Thanks, @Maarten for explaining how you’re using the developer instances. I do want to remind everyone that developer instances should only be used for development and testing. Things like demoing and support should not be handled under a developer instance.
Take a look at our Marketplace getting started page for another option for support and demoing. We can provide you with:
This support tools instance package includes Atlassian Cloud licenses for:
Requirements are that you have one paid app in the marketplace and that you apply for access. This seems like it would be a better option for your team.
Now that my Atlassian duties have been fulfilled let’s talk about the issues I see with the developer instances, as I have started to see some pain points with them. Disclaimer that what I am about to say is my personal opinion and what I’d personally like to see us get to, it does NOT indicate a roadmap or where we will go.
Let’s step back and look at how we got here. A few Super Moons ago the Atlassian SDK stopped supporting the cloud version of our products and thus we needed a way to support cloud devs in developing apps. We came up with the free very light user instance of Jira/Confluence that you see today, created a short link, updated documentation, and had a party , was epic! (One of those things is not true ⊭, the party was not epic )
Developer instances are meant for one developer with limited test data to develop and test that what they’re building works as expected. We weren’t thinking about integrated testing when we set these up. We didn’t think about how to roll out new features or deployments to the cloud so that we can have the vendors test their apps before they went live. Turning on feature flags can be done but is all manual at this point. You have to request access.
So those are the things that I am aware of and trying to affect the change needed within Atlassian to make that better.
The way I see it developers should only need 1 or 2 instances. One that is a snapshot of how the current live instances are today. One that allows you to request dark feature flags to be turned on so you can test your apps (i.e. new issue view or the new Atlassian Design Guidelines rollout).
Hopefully, in the future, there will be the need for a third developer instance and that is instances that have requested “nightly” deploys to be able to test before we roll out to everyone else. Again, this is what I’d like to see.
Like I said these are the things I’m working on. I’m not very far with it yet. I was last working on getting a fix for new developer instances that get spun up expiring within a month because they were actually just free trials. I think the fix is rolling out soon.
Let me know what you think. Personally, as a developer, I don’t want to share my instance with @pvandevoorde when I’m developing an app. I want to be self-contained in my own sandbox. That was what I think we had in mind.
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