Atlassian Compass vs Backstage Comparison and Use Cases

Atlassian Compass vs Backstage are two popular platforms designed to streamline these processes. This comprehensive blog post will compare Atlassian Compass and Backstage, highlighting their features, use cases, and key differences. We will also provide a comparison table and answer frequently asked questions to help you make an informed decision.

Introduction to Atlassian Compass and Backstage

Atlassian Compass

Atlassian Compass is a developer portal designed to provide visibility and management capabilities for engineering teams. It integrates with various tools and platforms to offer a unified view of your services, infrastructure, and dependencies. Compass aims to improve collaboration, reduce silos, and streamline incident management.


Backstage, developed by Spotify, is an open-source platform for building developer portals. It focuses on organizing services, managing documentation, and providing a single point of entry for all developer tools and resources. Backstage’s plugin architecture allows for extensive customization, making it a flexible solution for organizations of all sizes.

Key Features

Atlassian Compass

  1. Service Catalog: Provides a centralized view of all services and their dependencies.
  2. Incident Management: Integrates with Atlassian’s Jira for seamless incident tracking and resolution.
  3. Metrics and Dashboards: Offers real-time metrics and customizable dashboards for monitoring services.
  4. Integrations: Connects with various tools like GitHub, Bitbucket, and Jenkins for continuous integration and delivery.
  5. Team Collaboration: Enhances collaboration with shared documentation and communication tools.


  1. Service Catalog: A robust service catalog that organizes services, APIs, and libraries.
  2. TechDocs: Built-in documentation site generator for maintaining technical documentation.
  3. Software Templates: Allows for quick scaffolding of new projects with predefined templates.
  4. Plugins: Extensive plugin ecosystem to extend functionality and integrate with external tools.
  5. Scalability: Designed to scale with the needs of growing engineering teams.

Comparison Table of Atlassian Compass vs Backstage

Feature Atlassian Compass Backstage
Service Catalog Centralized service management Robust service organization
Incident Management Integrated with Jira Integrates with various tools
Documentation Shared documentation TechDocs for generating documentation
Customization Limited to Atlassian ecosystem Extensive plugin architecture
Integrations GitHub, Bitbucket, Jenkins Flexible integration with many tools
Real-time Metrics Yes Depends on plugins
User Interface Intuitive and user-friendly Customizable and developer-focused
Open Source No Yes
Community Support Strong support from Atlassian Growing community with active contributions
Pricing Subscription-based Free and open-source

Use Cases

Atlassian Compass Use Cases

  1. Enterprise-Level Service Management: Ideal for large organizations already using Atlassian products like Jira and Confluence. Compass integrates seamlessly, providing a cohesive ecosystem for managing services and incidents.
  2. Incident Response and Resolution: With integrated incident management, teams can quickly identify and resolve issues, reducing downtime and improving service reliability.
  3. Engineering Collaboration: Enhances team collaboration with shared documentation and communication tools, fostering a more collaborative engineering culture.

Backstage Use Cases

  1. Developer Portal for Growing Teams: Perfect for organizations looking to build a scalable developer portal with extensive customization options. Backstage’s plugin architecture allows teams to tailor the portal to their specific needs.
  2. Centralized Documentation and Resources: TechDocs provides a centralized location for all technical documentation, making it easier for developers to find and maintain information.
  3. Quick Project Setup: Software templates enable teams to quickly scaffold new projects, ensuring consistency and reducing setup time.

External Links

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the primary difference between Atlassian Compass and Backstage?

The primary difference lies in their approach and customization. Atlassian Compass offers a tightly integrated ecosystem with Atlassian tools, focusing on enterprise service management and incident resolution. Backstage, being open-source, provides extensive customization through plugins, making it a versatile platform for building tailored developer portals.

Which platform is better for a large organization already using Atlassian products?

Atlassian Compass is better suited for large organizations already using Atlassian products like Jira and Confluence. It offers seamless integration, making it easier to manage services and incidents within the same ecosystem.

Can Backstage be customized to fit specific organizational needs?

Yes, Backstage is highly customizable. Its plugin architecture allows organizations to extend its functionality and integrate with various tools, making it a flexible solution for different needs.

Is there a cost associated with using Backstage?

No, Backstage is free and open-source. However, organizations may incur costs related to hosting and maintaining the platform, depending on their infrastructure.

How does Atlassian Compass handle incident management?

Atlassian Compass integrates with Jira for incident management, providing a seamless process for tracking, resolving, and documenting incidents. This integration ensures that incidents are managed efficiently within the same ecosystem.

What kind of support is available for Atlassian Compass and Backstage?

Atlassian Compass benefits from Atlassian’s robust support and documentation. Backstage, being open-source, has a growing community and active contributors, offering support through forums, GitHub issues, and community resources.

Can both platforms be used simultaneously in an organization?

Yes, organizations can use both platforms simultaneously if they find that each serves different needs. For example, Atlassian Compass can be used for service management and incident resolution, while Backstage can be used for building a customized developer portal.

Which platform is better for a startup or small business?

Backstage may be more suitable for startups or small businesses due to its flexibility, customization options, and cost-effectiveness as an open-source solution.


Atlassian Compass and Backstage are powerful platforms designed to enhance service management, documentation, and developer collaboration. The choice between them depends on your organization’s specific needs, existing tools, and desired level of customization. Atlassian Compass offers a seamless experience for teams already using Atlassian products, while Backstage provides extensive customization options through its open-source, plugin-based architecture. By understanding the key features, use cases, and differences, you can select the platform that best aligns with your development workflow and organizational goals.

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