Forge external authentication is now here

Hey everyone,

Today, I have the pleasure of following up my previous teaser with a full announcement of our newest Forge feature, external authentication!

To accompany this feature announcement, we’ve released:

  • A blog post covering what external authentication on Forge is all about, our experience with dog fooding it, and a quick “get started” guide. I’d recommend you check it out for all the details about external authentication.
  • New documentation to help you build your very own Forge app that uses external authentication.

These two docs will hopefully cover everything you need to know about external authentication, but while you’re here, let me quickly tell you about this feature and why we’re excited about it.

What is Forge external authentication?

It’s a feature that lets you easily build apps that integrate with external-to-Atlassian providers that use the OAuth 2.0 protocol (and many of them do, like Google, Slack, and GitHub, to name a few). Fun fact: if you’re familiar with Smart Links, this feature is actually built around a previously internal-only service that we use to power their OAuth capabilities.

To use external authentication, you must define the providers you wish to integrate with in the manifest file of your app while Forge handles the OAuth token exchange securely on its end. All that’s left for you is to decide what to do with the data you get back. And yes, you can integrate with more than one provider per app!

Less time spent debugging OAuth flows. Less time spent worrying about security and storage for tokens. More time spent on building up your apps, solving cool problems, and adding new features.

So what can I use external authentication for?

That’s the exciting part, you can now create a whole new type of apps on Forge! We are aware that Atlassian users don’t use our products in a vacuum – many have a whole set of tools, products, and services that make up their day-to-day life. With external authentication, you can bring to life helpful apps that reduce the amount of context switching your users have to deal with, and make it easier for them to get work done. As mentioned in the linked blog, it’s no surprise that integrations are some of the most popular apps in the Atlassian Marketplace.

Less time spent reading community announcements

I’ll keep it short. I’m hoping this quick intro to external authentication has made you as excited about it as we are. If it has, don’t forget to check out our announcement blog for more details and our documentation for a full guide on how to set up and use external authentication. We’re looking forward to seeing what you’ll build with this feature!

If you have any questions or comments about external authentication, please leave a reply here, start a new thread, or reach out to me for a chat!

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