Atlassian serves up automation on the house, as it rolls out Code Barrel tech to all its Jira friends


Atlassian is rolling out the Automation for Jira no-code technology it acquired last year to its entire Jira customer base promising to save developers weeks of work per year.

The workflow giant hoovered up Automation for Jira with its purchase of fellow Aussie firm Code Barrel last year. Code Barrel was started by a couple of former Atlassian staffers in 2016, and had been selling the product via the Atlassian marketplace and had 6500 customers.

Sean Regan, Atlassian’s head of product marketing for software teams, said the rollout meant the tech would be available to 65,000 Jira customers, across all three of its pricing tiers – free, standard and premium.

“We’re opening up the volume of automation executions that can be run for everybody on JIRA from free all the way up to premium,” he said. When it came to “large multi-product multi-project experiences, then we use a meter to help customers and also help us monetize the sort of more advanced use cases.”

Regan said, “Automation has been a dark art for developers, historically. It’s how they’ve been able to go so fast over the last decade, but it hasn’t been accessible to the rest of the business.”

He said, “It doesn’t make sense to have business teams automating in one tool, developers automating in another, and sales and marketing automated in a third tool.” Which ties into Atlassian’s desire to make the Jira ticket the default unit of work and have Automation taking much of the toil away from Jira admins, allowing them more time to do something more transformative instead.

Regan said research amongst users had shown time savings of up to 51 hours per month for individual JIRA admins using the tool, with more than half reporting a saving of 6 hours per month.

Automate is actually Atlassian’s second no-code platform. The vendor’s Trello subsidiary has its own automation engine, Butler.

“Both of them achieve the same ends,” said Regan. “Both are no-code. Both are free and we are integrating them over time. And there’s integration that’s coming out very soon that allows you to promote and move work from Trello into Jira so that’s going to be one of the first examples of how we bring it together”.

No-code and low code tools are currently having a bit of a moment. Google bought no-code dev platform AppSheet in January, while AWS is supposedly close to launching its own platform.

However, Atlassian is at pains to point out that those platforms are about building business applications, while Automation is about automation within the world of Jira.