Easy data storage with Atlassian Connect Express

March 11th 2015 Travis Smith in Atlassian Connect, ACE, Add-ons

You've been working on a Connect add-on using Atlassian Connect Express (ACE). You're to the point where you need to store some data in your add-on. You can use the add-on properties REST API in some cases. You can add an entire storage mechanism to handle this but ACE has a settings storage mechanism already. Get this — you can just piggyback on that! It's not hard to do, and it's perfect for things like global configuration for your add-on.

Add-on properties REST API

If you don't want to store any data in your add-on, you can use the add-on properties REST API. This has some limitations though:

  • Your add-on is limited to 100 properties
  • No property can be larger than 32KB
  • Property values must be valid JSON
  • Client side requests must be made with a logged-in user
  • Using add-on properties with server side code in your add-on means another round trip of latency

If those limitations are acceptable to you, you shouldn't even bother with worrying about storing data in ACE. However, there are plenty of times these limitations don't work for you.

Settings storage in ACE

Assuming you're using ACE 1.x, you'll find a couple of methods on addon.settings you can use to retrieve and store data. If you need to store large amounts of data, this might not be the best way to handle it. But for many scenarios with limited storage requirements this should work brilliantly.

Here is a simple example of loading some data and passing it off to a template for rendering.

app.get('/configure', addon.authenticate(), function (req, res) {
  addon.settings.get('config', req.context.clientKey).then(function (data) {
    res.render('configure', data);

Storing the data with addon.settings.set(key, value, clientKey) is similar; it also returns a promise. In this example there is an example that would be called with an AJAX post from the /configure page above. Since this request isn't from the product host, you should use the ACE token to authenticate with addon.checkValidToken(). This helps ensure security for this request.

app.post('/configure', addon.checkValidToken(), function (req, res) {
  var config = req.body;
  addon.settings.set('config', config, req.context.clientKey).then(function() {

The choice is yours

Now that you have the knowledge to use addon.settings in ACE, you have an array of options to choose from. Entity properties in JIRA and content properties in Confluence allow you to store data inside the product instance tied to content. Add-on properties allow you to store data tied to your add-on. Storage of configuration data should be no problem for your add-on!