In our “Category Report” series of blog posts we break down individual categories and look into them in a bit more depth. Today we will be looking at Diagramming apps. In MARS Diagramming apps are apps that bring diagramming and graphing functionality into Jira and Confluence
Diagramming is one of the larger marketplace categories with 81,000 instances, 94% of which are on paid apps. With the market share for paid diagramming apps at 94% (versus 64% for the marketplace as a whole) we can see that when it comes to diagramming the overwhelming majority of users believe that the added investment into a paid product is worth it.
Figure 1: Marketplace Overview
With Atlassian focusing on cloud and performance at scale on Data Center, how users leverage 3rd party apps is going to make a huge difference in terms of your Atlassian ROI. We’re here to help you achieve that ROI, today and tomorrow.
With the Atlassian Marketplace booming (instances have grown 99% from 2018 to 2021) customers are increasingly recognizing the incredible value that is available from using 3rd party apps. However, with nearly 4,000 available apps and 1.6M instances, navigating it can be difficult.
At Blended Perspectives our Marketplace Analytic Research Service (MARS) means that we are uniquely situated to help you with this. MARS is our database containing over 2.5 years’ worth of in-depth data on the Atlassian Marketplace. We collect data covering all facets of the Marketplace including instances, growth, product, platform, license, price, reviews, and many more. Perhaps most interestingly, we have also carefully categorized all apps with over 500 instances (the 500 Club) which represent 83% of all Marketplace instances.
The dominance of paid diagramming apps largely comes through Gliffy and, most importantly, //SEIBERT/MEDIA‘s draw.io which has 40,000 active installs. Impressively, while also being the largest diagramming application, draw.io for Confluence is also the fastest growing in percentage terms with an incredibly impressive 10% growth just in 2021! However, despite draw.io‘s spectacular install growth, Gliffy, as it averages around 800 users per instance versus a little under 400 for draw.io, still has more users.
Figure 2: Top Paid Diagramming Apps: Instances and 2021% growth
In terms of a fully featured diagramming apps built for Jira you have a direct choice between draw.io and Gliffy. Both are quality apps and, while both will serve you very well no matter what, depending upon your unique circumstances one may suit you better than the other. Draw.io was originally a cloud tool that interfaced to Jira; Gliffy originated in Atlassian. Both can be installed behind the firewall, unlike cloud-only integrated tools, such as Lucidchart, which like other integrations, is excluded from this report.
One newer aspect of MARS is our ability to measure application ‘velocity’. By ‘velocity’ we refer to the number of releases that an app has had over a certain period. In this regard, Draw.io is comparatively impressive: in 2020/21, Draw.io shows 45 releases, versus 11 for Gliffy. We assume this conveys investment in bug fixes and improvements and therefore in this regard Draw.io is excelling.
Figure 3: Velocity
Draw.io is also priced slightly cheaper than Gliffy on DC and significantly cheaper on cloud–surely driving growth as Atlassian’s cloud platform booms and new cloud users make the most of draw.io’s big cloud discounts.
In terms of usability, both draw.io and Gliffy are easy to use and learn while remaining very powerful tools. They are easy to migrate to and represent a major ROI when you move to them from desktop diagramming software such as Visio (these can cost a couple of hundred per seat) or from the lack of click-through if you embed PowerPoint for your diagrams. Furthermore, abundant templates on both draw.io and Gliffy will save users countless hours. In terms of templates both draw.io and Gliffy have their upsides and downsides. While Gliffy has 20% more templates than draw.io, draw.io allows users to apply customized corporate designs to all templates saving time and giving a more polished feel to diagrams.
When comparing the features of the two apps each has a number of advantages over each other. Many believe that Gliffy lets users position and edit shapes more easily and accurately while it also lets you pin versions, find diagrams faster with in diagram text search, share up to date links outside of Confluence, and mimics Confluence’s draft and publish system. However, draw.io has a larger shape library, more extensive exporting/importing functionality, access to a free desktop app linked to Confluence, and the ability to include multiple pages in the same diagram.
We think that you should try them both out–they are both excellent apps and the best way to find out which one suits your individual needs better is to give them a try. The most important thing, however, is that if you don’t have a diagramming app in Confluence then get one! Diagramming is key to any Confluence instance and, draw.io or Gliffy, you’ll be much better off with one then without one.
In terms of non-native diagramming functionality for Confluence, Lucidchart’s Diagrams Connector is also an option. With over 22,000 instances Lucidchart has more installs than Gliffy and is a quality diagramming tool in its own right, as is demonstrated by Lucidchart’s impressive 2021 13% growth (beating even draw.io’s impressive 10% growth). The connector embeds Lucid diagrams onto Confluence pages which can be edited straight from the page itself. If you already have Lucidchart then this will likely be the most natural and cost effective option for your organization. However, for a smoother diagramming experience in Confluence, Gliffy and draw.io are more suited for most users’ needs.
While draw.io cloud users have access to all draw.io diagrams in their instance and don’t need to connect to draw.io’s servers, Lucidchart users need to connect to a Lucidchart account and diagrams are available to only those with Lucidchart Team & Enterprise accounts as diagrams are stored on Lucidchart servers. On the other hand, draw.io diagrams are attachments on pages and issues meaning data transfer is only between Atlassian servers and the user’s browsers.
If you have any questions regarding MARS then get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.