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How many plugins is too many?

We get a lot of requests from staff wanting us to install new add-ons onto the site so that it does what they need it to do. How many plugins is too many? 

 

What are the risks with adding too much and when do you start saying no? 

4 comments

david Solutions Partner Oct 29, 2018

Is difficult to say a number because it depends on the resources of your Jira machine but we can say that when your instance begins to run slow, to take so much time to index or upgrading is becoming difficult because of the number of apps, then is time to review them.
Also depends on the grade of support that vendors give. Isn't the same apps that don't update since years than those that are maintained and almost bullet-proofed.

Mirek Community Leader Oct 29, 2018

It is your call. You should set limits since overall there are no limits. More plugins mean more potential problems with upgrades later (or overall maintenance). I personal always evaluate plugins and never install plugins that would not be used for only few people or are expensive. Sometimes also plugins do now have a good support or do not fix bugs. And plugins bugs can slow down Atlassian systems, so choose only those that would give a value for everyone. There might be also some plugins not found by people that have same functionality but even more and are less expensive. If you decide to install at least you would get more. Definitely you cannot install everything because after a while you might end with a big mess and users do not care when something is not working :)

bitvoodoo_nick Community Leader Oct 29, 2018

This is a good question you ask there!

Here are some thing I personally take into consideration:

  1. Cost can be a reason to say No. Your users need to justify the cost / use ratio of an apps to you. Be strict with your users.
  2. Compatibility! Like @Mirek said, the more apps the more compatibility issues can arise. Not all marketplace vendors keep their add-ons compatible with new Confluence or Jira versions.
    If you want to be on the safe side, check if the apps are provided by a "Top Vendor" and have the "supported" tag. Say no if the app is not compatible with your Confluence version.
  3. Stability and speed. It really depends on the type of app to affect these two factors. Many apps do not interfere with it and others do. I can't make a general statement. Test on a staging Confluence instance. If you feel your confluence is getting slow take a look at Java Heap Memory usage and investigate further.
  4. Compatibility! Again? Yes, compatibility with other apps. Sometimes two apps interfere with each other. This is rarely the case, but it can happen. If you contact the vendors they can sometimes sort it out, but if possible test all apps on a staging or test Confluence before going productive.
  5. Bugs and other issues. The more apps you use the more possibilities for issues are persistent. This means you have to troubleshoot and sometimes need to contact the vendor. Only apps with the "supported" flag get you vendor support. And again, if you have many apps, keep a test Confluence to test apps before going productive with them and to test before a Confluence upgrade.
  6. How many apps? Can there be to many apps in your Confluence? I am not entirely sure. I have seen Confluences with over 30 apps in the past, and they run quiet well. You just need to stay alert and do you admin homeworks like reading change notes when updating an app and test test test! :)

Say no to your users when you as Admin don't see any practical use for an app. And consider all factors. There are many useful apps for Confluence but you don't need all of them. ;)

Cheers
Niklas

Like aprilengland likes this

Hi @mybucket2018!

I really love @bitvoodoo_nick's response to this question. I also think it's important to understand the most prominent use cases of Confluence within your organization and find apps that can fill multiple use cases or are vital to carrying them out. 

You may also find that @Alana Fernando's add-on evaluation template can help in the evaluation process before you install it for your instance! 

Like aprilengland likes this

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