider. 

What needs improvement?

For project management, the scheduling of the project tasks should be simplified because it's complex and too rigid using the Atlassian Portfolio . 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Atlassian for fifteen years.

Buyer's Guide
Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Suites
December 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Atlassian, Microsoft, PTC and others in Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Suites. Updated: December 2022.
655,994 professionals have used our research since 2012.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I haven't experienced any problems with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is very good. We have more than 10k users. It's being used a lot. 

The majorty of the users are software developers.

How are customer service and support?

Their technical support is very good and easy to work with. 

How was the initial setup?

I didn't do the setup but the most important part is identifying how the model from Atlassian will fit with our operational model. That is the key part. 

What other advice do I have?

My first recommendation would be to think about what you want to use the data modeling for? Do you want to have organization per project, per customer, per product, per business? This is my recommendation, think about how to make the modeling work with what you want to do.

The scheduling feature is too complex. They should make the project management part of the course plan activity easier.

I would rate it a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Agile and DevOps Coach at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
User-friendly, easy to set up, and has good integration with other Atlassian products
Pros and Cons
  • "This solution fits very well into our agile product management environment."
  • "The reports are not really customizable, which is something that they should improve on."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use of this solution is agile application life cycle management.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution fits very well into our agile product management environment.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the integration with the other Atlassian products such as Bitbucket, Confluence, and HipChat.

What needs improvement?

The current method for dealing with requirements management involves another solution, which is costing more for the users. Traceability between higher level and lower level requirements in the hierarchy is something else that is not fully addressed. It would be helpful to have requirements management and traceability functionality built into this solution.

The reports are not really customizable, which is something that they should improve on. The reporting capabilities, in general, are in need of improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Atlassian ALM for more than three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable but at times, the performance is poor. It takes time to load and the response time is not up to the mark. We use this tool frequently and all of our project work gets done through it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is a scalable solution. In my previous project, we had more than 1,000 people using it. These people are end-users who have been allocated to the project. For example, they could be developers or testers.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate them very good in terms of support. The only issues that we have had are that some plugins are not available.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. Once you get access to the instance, through the cloud, all you need to do is log in using the credentials. The configuration takes time because it has a very heavy interface with a lot of apps in it, but we find it very user-friendly.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

There is a community edition available, but if the price were lower for the addons then more people would use the full version.

What other advice do I have?

Atlassian is a market leader in this segment and I would definitely recommend this solution. I would just like to see more of the features available at a more reasonable cost, which would keep more people from going to the community version.

This is a good solution, but the main thing we want to see is better traceability between epics, features and stories. As it is now, there are only two levels. The link is between an epic and a story or an epic and a feature.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Suites
December 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Atlassian, Microsoft, PTC and others in Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Suites. Updated: December 2022.
655,994 professionals have used our research since 2012.
PeerSpot user
Senior Consultant IT Infrastructure at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
JIRA, Confluence, BitBucket and HipChat work well with each other.

Valuable Features:

The Atlassian ALM suite consists at least of JIRA, Confluence, BitBucket and HipChat - just the tools you need for organizing your teams in a very efficient way. The most valuable part might be that those tools play very well with each other. 

JIRA lets you work within projects for organizing your work, while Confluence gives you all the tools you need for documentation work. If wanted, you are able to link Confluence pages to JIRA issues and vice versa. This helps a lot if you need to work across teams or sites or even countries.

Using BitBucket, you could organize your code within projects and repositories. It is also possible to refer to a specific JIRA issue within the commit messages, which uses JIRA to link a specific commit to a JIRA issue. Within the JIRA issue, all commits can be seen and direct links to BitBucket show the viewer the related changes within the code. In addition, even pull requests (and the discussions inside) can be linked with a JIRA issue.

If your team needs to discuss certain aspects of the code, you could either use the comment feature within JIRA or create a channel for the issue within HipChat - and just chat. The chat log will be linked to the JIRA issue, which means that any viewer will be able to comprehend why you implemented a specific feature, for example.

Another very valuable aspect is that Atlassian lets you download all products and host them within your own site. This is very important for companies where data control and data safety are part of the company policies.

Improvements to My Organization:

The suite helped to make the work within teams and across teams more efficient. Members of other teams might just look at your code and look up the related JIRA issue or Confluence page since they are linked together. The staff no longer needs to search for the related information because it is presented right away.

Room for Improvement:

All Atlassian products are based on JAVA which makes it a bit difficult to trace problems if you don't have much JAVA skilled staff around. You can try to read the error messages and understand what's going on, in some cases you might succeed even without Java skills. In other cases, it makes sense to search the web for solutions. Since Atlassian has a very good Q&A site and online documentation, changes are high that you might find helpful hints online.


