The State of the Atlassian Marketplace

November 29, 2021

We recently presented on the “State of the Marketplace” at the New York ACE. This was a great event so for those that may have missed it we’ve consolidated our findings here.

Our Atlassian Marketplace analysis is powered by our Marketplace Analytics Research Service (MARS). This is our unique database of 3rd party Atlassian Marketplace apps that has in depth Marketplace data going back all the way to when we created it in November 2017.

While other Atlassian Partners focus on making their own applications, we believed that we could bring greater value by creating a quantitative and objective database on every facet of the Atlassian Marketplace.

We believe that MARS is essential for two reasons:

Firstly, there is the vast size of the Marketplace: with 1,500 vendors, 4,000 apps, and 1.5M active installs it can be difficult to see through the noise of the Marketplace and find apps that will add value to your instance.

Secondly, vendors are able to self select categories on the Marketplace. While this is certainly democratic it can mean that when you’re searching for an app in a specific category, reporting for example, you will find it hard to clearly see and compare ‘true’ reporting apps because apps with any small amount of reporting will self categorize as reporting.

MARS overcomes these problems in two ways:

To overcome the size of the Marketplace we focus our attention on the 544 apps in the 500 Club. This means we are able to have more valuable insights into the Marketplace without seriously sacrificing our breadth since the 500 Club apps make up over 82% of Marketplace instances.

And to overcome vendor self selection, we have carefully assigned “Meaningful Categories” to all 500 Club apps based off of primary functionality. This means that when you search for a reporting app in MARS, you will only see true reporting apps.

You can read more about the thinking behind MARS and the insight we glean from it here.

App Analysis

The Atlassian Marketplace is unique among 3rd party add-on marketplaces in terms of both its size and the vast array of quality products that are available on it. The Marketplace is a major differentiator for Atlassian among its competitors and we believe that at Blended Perspectives, through MARS, we are the leading experts on it.

Figure 1 shows the largest categories on the Marketplace (using our “Meaningful Categorizations”). While Publishing and Planning are the largest categories by some distance, Test Management really stands out with its 2021 percentage growth rate of nearly 35%. This is more than twice the percentage growth rates of the next closest categories Planning, Reporting, and Utilities, and demonstrates clearly that more and more Jira users are investing in testing tools like Xray and Zephyr.

Figure 1: Top Categories with 2021 % Growth

This fact is demonstrated in Figure 2 with, after draw.io which is having a spectacular year, the three next fastest-growing apps in absolute terms being Xray and the two Zephyr products.

Figure 2: Apps Ranked by 2021 Absolute Instance Growth

When compared to the other largest apps on the Marketplace in Figure 3 we can see just how well Xray and Zephyr are doing. With growth rates of 37% and 20% respectively, Xray and Zephyr squad are doing spectacularly well.

In June we put together a report on Test Management as a category and came to a number of interesting conclusions. You can check it out here.

Figure 3: Largest Apps by Instances with 2021 % Growth

On top of these major Test Management apps, a number of slightly less well-known apps have also had a great 2021. Figure 4 shows apps with over 2000 instances ranked by their 2021 percentage growth rates.

By a mile “MacroSuite – Easy HTML, Button, Hide Content, Divider, Tabs” by Caelor is leading the way with a growth of 430% just this year. This is a cloud-only Confluence app that gives users a number of new formatting macros. We’ve covered Aura, another macro app having a great year, by //SEIBERT/MEDIA before as our “App of the Month” in August, so this is clearly the space in Confluence to watch.

Custom Charts for Jira by Old Street Solutions is also one to watch with significant growth of 96% this year. We’ve covered Custom Charts for Jira earlier this year in our Reporting Category Report and we remain impressed with its ease of use and the beautiful charts you can build on it. It’s worth noting that its Reporting competitor eazyBI is also having a very good year with a growth of 50%.

Finally, Deep Clone for Jira by codefortynine, which we analyzed in-depth in our post on “The Clone Wars“, is another cloud-only app that is dominating its category and competition through providing great functionality and focusing on optimizing for the cloud.

Figure 4: Top Apps by 2021 % Growth (Over 2000 Instances)

Platform Analysis

As is evident from the success of MacroSuite and Deep Clone, Marketplace growth is clearly coming on the cloud. Figure 5 demonstrates this clearly. Although it is impossible to see the breakdown within individual apps (say an app is on Cloud, DC, and Server we can’t know exactly where between these platforms the app’s growth has come) Figure 5 shows that most Marketplace growth is coming on the cloud.

All three app platforms that feature cloud (Cloud, DC, Server ; Cloud only ; Cloud, Server) are growing very well. In particular, Cloud-only apps have grown by nearly 50% just this year. On the other hand, apps on DC and Server and Server only apps have had a pretty disappointing year, both showing negative growth.

The Marketplace is thus keeping with general Atlassian trends: 99% of new customers are joining Atlassian on cloud while migrations are at record levels. Looking forward into 2022 and beyond this is definitely a trend we’re going to see continue as cloud migrations continue and Atlassian’s customer numbers continue to boom.

Figure 5: App Platform by Instances with 2021 % Growth

Appfire

Appfire have been very busy this year with a whirlwind of acquisitions, following on from their earlier spree in 2020.

So far in 2021, Appfire have acquired: RoninPixels, Spartez Software, Snapbytes, Lizard Brain, Mohami, Anova, and (most significantly) SoftwarePlant. Appfire also recently acquired Project Configurator for Jira from Adaptavist.

All of these takeovers now mean that Appfire controls 18% of all paid Marketplace instances.

Figure 6: Appfire Market Share (Paid Instances Only)

Perhaps even more interestingly, these acquisitions have strengthened Appfire in a number of key areas. On top of adding to their existing dominance in Scripting/Automation, Appfire have established themselves as the market leaders in Planning while becoming major players in Administration, Publishing, Reporting, and Integration.

When comparing Appfire’s areas of strength to Figure 1 (which shows the largest categories) you can see a number of areas that Appfire would likely be looking to strengthen in. Appfire’s strategy is generally based around becoming a one-stop shop for Marketplace apps, consolidating support contacts, and leveraging shared knowledge bases. This means that eventually, they will need a strong presence across all major categories. Therefore, Diagramming, Test Management, and Time Management are areas that we could perhaps see them looking into going forward into 2022.

Figure 7: Appfire 2021 Acquisition Category Imapct

We hope that you found our overview of the Atlassian Marketplace insightful. Please reach out to us at hello@blendedperspectives.com with any questions.

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