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Canadian Servers and PIPEDA / PHIPA?

The Cloud Roadmap indicates Atlassian is considering hosting servers in Canada, however it also indicates that "estimated timing refers to the first additional location, not all locations listed above.", meaning that we have no idea if, or when this would occur.  Not to mention the fact that HIPAA compliance is still years away, and the Canadian equivalents didn't even make the list.

With the recent announcement of the end of life or Jira Server i am looking at our options, but it seems that Jira Cloud is nowhere near ready to replace it from a privacy and data security point of view.  Would that be an apt summary of the situation?

5 comments

It's still incredible to me that there are so many things that Atlassian didn't consider when they made this decision.

They seem to think that the cloud is the only acceptable solution for customers. But then, turns around and says "We understand this wont work for everyone. So we are leaving you with expensive datacenter. Also, were increasing the price of it."

Come on guys! Seriously?

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I know right.  Going from a non-profit license to Data Center is going to be a hell of a price jump for us, and I definitely don't have that much in my budget.

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I'm a healthcare non-profit. Same situation. There have been comments from the Atlassian team stating that new community pricing is coming.

But then I once again have to ask, why is this being considered now and not BEFORE this decision was made? These are things that should've been figured out first.

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I have to assume that it was considered before, and the decision at that time was to stop offering it.  When I looked online it stated that they were no longer going to be available, and it specifically included community and non-profit versions (among others), and that there would be price discounts for moving to data center...

Is that the new community pricing you're referring to, X% off your first year, or are they reconsidering their original decision?  Either way, with everything that is going on the world right now, it's a hell of time to do this to healthcare organizations...

Like Brian Hill likes this

This is a huge problem for us as well.  We require NIST standards compliance (and the coming CMMC) for a lot of our work.   The current cloud offering cannot meet this.   We need to run on self-hosted server sites within our own, secured networks, or on IaS servers on vendor provided/supported private cloud meeting all security requirements.

This is on top of the continued abject failure by Atlassian to address the removal of critical functionality in the cloud version with the roll out of the 'new experience' editor.    I won't reiterate the list of lost features, but the impact is that the cloud version is completely unusable for many of our key use cases.  We support operational missions with server sites with processes, templates and automation through the REST API that cannot be implemented with the cloud version.

The Enterprise offering is completely out of scale for us.

We have a huge knowledge base and development investment in Confluence (and Jira) with a number of additional plugins (Comala Workflows, Drawio, Scroll Export, Numbered Headings, LaTeX Equation Editor for Confluence; BigGantt for Jira).    We are discussing how to deal with the Atlassian announcement prior to February, but in the long term Atlassian may have forced us to plan and implement a move to alternatives.

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Yeah, I think that the cost of Data Center version of Confluence and Jira each with a handful of plugins is going more than most small organizations can manage, which is a real shame.  It will either lead to services being cut to compensate for the increased cost, or force them to find another solution.

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David Willson Community Leader Oct 28, 2020

I'm also curious to know more about the Canadian data centers. 2022 is going to come quick.  I hope Canada is first, but I also hope that a lower data center tier is announced. Uncertain times for sure. 2020 keeps on giving!

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Agreed, there's not many choices when it comes to Canadian hosted services to start with, especially when it comes to those concerned with privacy of personal and health related information. 

We're more or less in the same boat, BC based Health Care, using Jira, Jira Service Desk and Confluence. We'll be starting to develop our Atlassian roadmap going forward, and there's a good chance that the roadmap is how do we get away from using those tools. We have other tools that encompass similar functionality which should be available to us soon, and wouldn't have the same issues with respect to a forced migration to Data Centre (goodbye perpetual licenses) or Cloud (hello privacy legislation nightmare).

Will be looking at ServiceNow to replace Jira Service Desk (already in use in the organization so it's not a replacement cost problem)

Will be looking at SharePoint Online to replace Confluence (already licensed but not in use)

Not sure what would replace Jira Core / Software, might be something in Microsoft365 that can accommodate some clients, while others might need to move to VSTS or similar.

But without more stable pricing and clear commitments for data residency, the attractiveness of the Atlassian solutions is greatly diminished.

