- Christopher Hedley
Kratix and Compass: Reducing Toil for Platform Teams
Developers of software products have an unequivocal goal: to provide value to their customers. As developers of platform products it is our responsibility to design a platform that enables these software developers — our platform customers — to increase their delivery speed and efficiency whilst reducing risk. Platform engineers today face several hard challenges: competing priorities, underfunding, and huge cognitive load to name but a few. The good news is that Platform-as-a-Product teams have a wealth of dedicated ecosystems creating innovative solutions. One such ecosystem is the developer experience space, sometimes called internal developer portal, or simply developer portal.
Many platform teams strive to provide a developer portal to offer a unified ‘platform experience’ to their users. Portals provide clarity by enabling discoverability, consistency, and recommended practices. Recently several tools have emerged to help platform teams provide a portal experience without having to invest in building the capability from the ground up.
Compass From Atlassian
Compass from Atlassian is a great turnkey, SasS developer portal framework which enables platform teams to provide a customisable portal experience without worrying about lower level concerns such as hosting, upgrades, security, and patching.
Compass provides a wide range of customisation options to enable the platform team to visualise and drive their internal platforms. One great visualisation feature built into Compass is the "component". Compass components can be any software running in your environment; anything from micro-services to machine learning models. Dive into a component and you can see useful information such as who owns it, documentation, DORA metrics if applicable, health scorecards and cloud costs. All of this gives Compass users a great way to visualise and understand their platform as well as information about its state over time.
Compass and Kratix Together
Let’s take a common Compass use-case of Component Catalog population. As a platform team you have a Compass instance and a service within your internal platform; you need your Compass views to update on certain platform events. How do you connect the two? Easy, you write a set of compass API calls to update your Compass instance when a platform event happens, and with Kratix, you can get this functionality for free. Through a Kratix Compass integration, users of Kratix and Compass can automatically have platform events trigger changes in their Compass instance. The video below shows an example of this. When the Jenkins Promise, complete with Compass integration, is loaded into Kratix we demonstrate the auto-creation of a Jenkins Component within Compass. The platform team's effort here is zero – the integration comes for free with a Kratix-built platform
This is a simple example but the possibilities of even closer Compass and Kratix integration are coming. On our immediate roadmap are:
Integrations between Kratix Marketplace and Compass Marketplace;
Promise-driven creation and management of Compass Forge Apps directly to allow users to drive their platform experience via Compass.
This collaboration is a great example of how Atlassian and Syntasso are reducing toil for platform teams, freeing up their time, and reducing their cognitive load.
If you would like a demo, or early access to any of these integrations we would love to speak with you. You can book time with us here.