Software Catalog
Developer Productivity
Software Templates & Automated Actions
Scorecards & Reporting

Cortex vs Backstage by Spotify: Which is right for you?

Backstage is an open source framework for building Internal Developer Portals. If you're looking for out-of-the-box convenience with all the same flexibility, Cortex's Internal Developer Portal is where you should start.


As they describe themselves on their website, Backstage is a framework to build your own IDP. That means you still need to build all the plumbing, staff a large team, and constantly iterate based on internal team requests and demands. In reality, most companies shouldn't commit to a project demanding that high level of resources and manual effort.


With Cortex, reduce the manual effort of cataloging software and enforcing standards with templated frameworks, and incentivize continual improvement through customizable scorecards that grade software quality by production readiness, compliance alignment, code coverage, and more.

Why Cortex

Fast ramp and long-term scale

Your engineers don't want to build integrations and plugins, and all UI work on Backstage requires front-end resources that know React. Cortex has 50+ integrations, OOTB scorecards, a full reporting module, initiatives, and alerting. Customize with the Cortex plugins framework, without worrying about maintenance.

Higher developer adoption

Organizations often struggle with developer adoption of Backstage, which is not surprising because there's no reason for devs to log in. Cortex Developer Homepages outline clear actions for devs, and Initiatives enable short or long-term projects with deadlines and alerting.

Dynamic scoring from any source

Backstage only enables you to perform software checks manually via API, using "facts" or metadata in your catalog, assuming you spring for that extra plugin package at the cost of Cortex's entire platform. With Cortex, you can pull from all 50+ integrations to create any rule in any format for any Scorecard.

Click each tab to learn more about the Cortex Advantage

World-class engineering teams that chose Cortex

over Backstage

Developer adoption with Cortex is higher than Backstage, in large part because of the Developer Homepage.

Pull all of your data into a single place, so developers can quickly assess where to invest their time.

Case Study

LetsGetChecked doubled deployment frequency and slashed MTTR with Cortex

Javier de Vega Ruiz, Chief Software Engineer on LetsGetChecked
“Cortex makes action obvious for devs, helping them stay focused on priorities, and saving me 4-5 hours a week following up. And with Cortex, we set a year-long goal of hitting 25 deployments per week. Within months, we went from 17 per week to 32.”
Javier de Vega Ruiz
Chief Software Engineer
8 months
Shaved off their planned migration to K8s 
Increase in deployment frequency
Near immediate improvement of MTTR 


What integrations are available for Cortex?

Cortex offers 50+ out-of-the-box, rich integrations that span your development ecosystem, so you can easily connect and analyze all your data - all in one place. Cortex has pre-built and managed integrations with Datadog, Pagerduty, AWS, Jira, GitHub, Okta, ServiceNow, and much, much more.

You can view all integrations we have today, and if you’d like to connect to a homegrown tool, you can leverage the Cortex plugin framework.

Cortex plugins provide a versatile way to bring in data from different sources, whether it's from your own systems or external integrations. They allow you to expand the platform's capabilities, consolidate vital information, and personalize the user interface to better suit your team's workflows. With Cortex plugins, you can create a cohesive system of record, improving efficiency and usability for your developers without having to switch between multiple tools.

What self-service developer tools are available within Cortex?

Cortex offers a scaffolder to help developers bootstrap new entities quickly and in line with established best practice, which allows developers to self-serve and reduces time to code.Beyond scaffolder, Cortex also provides a unique developer homepage, pulling all of your data into a single place so developers can quickly assess where to invest their time. Assign action items to priority Initiatives in Cortex, so devs know exactly what to do and when to meet their company’s ever-evolving standards of service maturity and security.

Why do enterprises choose Cortex over Backstage?

Backstage is a framework for building IDPs, with lots of flexibility and customization, but it requires dedicated resources to stand it up and maintain. Many organizations that try Backstage report 2-3 full time employees, and spend 6-9 months just trying to stand it up.

Cortex is an active internal developer portal that pulls data from across your ecosystem to drive standards of production readiness, operational maturity, security, or any other initiative you have. Cortex is better suited for large teams focused on fast-ramp and long-term scale.

How much flexibility and customization does Cortex provide?

With Cortex, it’s easy to catalog anything. Create any catalog category and tag it to any type, bring in any entity type, with their own unique characteristics, and group any type of entity into the master navigation category of your choosing.

How much does Cortex cost?

Cortex has three different packages for every phase of the journey towards engineering excellence. Cortex is priced per user, per month, and includes unlimited integrations, services, plugins, scorecards, and more. For a detailed breakdown of what Cortex will cost, contact us today.

What can I do if I’ve already started building my catalogs in Backstage?

If you've already started building your catalogs on Backstage, It’s easy to migrate from Backstage to Cortex, maintaining all of the catalogs, teams, and links  you’ve already built.  Learn more about the Backstage Migration Helper

Rafael Garcia, Co-Founder & CTO on Clever
“Scorecards have made it incredibly easy to track the status of migrations across different services and teams.We now have real data on which services are at risk and no longer need to manually check with teams, run scripts, or dig through several tools to find the right data. No one has to go in and update anything manually - it’s all automated and synced with Cortex.”
Rafael Garcia
Co-Founder & CTO