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Unless it's been vastly improved since I last had to work with Sharepoint, it's mediocre as a wiki since it's origins are in (poor...) discrete file management...

XWiki is a good alternative to Confluence that you might look at.   If I was clean-sheeting a collaboration environment I'd go with that and allocate development effort to implement any missing functionality we needed that its ecosystem doesn't have.  It is much easier to script, in any number of languages and has other fundamental advantages.   At the time we went with Confluence over a decade ago it was the best choice.  It has served extremely well - until the recent bad decisions by Atlassian.

There are a number of alternative to Jira but I have no current assessment of any (...yet).  For more s/w centric work GitLab is good, but probably not for your use cases.

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Our use case for Confluence has less to do with it being a Wiki, and more to do with it's ability to support collaboration with both internal and external users based on the fact it's deployed within a DMZ environment, while our current SharePoint infrastructure is internal only. So most users that go with Confluence do so because they require external user access and not because SharePoint is otherwise technically inappropriate for their use or unable to meet their use case. (network topology and infrastructure limitations not software). So I don't think we're likely to actively pursue a Wiki. The document management use case is a bigger consideration for us.

Moving to SharePoint Online addresses the need for external access, but may or may not resolve the need for external users (to be determined as many of our tenant configuration decisions are still outstanding).

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Ok, SharePoint already works for you and fits your use case.  

For us it is the core wiki-ness that is essential, plus the tremendous utility of features such as page properties, add-ons including Comala Workflows (for CM), Drawio, Scroll Exporter plus extensive automation (in Python) for creating/accessing pages.  For an upcoming mission we're essentially moving all document creation into the wiki where its vastly easier for users to collaboratively create content and then for outside consumers to get nicely formatted .docx (or .pdf) snapshots exported automatically - without users having to deal with the agony of collaborating on Word docs, breaking styles, integrating mismatched parts... etc.  Additionally, tables of data on CM'ed pages from those 'documents' can be pulled out into data structures for use in analyses, designs and operations.

It is all the years of work put into building up such utility that is now basically be sh*t-canned for us by Atlassian...

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Wow, that's an impressive sounding workflow/setup. That's the sort of thing I'd like to see demoed at a user group presentation.

Definitely light years beyond what we're doing with Confluence.

thanks!  ... my favorite tools are those that are 'open' and can be bent to do my evil bidding!

While it has a few limitations, the Scroll Export plugin is well worth the cost for the convenience of the document creation workflow.  Creating the first export template in Word is tedious but once done it's easy to revise for different document formats and enables users to create content without any worries about formatting, using just a few extra macros for tables, figures, etc..  And the output for each document/template type is then totally consistent - and fast.

Another thing that we've been doing for a few years, via the REST API is generating mission record pages.  During ops, an analyst runs a single command (Python executable) and tells it what record area (directory) to process and it pulls in the data, creates a page properties summary (meta data) record table at the top of the page, imports summary data files and a powerpoint report file which are attached to and displayed on the page.  The page is crosslinked to related records.  Various page property report pages show tables indexing the various reports based on label filters.

To automate the page creation I had to analyze the raw page storage schema Confluence uses and then implement methods that make it easy to script creation of all the possible page elements we needed.  That was gnarly but once built it's just a few lines of Python calling that package to create complete pages, including attachments and many of the macros.   For sucking data back out I'm using xml.etree.ElementTree, but that takes some mangling to work.

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I reached out to the migration team to look at what options we might have as a non-profit organization, and got a reply from a sales representative indicating that they've "heard this feedback and are working hard to make free Data Center community licenses available before the end of the year. You should be receiving an email in December once this is available with more details", which sounds promising.

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Well that is very encouraging for those in non-profits, like myself. Hopefully they can still offer lower tiers to for profit customers who can't do cloud.

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Agreed on both fronts. 

She did also mention that would tag the Cloud Product Managers and Internal Security Team on the case so they would be aware of the Canadian privacy laws, but given that its not on the current Cloud roadmap, it would be years out even if they decided to include it.

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David Willson Community Leader Nov 02, 2020

Wow! That's great news for you. :)

It is great news. Hopefully the first in great news about changes to Data Center products. But I'm not holding my breath.

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