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App assessment 101

Moving to the cloud? Here’s what you need to know about migrating your apps.


More than 60 percent of Atlassian’s server customers use an app or integration. 

If you’re one of them, one of the primary tasks you’ll probably take on before migrating to cloud is app assessment—figuring out which apps you have, which apps you need, which apps you can migrate (and which you can’t), and how your app landscape can and will change once you make the move.

At first, that can sound a bit daunting. How do you assess your current app landscape and figure out what a move to cloud means for your apps? How do you know which apps will migrate and which won’t? How do you make sure your migration transition is as smooth as possible? 

The good news is that we’re here to help. With our migration assistants and a well-honed process at your fingertips, app assessment can be pretty straightforward. Not to mention that the process can help you optimize your systems for the move—a feat that leadership will likely thank you for.

So, how should you go about your app assessment? Here’s our recommended process:


Start with our app assessment tools

Are the apps you use on-prem available in cloud? Are there similar apps available? Or does cloud offer the functionality you need within the product itself—no app required?

Start answering these questions by using the free Jira Cloud Migration Assistant and Confluence Cloud Migration Assistant to get a snapshot of what apps you have on server, whether those apps are available in cloud, and what migration paths exist. Watch this demo for help getting started. This should give you a sense of how straightforward your app migration will be. Automated app data migration for supported Jira and Confluence apps will first be available via early access programs, and is scheduled to roll out broadly at the end of this year.

And if your apps can’t be migrated or aren’t in cloud yet? It’s possible the Marketplace partner is working on bringing them to cloud—but it’s also common during a migration to do a “spring clean” of your instance and remove apps that may no longer be critical to your business (or have been replaced by native cloud features like roadmaps, automation, and more). 


Manually audit your apps

After you complete an app assessment using the Jira or Confluence Cloud Migration Assistant, you'll understand what apps you have in server, whether there's a cloud equivalent app, and what migration paths exist or are in the works. With that info in mind, you're ready to start digging deeper into how your team is using these apps and what your migration plan should be.

The first step is looking at each app and asking a few key questions: 


Do our teams really need this? 

Are people still using this app or has it been replaced by another app or process? How are teams using it and is there a more efficient or useful way for them to complete that task? Are there multiple apps being used for the same purpose and, if so, could you consolidate that task into a single app? 

Make sure you don’t make any assumptions here. Take a look at any app usage data you have, but also talk to your teams. Find out who’s using the app (or thinks they are), how, and what they need it for.

You may find there are some apps that have fallen out of use entirely or could be replaced by something better. And there’s no time like a cloud migration for cleaning out your no-longer-useful apps, especially when that spring cleaning will likely save you money (since you won’t be paying for apps your teams don’t use).


Is there a better way to do this?

What is the goal of this app? What function is it serving? And is there a better way for us to do whatever that thing is? Sometimes these questions can help you identify not only apps you don’t need (or should replace with something different) but also ways you can standardize processes across teams, solve workflow problems, or realign your technology with the outcomes you’re pursuing.

Yet again, make sure these questions aren’t being asked in a bubble. Talk to the teams who do the work day-by-day to get insight into what they think could improve their processes, workflows, and tools.


What will we do if an app we need isn’t available in cloud?

Take a look at what the app does and how your teams use it, and spend some time assessing other ways you can meet those needs in cloud.

Sometimes, you’ll find that cloud’s built-in features—like Jira automation and Confluence analytics—will already have you covered, especially since we’re adding improvements all the time. In other cases, you can ask the Marketplace Partner if they have a cloud app in the works, you’ll find a different app that can serve the same purpose in cloud, or you may consider building your own custom app with Forge.

As you manually audit apps, make it clear what your migration plan is for each (will it migrate, be replaced, or be retired?). We recommend making an assessment table with columns for: 

  • Status (is the app needed in cloud, not needed in cloud, or still under review?)
  • Exists in cloud (is the app available in cloud?)
  • Can be migrated (are you able to migrate the app and, if relevant, its data to cloud?)

For Confluence migrations, we also suggest columns that tell you how many pages the app macro appears on in the last 30 days and how many views it got in that same time period.


Make a plan for data migration

Once you know which apps are important to you, it’s time to think about data migration. Before you do, though, ask yourself the question: Do we need to migrate this data? In some cases, you will need not only to migrate an app but also its data. In other cases, that legacy data could be archived (in case you need it later) and you could start in your new apps from scratch.

For apps that you definitely do need to migrate data, we’re currently building out automated migrations with our Marketplace Partners. Dozens of apps are already included in our automated app migration early access program, including customer favorites like ScriptRunner for Jira by Adaptavist, Zephyr for Jira Test Management by SmartBear, and Table Filters and Charts for Confluence by StiltSoft. But every app is different, so once you know which apps you need to migrate data for, your next step is to contact the Marketplace Partners for those apps to ask about their process.


Take your apps for a test drive

All Marketplace cloud apps include a free 30-day trial, meaning you can check them out and test functionality ahead of time. Make sure you involve every team that uses them regularly, as use cases may differ across the organization and functionality in a cloud app might differ from functionality in the same app on server. 


Need more time? Some Marketplace Partners are offering free cloud migration promo codes to match Atlassian’s free cloud migration trial to ensure you have plenty of time to evaluate during this process.


An app migration success story

Ask Rockwell Automation about migrating apps and they’ll tell you it helped them optimize their systems, processes, and their costs. Before their migration, they used the Confluence Cloud Migration Assistant to figure out which server apps to move to the cloud. Afterward, they gushed about how much value came with making the switch.

In the words of Jim Tomkins, Program Manager: “Before, I had a group of six people that probably spent 90 percent of their time on ‘care and feeding’ for the application. Now, we can do it with one person, part time. It’s night-and-day better…In the past, tools were an obstacle or burdensome. Now, they enable us to further our cause, methodologies, and disciplines.” 


Already completed an app assessment? Let us know your learnings in the comments below!


Thanks - how do you know if (and where) apps are being used when they're being used for things like post-functions or validators, and nobody ever documented anything?

Like Rob Horan likes this
Rob Horan
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Aug 24, 2022

@Jacob Wisner Are there any tools that tell you where apps are being used?  In many cases, users and admins don't have good insights into the use of marketplace apps.  Staff members come and go, and that includes admins.  Unless an instance is meticulously documented (and lets be honest, that just isn't happening) odds are there are apps and extensions and all sorts of things that are in place and are being used without any real understanding of what the tools are or how they got there.

Its easy to say oh, people should do X, Y, and Z, but if it was so easy and so prevalent, would Atlassian be making cleanup/archive tools a selling point for Premium & Enterprise? 

There needs to be a way to pull app use reports.


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