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We’ve recently added four new features to the Atlassian Plugin Repository that plugin developers should want to know about:

Download Tracking

For the last few months, we’ve been tracking the number of individual plugin downloads through the Plugin Repository. You can now display a table or graph of a plugin’s downloads like this:

You can limit by date, product, plugin, version, and specify how the hits are grouped: by day, week, month, year, or total. You can see all of the parameters in the documentation.
We intend make this a standard part of each plugin’s homepage, but if you want to get a head-start, you’re welcome to use these now. Keep in mind, however, that this will only work on http://confluence.atlassian.com.

Non-deployable plugins

The plugin repository has proven really useful for Confluence plugins. It helps the commuinty keep up with the state of any particular plugin, and gives you a ton of information on the plugin homepage without having to type it all in manually. And download tracking I just told you about will be pretty useful, too. But we have lots of things in the Plugin Libraries that aren’t really plugins, per se. The Universal Wiki Converter is a perfect example. It’s a project that works with Confluence instead of inside Confluence. Or on the JIRA side, we’ve got things like the ALM Client, or the MS Project Connector.
So, for projects like these, we’ve added a new capability to the plugin repository. You can now specify that your plugin is non-deployable. You’ll get all of the benefits of the plugin repoistory — centralized information, version history, searchablility, publicity on the plugin homepages, download tracking, etc., but the Plugin Repository Client won’t try to install your binary as a plugin. I’d strongly recommend everyone start submitting metadata for all of their extensions, whether they are installable plugins or not.

Screenshots

In an effort to make our plugin libraries a little more attractive, we’re asking plugin authors to specify some screenshots that can represent their plugin. There’s a new node in the metadata for screenshot. You should choose one image that best represents the plugin. You can specify three sizes: small, medium and large, but the images don’t have to be the same. A screenshot that looks good at 1000 pixels might make no sense at all when 200 pixels across.

<screenshots>
<screenshot-small url="http://confluence.atlassian.com/download/attachments/40665155/socialbookmarking_small.png" height="50" width="50" />
<screenshot-medium url="http://confluence.atlassian.com/download/attachments/40665155/socialbookmarking_medium.png" height="250" width="250" />
<screenshot-large url="http://confluence.atlassian.com/download/attachments/40665155/socialbookmarking_large.png" height="501" width="501" />
</screenshots>

You can use any image that is web accessible, but we imagine that most people will just attach images to the plugin’s homepage on http://confluence.atlassian.com.
Once we have a decent number of plugins that have images attached, we’ll start to use them at various places in the Plugin Libraries and in the Plugin Repository Client. So again, it would be a great idea to start adding this information to your plugin as soon as possible.

Support information

Lastly, we’ve added a node to the Atlassian plugin metadata to allow authors to specify who is responsible for supporting a plugin. We did this primarily for ourselves, in order to designate which of our plugins are supported by Atlassian. But if you’re a plugin author and want to offer full support for your plugins, then feel free to add that information to your plugins’ metadata. It will be published in the plugin repository client and on the plugins’ homepages, as you’ll see in the screenshots below.

Here’s an example node we’re adding to the plugin metadata for Atlassian supported plugins. You’d replace it with your own information.

<support-info supported-by="Atlassian">
<website>https://support.atlassian.com/secure/Dashboard.jspa</website>
<phone>1-415-701-1110</phone>
</support-info>

To be clear, unless a plugin is one of Atlassian’s officially supported plugins you, the plugin author, will be responsible for any support offered. If you use this method to indicate that your plugin is supported, customers will expect you to provide a high level of support, similar to what Atlassian offers for our products. As such, we think that this feature is primarily useful to commercial plugins who are prepared to offer rapid response to all queries.
We’ve updated the documentation around the plugin metadata and the new macros that are available for use on http://confluence.atlassian.com. So go update your plugins to take advantage of the new information. We’ll be making increasing use of it in the near future.
That’s it for now! Thanks everyone!

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