Forge for Bitbucket Cloud: Laying the foundation for infinite extensibility

We hosted a webinar on March 5th, 2024 to introduce you to what's possible with Forge, walk through some technical basics and answer any questions. Here is the recording link.

Sign up for our next webinar on April 9th, 2024, to learn more about how to set up a custom check.

Bitbucket Cloud is excited to announce the general availability release of our integration with Atlassian’s Forge extensibility platform, marking a significant step forward in our journey to build an infinitely extensible code and CI/CD solution; a concept we've labelled the DevOps Automation Platform.

Forge is Atlassian's cloud app development platform, allowing developers to host apps on infrastructure that is provisioned, managed, monitored, and scaled automatically by Atlassian. Forge provides a complete toolkit for extending Atlassian products.

This marks a significant milestone in crafting a system and strategy set to redefine the landscape of source control management and CI/CD solutions. Our ambition is clear: to position Bitbucket Cloud as the most extensible and integrated SCM & CI/CD solution in the market, offering an unmatched level of flexibility, without compromising on our core DevOps experiences.

Why is this important?

We believe that the domains of software development and operation are of unparalleled complexity. As your organisation expands, its needs and requirements evolve, becoming more unique and bespoke, and this evolution demands refined, targeted solutions.

Some examples include things like additional compliance obligations, heightened privacy and data-security concerns, budgeting and internal accounting, and the inherent complexity that comes as your organisation adds more and more people.

The introduction of the DevOps Automation Platform, underpinned by our integration with Forge, is a key component of our response to these challenges.

We aim to empower you with a powerful toolkit, that you can tailor to you specific use cases. The DevOps Automation Platform, at its core, is designed to enable your teams to augment this toolkit with bespoke functionalities to meet your unique development requirements as they evolve over time.

Revolutionising DevOps with Forge

This release marks a key moment in the evolution of cloud-based DevOps solutions. Traditionally, the flexibility and extensibility offered by an on-premises solution were unparalleled, leaving cloud offerings a step behind in terms of their ability to meet complex, customer-specific requirements. However, with Forge, this gap is finally able to be closed.

This initial release of Forge inside Bitbucket Cloud is aimed primarily at providing overall versatility to customers, focusing primarily on enabling users to enhance the frontend experience and automate backend processes triggered by critical system events. However, this is just the beginning. Forge is set to become the backbone for a suite of more specialised features aimed at solving complex business problems, from stringent compliance requirements to sophisticated orchestration of CI/CD pipelines.

Empowering Developers with Custom Merge Checks and Dynamic Pipelines

Diving deeper into the specific applications of Forge within Bitbucket Cloud, we recently hit another milestone with the introduction of the Custom Merge Checks open beta and the upcoming introduction of Dynamic Pipelines.

Custom Merge Checks, which we launched just before the end of 2023, is a game-changer for teams seeking to enforce specific conditions before merges can occur, enhancing code quality and collaboration. Additionally, the introduction of Dynamic Pipelines later this year sets the stage for a future where CI/CD processes are not only automated, but intelligently responsive to the context in which they are executed, significantly elevating the efficiency of build and deployment workflows.

These features tell the story of the DevOps Automation Platform, facilitating a level of control and flexibility previously unattainable in cloud-based DevOps solutions.

So, how do I get started?

To support you in taking full advantage of this exciting new capability, we’ve rolled out an array of resources aimed at bolstering developer success.

In the future, we also plan on establishing open office hours with our engineering team. This would offer an unprecedented direct line to the team who are executing this program within Bitbucket Cloud, allowing for real-time questions, support, and feedback on app development.

An important note on support for Forge App developers:

It's important to be aware of the support processes when it comes to the development and implementation of Forge apps in Bitbucket Cloud, as there are additional nuances compared to the core Bitbucket Cloud product.

So, to boil it all down, we will provide a high-level overview of the types of challenges you might run into, and where the correct place to go is for support.

  1. An issue with the Bitbucket API's, or the Bitbucket Forge extension modules.
    1. e.g. business events that previously worked are not firing, API calls that previously worked are failing, UI extensions that previously displayed are breaking.
    2. These kinds of issues would most likely be related to the underlying Bitbucket Cloud Forge integration, and can be addressed via the Bitbucket Cloud support channels.
  2. An issue with the underling Forge Platform.
    1. e.g. your Forge app won't deploy, you are not seeing correct information in the Developer Console.
    2. These kinds of issues would most likely be related to the Forge platform itself, and can be raised in the Ecosystem Community space or with the Ecosystem Support team.
  3. Any issues or help with your Forge App's code, "how to" type questions, or 3rd party Forge apps.
    1. This is the critical support boundary where Atlassian support teams cannot provide direct assistance as it is outside their scope.
    2. For any questions relating to building Forge apps, how to achieve particular outcomes, etc. – please join us in the Bitbucket Cloud x Forge community space where members of the engineering team, and other members of the community can support you.
    3. For any issues relating to Forge apps created by 3rd parties, please contact the app developer directly.

Forging Ahead: What’s Next for Bitbucket Cloud

As we wrap up the beta phase of Bitbucket Cloud's integration with Forge, it's clear that this is just the beginning of the DevOps Automation Platform story.

Looking to the future, we're excited to evolve this platform with capabilities like Custom Merge Checks, Dynamic Pipelines, and all the other exciting solutions coming further down the line.

This is the beginning of a very exciting era for Bitbucket Cloud, and we're looking forward to having you all with us for the journey.