Furthermore, Atlassian should provide a product which helps you back up and restore all related data.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
it_user489045 - PeerSpot reviewer
Software Engineer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Bitbucket's review interface is great. The interaction between the three products isn't extremely helpful.

Valuable Features:

With Confluence, the most valuable feature for me is when I tag a ticket in JIRA, Confluence becomes aware of the ticket's status. Bitbucket automatically links them, but I haven't found that to be particularly useful. If I open a pull request, Bitbucket is not good at giving me a link to JIRA, which is something that I would expect it to be smarter about.

In Bitbucket, the reviews are pretty good. It does a good job of picking things up. The review interface is great. It makes super-clear who's making comments, what people are commenting about, and inline comments. The diffs are relatively clear. It does a good job keeping track of which comments are still relevant, and which aren't.

The tasks feature is pretty nice, where you can open a task in a pull request and it'll stop you from merging it until you have completed the task. It's relatively nice and configurable to work with Jenkins and similar tools.

I use JIRA and Bitbucket for the same work. I feel they're really quite separate tools and do different things.

Room for Improvement:

The connection between JIRA, Bitbucket and Confluence feels like an afterthought. In Confluence, if I'm documenting some meeting, then I can tag the tickets and easily see the status, which is nice, but it's not like a super big deal.

I use all three products, but the interaction between them isn't extremely helpful. I haven't found any useful way of integrating Bitbucket with Confluence.

I struggle to get people to write anything of any significance on Confluence, though, because the editor is so painful to use. We end up writing anything that's a living, important document in Google Docs, and then we link to it from Confluence. It's ridiculous because Google Docs is a terrible tool in a lot of respects. Confluence is just a super-inadequate tool for editing documents.

Confluence is a pretty good tool, but people refuse to edit documents in there, because the editor just doesn't work half the time. That's a real problem, because it's supposed to be the central place in the organization where we share information between all the teams. People don't want to put documents in there, because it takes them forever to edit them.

It seems like that's really the most basic piece of functionality that a tool like Confluence should offer, and it does it extremely badly. It seems like the core part of its offering is that it can create a document and edit it, so people can find it and read it.

JIRA offers a lot of configurability, which for upper-level management is nice because they can enforce whatever policies they want to be enforcing, and get good visibility. Because it's so configurable, as a developer using it, there's just much more complexity than you want on a day-to-day level.

If I could get away with using Trello, for instance, I would, but I do see that it doesn't provide functionality that the business needs. As a developer on a day-to-day level, JIRA's a pain in the neck.

I see now that I can actually jump straight into the ticket in JIRA, and see the description. It might be nice if the definition of done from the ticket in JIRA was more prominently visible in the pull request in Bitbucket. Now that I know the link's there, maybe we'll use it.

JIRA's slow to boot, so we end up wasting a good chuck of time waiting for JIRA to load. It shows me much more configuration information than I really need it to. It shows me many more fields than I need it do, which makes it hard to find what I'm looking for. My team went through something like three different ways of working with JIRA in three months, and had to continually find the correct dashboard. For JIRA to be an enjoyable experience, you need to invest in becoming a JIRA expert. Most people would prefer that they didn't have to think about using this tool, and it just worked. When you're selling it, I'm sure it's great because it has every possible feature. For the one or two JIRA experts in the organization, I'm sure it feels like a great tool. To the end user, it's so over-packed with features, that it's just overwhelming to use.

It would be a big benefit if the super-experts at JIRA in your organization hid all the configurability and all the unneeded features from the rest of the users, so that you could use the tool without thinking about it.

Other Advice:

Bitbucket's great.

Simplify how you use JIRA as much as you possibly can. Make sure you have a workflow that fits your organization and make sure the people in the organization understand the workflow.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
PeerSpot user
Chief Operating Officer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
It's served us well to date, but starting to push the boundaries of what we can do with it. We like the flexibility, but there are real limitations in enterprise management.

Valuable Features

For a number of internal business processes like hirings, employee transfers, changes of pay, and approval of commercial documents, we run them all through JIRA workflows.

We're starting to push the boundaries of what we can do with Atlassian ALM. It's served us pretty well and we like the flexibility of being able to create custom issues, fields, etc. We've invested in a number of add-ons to give us additional functionalities with JIRA and Confluence, the latter of which is our de facto documentation tool for living documents (stories, reference information, procedures, etc.). We're able to take advantage of the integrations between JIRA and Confluence, for example to show a list of JIRA issues on a Confluence page, and vice versa.

