This question is in reference to Atlassian Documentation: Add-ons and plugins
This article sounds like a marketing way to disguise the only way for devs to customize JIRA cloud instances is with Atlassian Connect. Atlassian Connect would actually be useful if you could bundle and host from within JIRA. Uploading bundled Atlassian Connect projects directly to JIRA seems like low hanging fruit if it already supports external sources.
I'm not sure they're "disguising" anything. If you want to extend or customise Cloud beyond the options in the basic offering (and limited range of options), you need to do it with Connect add-ons - they've said that from day one of Cloud.
Sadly, despite "Connect being the way forward", it's not available for Server versions. Which does kind of break the idea that it's useful as the way forward for most users.
Maybe this should be separate question but does this mean if you want to add a few custom links to a menu in JIRA cloud you have to host a separate website with that html fragment? I still think connectors are really integration points and not add-ons. It is confusing with add-ons/plugins in JIRA server and then these external integrated services in cloud.
No, it's a good place to ask, it's certainly related!
The answer is maybe - Connect add-ons can add things to the UI, but they can't get into the depths of JIRA like type-2 add-ons. Everything they do has to be on the surface and act via REST. Specifically for adding links in the UI, I don't actually know - I've not tried to write a Connect add-on that does that yet.
Connect add-ons aren't just connectors though, they can work entirely within a Cloud system.
Sorry, I'm not talking about "connectors" - those are just one thing you can do with add-ons.
If you write a Cloud add-on that runs on another server, then you need to provide that server. There are Connect add-ons that run entirely within JIRA and don't need other servers, but you've written one that needs external systems.
So JIRA cloud does support "non-connector" add-ons? When adding an add-on from our JIRA cloud instance there is only an option to enter a URL... the upload button has been removed. I did originally create a normal add-on using the Atlassian sdk but then to my dismay there was no way to upload it. Then I created the connector "add-on" and to my dismay it requires an external hosting source. So I guess my real question is how to add a custom menu to JIRA cloud?
I'm not sure why you keep asking about "connectors".
Cloud lets you install Connect add-ons, some of which are hosted entirely on there, others hosted on other servers. It does not let you install "type 2" add-ons/
Menu items are done in similar ways in both types of add-on - as "web items". On the Connect side, try https://developer.atlassian.com/static/connect/docs/latest/modules/common/web-item.html
That is the site I referenced when creating my menu custom (using tutorial https://developer.atlassian.com/static/connect/docs/latest/tutorials/connect-basics.html). I am still not able to get clear details on "type 2" add-ons in the cloud. It seems the upload button was removed from JIRA cloud when installing add-ons. Thanks for your help. Guess I will give up on it since it is too much effort and confusing.
Ah, sorry, I've been completely missing the question.
You can only install a certain set of "type 2" add-ons in Cloud. The list of those is short, totally determined by Atlassian, and you do it by enabling them in your account, not via the UPM (It's the Cloud options for Tempo, JIRA Suite Utilities, Toolkit and so-on). You can't upload any type-2 add-ons yourself.
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