Each week, Marketplace Monday profiles one great add-on available in the Atlassian Marketplace–where you can try and buy more than a thousand add-ons for Atlassian products.

Overview

Zen Foundation is a powerful set of tools for extending the reach of Confluence beyond the development teams to non-technical users. While Zen can be categorized as a theming tool (it ships with several default themes, called “brands”), it goes well beyond theming. Zen provides:

  • point-and-click tools for developing fully custom layouts and sophisticated roll-your-own themes,
  • a library of web-authoring macros, such as Dynamic Image Maps and Rotating Content
  • customizable navigation menus, so multiple spaces can be organized with intuitive website navigation
  • authoring tools, like private page drafts, plus a user-friendly and intuitive toolbar

With Zen, a single Confluence instance can become one or more dynamically editable, visually sophisticated websites, pushing content from your developers out to managers, from executives to employees, and beyond the organization to business partners and customers. Zen is an ideal tool for creating professional looking online content, and for converting your wiki into a public-facing, dynamic website.

Examples of Confluence on Zen:

Web Development Features

Brand Designer

Zen’s Brand Designer allows you to fully customize all aspects of the Confluence UI, including logo, icons, colors, default layouts, and fonts, and to inject custom javascript and CSS without having to develop a separate plugin or macros.

Site-building with Navigation Menus

Zen’s navigation menus allow you to organize multiple Confluence spaces based on intuitive pulldown and slide-off menus. The menu contents are stored in a Confluence page and are fully editable, and can point to Confluence or external content. The style of the menu is controlled by the brand designer.

Templates on steroids: Master Page Layouts

Master Page layouts are used to define default column layout and content that pages in a space, or across spaces, can inherit. For example, a common layout for a documentation space – a navigation page tree in the left column, and content on the right – can be setup as a Master Page. All pages in the Space will automatically inherit this layout, but can choose to override it.  Separate three-column or one-column landing pages can also be defined as Master Pages, and any combination of fixed or macro content can be included in the columns to provide dynamically-generated and context-aware content. In addition, Zen adds:

  • headers, footers, styled announcements
  • click-to-hide metadata (author, date), labels, comments, etc.

Ease of Use Features

Drag and drop layout, and Zen Sections

Page and Blog Post authors can focus exclusively on generating content and allow layout and appearance of pages to be governed by Zen, or they can use Zen Sections and the Section Designer to fully customize the look of a page.  Here’s a simple example of using Zen’s drag-and-drop layouts to add a column, and the Section Designer to modify its appearance:

Protected Drafts

Content authors can maintain and manage private drafts, and publish pages singly or in bulk when they’re ready.

Toolbar

Confluence’s functions, along with Zen Foundation’s, are reorganized into an intuitive, collapsable toolbar:

The X Factor: In the Macro Goodie Bag

Zen ships with a host of Macros to assist web authoring. Here are some of the most popular:

  • Active Image (uses alternate versions of an image to create dynamic mouse-over behavior)
  • Dynamic Image Map (declare “hot zones” in an attached image as links)
  • Rotating Content (randomly rotates through content from specified pages)
  • SEO, Google Analytics
  • Twitter and Facebook feeds

Check out zenfoundation.com for documentation and videos.

You can now get great add-ons like Zen Foundation straight from the Universal Plugin Manager, which is available in Jira, Confluence, and our developer tools. If you’re running UPM 1.6 or later, just check the plugin manager to update to the latest version. Otherwise, download it manually from the Atlassian MarketplaceRead more about the awesome updates the Atlassian Ecosystem team is bringing to the add-on experience!

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