Also, we've invested in Stash, which is our repository for any software development we do. There's not a lot of integration from Stash to JIRA and Confluence that we use. Obviously, we can track bugs and link them back to comments in Stash, but Stash is mostly a standalone solution for us.

We're hosting JIRA, Confluence, and Stash in the cloud with AWS.

Room for Improvement

My job is to make sure these things meet the needs of the users. What I'd love to be able to do is actually stop hosting these things ourselves and just go across to the Atlassian Cloud version of these products. I've used those in the past and the integration between JIRA and Confluenc, is a much tighter, neater experience. This is particularly important when you get to managing users and so forth. It's a more seamless experience for users between those two products.

But we just can't do that because Atlassian has no practical solution for enterprise identity management. Essentially if you want to use these products you have manage your users and their roles / groups within the Atlassian ecosystem, which is completely impractical for a business of any size.

Since we host our own server instances, we are also responsible for the product upgrades. It's probably the biggest challenge for us. Frankly it's a really daunting exercise - challenging, problematic and very flaky.

Even if you can upgrade the core product, compatibility with the existing plug-ins is questionable.If you do a major version upgrade, more often than not, you'll find that some of the plug-ins you previously had working have stopped working. We have struggled to stay current on the Atlassian products because these upgrades are such a drawn-out exercise.

Use of Solution

The main products we use right now are JIRA, Confluence and Stash or Bitbucket Server as they now call it. We, up until recently, also used HipChat but have recently turned that off in favor of Slack. Sorry Altassian, you've lost on that one. There is a message there for you, Altassian. We've actually been using, particularly JIRA and Confluence, for quite a few years. We're generally big fans. We use it actively, we promote it to our clients, we use it to manage our client engagements. We actually do consult engagements occasionally to set up Altassian products for our clients. Ironically, Altassian is also one of our clients so we've, at times, provided a consulting service to those guys.

Their Sydney office is right next door to us, so it's pretty close knit. You know JIRA is, at its heart, a project management system. Our business is providing professional consulting services in the space of software engineering. We use that to manage the software projects and we run our engagements in an agile style using Scrum by default. We've got dozens and dozens and dozens of projects that are essentially Scrum. It works pretty well. We use, beyond that, JIRA as our de facto enterprise to-do list.

Stability Issues

We struggled to get performance out of JIRA and Confluence, in particular. Even though we've done quite a lot of profiling and upped the instant size of the EC2 servers that we're running this thing on, it feels sluggish. You're navigating around and it's not snappy. That's a bit of a challenge at times, particularly in Confluence, because you can get these runaway background processes that can massively impact performance.

One of the things that we've found is we've revoked pretty much every user's right to export a space in Confluence. Before you do that, you can just basically kill the entire platform while that's running. There's no practical solution right now for a custom HA-type solution. I know Atlassian actually does that internally, but I've heard of extremely flaky instance.

To try and have a good, healthy HA type configuration, there's still quite a way to go there. Those two products are probably one or more critical systems for our business so it's a bit of a challenge.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Generally, it's been a really good experience. They're pretty responsive. I personally don't make the calls since I've got guys who do that for me. Following an alarm, it can take a bit of back and forth to figure out what the problem is and if there's a solution for it. Generally, they don't blow you off and their first response assumes that there is a problem, rather than the user's an idiot. I don't think they just follow the script and say the "format the hard drive and call me in the morning"-type nonsense.

Initial Setup

It's ancient history, to be honest. We've been running these instances for so long now. I've contemplated whether we should do a clean install. Essentially, the way you do an upgrade is you fire up the new instance and it upgrades and runs a bunch schema updates to update the database. You've got layers and layers and layers of schema changes and a lot of crud, crap and corruption is left in there after six or seven years of doing that. I couldn't speak to the original.

Other Advice

Atlassian is talking to me about starting to try and think about their products working together as I mentioned before. It's like an ALM-like stack.

As a general purpose tool, JIRA and Confluence are still ahead of the competition. I'd say, your first decision is to try and figure out whether you can get away with using the Atlassian On-Demand versions of the products. If you can, go that route rather than hosting your own. Just get the thing up and running, get a few users, get one team on there, and get a couple of projects.

Launch with an MVP of your Atlassian suite and then iterate. It's pretty easy to manage and enhance the configuration of the thing while it's live and users are using it.

Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: In the past we've provided consulting services to Atlassian
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Suites Report and find out what your peers are saying about Atlassian, Microsoft, PTC, and more!
Updated: December 2022
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Suites Report and find out what your peers are saying about Atlassian, Microsoft, PTC, and more!