Atlassian Plugins – Setup

The very first step to accomplishing anything for an Atlassian plugin is to just get your machine set up.

It took me a long time before I actually did this because I just kept having the though – I’m a developer I already have a development environment set up, what more would I need to do?


First things first, you need Java and a Java IDE.

Atlassian plugins are made in Java, and they use Maven. So if you have an IDE for something else, and it just happens to have syntax highlighting for Java, you’re going to feel some pain through the whole process.

I personally have switched over from Oracle Java to AdoptOpenJDK ever since Oracle changed their license terms.┬áBut regardless of your choice, you’ll need the Java JDK. I went with JDK 8, but i don’t know if it really matters too much.

Yes I understand that we are doing development, and according to their license, the Oracle JDK is still free for development. But things get really complicated. under the license rights, its unclear whether the bullet points are AND or OR. When you’re doing something for a company, then as long as it all remains internal, a company is a person, so it is “personal use” but that feels like a really grey area. I choose to avoid the whole problem by just switching over, and I make that recommendation to everyone. If you’re not a company that needs enterprise support, its just not worth risking violating the license.

If you meet the license requirements then I recommend IntelliJ Community Edition.

Community Edition is open-source, licensed under Apache 2.0. Projects like Android and Swift use Apache 2.0, so you`re in good company. It can also be used for commercial development.

IntelliJ makes some fantastic IDEs and the more I’ve used them the more disappointed I’ve been in the competition. (WTF Apple. Xcode feels the same as it did in 2008)

If you’re not down with the IntelliJ Community Edition, then there’s always Eclipse, Netbeans, or a whole host of IDEs you can find with Google.

One thing to note is that your IDE is going to be able to build, it will make it so you can debug, but you will still have to use the command line for the Atlassian SDK. Don’t worry, its not that bad.

Atlassian SDK

The next thing you need is the Atlassian SDK. The full directions are available for Windows or Mac/Linux.

Since I use Mac, the tl;dr; for Mac is do this in terminal


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