An add-on is an installable component that supplements or enhances the functionality of JIRA in some way. For example, the JIRA Calendar Plugin is an add-on that shows the due dates for issues and versions in calendar format. Other add-ons are available for connecting JIRA to Bamboo, developing for JIRA, and accessing Atlassian support from JIRA.
JIRA comes with many pre-installed add-ons (called system add-ons). You can install more add-ons, either by acquiring an add-on from the Atlassian Marketplace, or by uploading an add-on from your file system. This means that you can install add-ons that you have developed yourself. For information about developing your own add-ons for JIRA, see the JIRA Developer documentation.
To enable various JIRA Gadgets, see Configuring the default dashboard.
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You may notice that the terms 'add-on' and 'plugin' both appear in the Atlassian documentation and tools. While the terms are often used interchangeably, there is a difference. A plugin is a type of add-on that can be installed into an Atlassian host application. Plugins are what developers create with the Atlassian SDK. But there are other types of add-ons as well. For example, the JIRA client is an add-on that runs as a separate program rather than as a plugin to JIRA. This documentation uses the term 'add-on' most often.
About the Universal Plugin Manager
The Universal Plugin Manager (UPM) is itself an add-on that you use to administer add-ons from the JIRA Administration console. UPM works across Atlassian applications, providing a consistent interface for administering add-ons in JIRA, Confluence, Crucible, Fisheye, Bitbucket Server, or Bamboo.
UPM comes pre-installed in recent versions of all Atlassian applications, so you do not normally need to install it yourself. However, like other add-ons, the UPM software is subject to regular software updates. Before administering add-ons in JIRA, therefore, you should verify your version of the UPM, and update it if needed.
You can update UPM or any add-on from the UPM's own add-on administration pages. In addition to updating UPM, you can perform these tasks from the administration pages:
- Install or remove add-ons
- Configure add-on settings
- Discover and install new add-ons from the Atlassian Marketplace
- Enable or disable add-ons and their component modules, including "safe mode"
If the add-on request feature is enabled in your Atlassian application, non-administrative users can also discover add-ons in the Atlassian Marketplace. Instead of installing the add-ons, however, these users have the option of requesting the add-ons from you, the administrator of the Atlassian application.
For more information on administering the add-on request feature or performing other common add-on administration tasks, see the Universal Plugin Manager documentation.