Link to another application with application links

Description

This article illustrates the process of linking Confluence to other Atlassian products using application links (sometimes called app links or AppLinks). If a URL that contains the base URL of a linked application is given in the URL parameter of the macro editor, the macro recognizes the URL and directly renders the Markdown content on the Confluence page. After the initial verification, URLs to this linked application are treated as direct links and do not need any further authentication. Creating app links has many advantages, such as:

  • Security: is only required to authenticate user credentials when an application link is created.
  • Usability: Authentication is done only when the application link is created, thus, frequent prompts for user credentials are avoided.
  • Seamless access across the platform: Administrators have to configure application links only once for permitted users to access the app.

Prerequisites for creating app links:

  • To link Confluence to another app, you should be an administrator for both the instances of the app. 
  • Atlassian recommends that you use OAuth with impersonation authentication if you select the The servers have the same set of users option when linking.
  • You require a working link URL for the application to be linked with Confluence.

Steps

  1. Create the application link in Confluence administration as mentioned in the Confluence support page on application links. Once the linking is successful, you can see the status as Connected in green.
  2. Add a Markdown from a URL macro on your Confluence page, or edit an existing macro to open the editor.
  3. Enter a raw, absolute URL of the Markdown file in the macro's URL parameter. As an example, the following screenshot shows how you can enter an absolute URL that points to a linked Bitbucket instance:

Points to remember

  • Administrators can link Confluence with other Atlassian applications such as Bitbucket or Jira.
  • If a URL that contains the base URL of a linked application is given in the URL parameter in the macro editor, it acts like a direct link to the required Markdown file. For example, if the URL used to link Bitbucket with Confluence is https://bitbucket.domain.com, and the URL in a URL parameter is https://bitbucket.domain.com/repository/file, the macro recognizes this link and directly renders the file content on the Confluence page without asking for user credentials.
  • Application links take precedence over profiles and other URLs when URLs are processed in macros. If an application has been linked with Confluence and a URL related to that application is given in any of the macros, these are processed first.
  • After the links are created, user credentials are authenticated only once when an application linked URL is processed through a macro.
  • Once user credentials have been verified through a macro, URLs given from a verified application link then works like an absolute path to the file location.
  • Application links, if created, allow users to directly access the required file(s) through any of the macros. On the other hand, profiles are a means to access files in other external locations without exposing any sensitive information such as user credentials and so on.