Hi Adam! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m Adam Barnes, the Senior Product Manager for Confluence Server at Atlassian. I have passion for evolving society through the use of digital technologies. When I’m not finding ways to make collaboration easier for your team, I love to brew beer, go snow camping and keep busy with my 2 little girls.
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For readers who aren’t familiar, what’s Confluence Server?
Confluence is content collaboration software that changes how modern teams work. It gives you the power to create anything and everything, from specifications to project plans and meeting notes. It acts as a hub to provide context to your dynamic content, such as multimedia, diagrams, and much more to make your work come to life. I was inspired to work on Confluence because of the inefficiencies of never-ending email threads and the hoarding effect of documents – both had taunted me for too long! My favorite thing about Confluence is that you can work on your own terms, at any time of day or night, to keep work moving forward. Previously, I never could have imagined working in an environment where I could find out in a matter of minutes anything that is happening within the entire company.
Can you tell us about what’s shipped for Confluence Server in the last 6 months?
The biggest thing the team shipped was collaborative editing, which combines the speed of creating on your own, with the advantages of working together. With collaborative editing, you can see who is editing the page with you, and see their changes in real time. We know that everyone needs access to the same information, and nothing slows a team down faster than having to wait for each contributor to make changes to something you’re working on, not to mention the countless emails sent back and forth coordinating each individual’s additions and changes.
Whilst we were dogfooding this feature on Atlassian’s central Confluence instance I had to constantly remind myself that the sooner we could get this feature out to customers, the sooner they would be able to enjoy the newly discovered freedom of working together in real time. It reduced the number of required meetings, and helped make everyone an active participant. The team also just rolled out the ability to invite your teammates to collaborate on a page without ever leaving the editor. You can invite individuals, groups, or quickly copy and share a link to take them straight into the editor.
We also had some massive wins for big page hierarchies. By popular demand, you can now copy or delete a page and all its children in one easy process. This lets you kick off new projects with the perfect pro-forma page hierarchy, take a snapshot of important pages, and clean up old content quickly.
Some of the other things we have released are the Team Playbook Blueprints to make it easier for teams to get started with the Atlassian Team Playbook, and we revamped our language offerings with a focus on consistency, grammar, and natural flow to improve our translations for French, German, Russian, and Spanish… as well as adding brand new packs for Chinese, and 7 additional European languages.
What’s the The Atlassian Team Playbook?
Working as a team is really hard, and sometimes you may feel like your company’s idea of teamwork is BS. For Atlassian, the mission to unleash the potential in every team starts at home. We’ve developed a playbook that changed the way our teams work and now it’s yours to try, too. This ain’t your CEO’s ivory-tower management book. It’s by teams, for teams. You’ll find step-by-step guides for tracking your team’s health, and plays that build your Get $#!τ Done™ muscle.
And what’s the latest for Confluence Data Center?
When Confluence becomes mission critical in your organisation, stability is essential. We’ve been focusing our efforts over the last few releases on making Confluence Data Center more stable and reliable at scale. Clustering is now more robust when dealing with false positives and deals with network interruptions and garbage collection more effectively. Also, we have improved attachment thumbnailing and indexing. When a file is uploaded in Confluence a thumbnail image is created as well as its text extracted and indexed so that people can search for the content of a file, not just the filename. This is a pretty memory hungry process, and has caused out of memory errors for some customers, so we released some big improvements to safeguard against out of memory errors in your site. Finally, we have also improved LDAP directory synchronization and the performance of a number of macros and other scheduled jobs.
We also wanted to make managing and deploying Confluence Data Center easy so we worked with AWS to develop Quick Starts, helping customers to deploy their Confluence Data Center cluster in just a few minutes. This includes load balancer, database, and all the connectivity needed. The Quick Starts include configuration steps and best practices so that teams can take advantage of AWS’s elastic capabilities like auto-scaling and instant provisioning. We also went a step further by rolling out the Atlassian Performance Testing Framework for Confluence to help take the mystery out of planning and sizing your AWS hosted Data Center infrastructure. This framework has also recently been extended to give you the ability to run against your own infrastructure.
We also know that many organizations are turning to SAML for secure and SSO across the products their teams use every day, so we released SAML 2.0 SSO support for Confluence Data Center. Admins can integrate Confluence into their existing infrastructure to give their teams a simple and secure way to sign in. The solution should work with any identity provider implementing the SAML 2.0 Web Browser SSO Profile.
Where’s Confluence going and what’s coming in the future?
We really have two major areas of investment with Confluence. First, we will continue to ensure that collaboration on content is fast and seamless. This means we will continue to make improvements to our editor, how one finds and resumes work in progress, and how search and navigation work in the product. Second, we are continuing to focus on performance at scale and stability for Confluence. As organizations grow, so does their use of Confluence across teams and geographies, they demand instant access to their content and we are working to make sure that happens.
Confluence is the enterprise collaboration tool used by every type of professional team.
Learn more by reading the release notes to get the information you need.