Keeping track of projects in Jira is a hassle, especially when we oversee many projects. You need to know what projects are active, how many bugs were raised, the latest changes made, and so on, so you’re able to prioritize your work accordingly.

Jira is a popular project management tool used by many organizations; the default Jira dashboard isn't easy to configure, which can make it difficult for less tech-savvy users to utilize Jira’s full potential. Confluence is another powerful platform that business and non-technical customers often prefer over Jira due to its simplicity and ease of access.

That being said, building an additional, simple but informative dashboard in Confluence was our goal when designing this product! The best part and most important when it comes to the Portfolio Project Health Dashboard app is how easy it is to set up. Once you install the app, all of your information will be pulled in automatically; there's nothing else that needs doing!

What it does

Once you install the app in your Confluence, all of your Jira projects will be visible from one cross-project dashboard that displays key information such as:

  • Project name
  • Project lead
  • Project Start and End date
  • Date of the last issue status change

To assess the health and progress of your projects, you may look at any of the following:

  • See how many epics, stories, and bugs were created for this project
  • What the number of issues are in: Done, In Progress, or Open status categories
  • Issue activity in the last 7 days (Updated, Created, Moved to Done)
  • Issue activity today (Updated, Created, Moved to Done)
  • Number of bugs per status category

If you want to quickly find a project, you can use the search bar at the top to filter by project name.

Project and portfolio managers can see overall progress and the changes done to projects at the macro level without even having to access Jira. They can easily spot projects with no activity, things that might need attention, or projects where no items were delivered (moved to done) in the last period. They can also see who’s responsible for the project itself (Project lead) so they know who to communicate with for updates.

How we built it

In order to build the Portfolio Project Health Dashboard for the Confluence app, we used the latest Atlassian framework Forge. Given that all of Jexo’s apps are currently available for Jira only, we decided we wanted to experiment and build an app for Confluence, for a change.

Key project information is already available in Jira, info like Project name, Avatar, Project lead. We used Forge storage API to store Project Start and Due date, and we plan to do the same for the project RAG status and status update.

We used the following frameworks:

  • Forge by Atlassian
  • React
  • Nivo chart library

From the Atlassian APIs we used:

  • Project (/rest/api/3/project/search)
  • Issue (/rest/api/3/search)
  • Forge storage

Challenges we ran into

The only challenge we faced was accessing Jira data from inside of Confluence. To have access to Jira data, the app needs to be configured to be installed in both Jira and Confluence.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We made our first fully functional app for Confluence! 💪

What we learned

1# Building apps for Confluence is as easy as building apps for Jira At Jexo, we build apps primarily for Jira Cloud and we didn’t yet expand our portfolio to Confluence. We’re grateful we were able to do this experiment because we learned that building Confluence apps is as simple as building apps for Jira.

We can consider expanding our current Jexo apps to Confluence as well, knowing we won’t face many issues.

2# Forge is production-ready We also learned that Forge evolved significantly since December 2020 when we tried it last. This actually led us to our decision to build our new and more complex app for Risk management in Forge, instead of using the Atlassian Connect.

3# Security by default One of the greatest advantages of building the app with Forge has to do with app security and data residency, which comes by default. While building apps with Atlassian Connect, we spent a lot of time and resources making sure our apps are secure and meet the highest security standards.

#4 More pizza for our team 🍕 With Forge, we don’t need to worry about hosting at all; that’s a big deal. The cost of servers we need to cover in order to run Production, Staging and Test environments for all of our apps while using Atlassian Connect is not insignificant. Building the apps with Forge will allow us to spend these costs elsewhere (like pizza for the team...a lot of it! 🍕)

What's next for Portfolio Project Health Dashboard for Confluence

The current version of the Portfolio Project health dashboard for Confluence is almost ready to be published in the Atlassian Marketplace.

Before we do that, we just want to add a Project RAG status feature where project managers can select the RAG (Red, Amber, Green) status for their project. They’ll also have the option to leave a status update about how their project is progressing in the text field.

We also want to introduce additional filters like Project Lead, Projects with no activity in the last 7 days, and RAG status filters.

Once these features are added, we plan to publish the app on Jexo’s Atlassian marketplace listing, where it will be available for free.

This app was built by Jexo & resolution

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