A few weeks ago, Atlassian released Confluence 5, a major update of it's enterprise software. A great occasion to review the development of Confluence since version 3.5, which is still running in many organizations.
There have in fact been fundamental changes since Confluence 3.5. The following are the main features of the last big releases:
Confluence 4.0: New Editor
The most important update in Confluence 4 was the introduction of a new editor: The previously split solution with separate Rich Text and Wiki Markup editors was replaced by a single WYSIWYG-Editor with various new and improved functions such as @-mentions, autocomplete for macros, a user friendly table function and many more. The database was changed from Wiki-Markup to XML.
Confluence 4.1: Better Multi Media Integration
In Confluence 4.1, the user experience when creating and editing content was improved: multi media content can now be integrated in wiki documents quickly and easily thanks to auto conversion of links. Image integration offers additional possibilities.
Confluence 4.2: New Social Media Functions
Version 4.2 continued on the route of social media: The Confluence team has added a “like” function and a quick comment feature. Contents can be shared directly from the wiki with other users. A “popular content” activity stream on the dashboard informs on particularly interesting and discussed wiki content.
Confluence 4.3: WorkBox and improved mobile integration
The enterprise wiki was enhanced by a WorkBox, where all Confluence notifications and new in-app tasks centrally come together and can be edited. Atlassian also heavily improved the mobile integration in this release.
Confluence 5.0: New interface
Design and navigation were completely edited for Confluence 5. The wiki has the look & feel of a new product and with the modern, clean and intuitive interface is now visually consistent with the other products of the Atlassian family.
Confluence 5.1: Blueprints
The currently latest Confluence release 5.1 introduces Blueprints – existing out of the box page blueprints for central wiki use cases – you no longer need to manually create templates.
Continuous improvement of Confluence
These are only the big and central improvements of the last versions. They already show, however, that Confluence has changed considerably, both visually and in functionality.
In addition, each release also comes with a variety of new or functionally improved macros, smaller and initially less visible, but certainly useful improvements as well as a continuous optimization of performance, stability, scaleability and security.
Adapting and individualization of the wiki this becomes quite comprehensive, when many major releases are skipped.
Reasons for a regular update:
Due to the speed in which Atlassian is developing the system, we recommend our customers to update their instances at least once per year, especially when major releases have occurred. Here is why:
- You can directly benefit from the development. Usually, a big release leads to more efficiency, productivity, and user friendliness. It also offers a foundation for new useful use cases. Employees will directly benefit from the shipped improvements and updates. And many of the new functions since Confluence 3.5 are not to be missed in an enterprise.
- The longer an old system remains without an update, the higher the chances that you will stay behind regarding support and availability of new plugins. Many plugins add important use cases to Confluence, but are based on the current version of Confluence. Take a look at our post Software-Updates in Unternehmen: Wann sind sie sinnvoll?
- The effort for regular updates is much lower than for updating a very old instance. This applies to system administration and theme updates as well as user adaptation.
As a customer with a valid support license, take advantage of the free update options and take full advantage of the opportunities that Confluence offers as a social collaboration platform or intranet. We are glad to help.
Further information on Confluence:
Do you have questions about Confluence and Social Intranets? Are you thinking about integrating a new wiki system or optimize and extend an already existing system within your enterprise? We are one of the biggest official sales partners of Atlassian Software in the world, and specialist in the complete Atlassian portfolio, including Confluence. With experience from hundreds of Atlassian projects, we offer you all services concerning evaluation, licensing, introduction, configuration, scaling, and service of your Atlassian products from one source. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions and check out or information on our page Confluence info page. You will find even more details about getting started with Confluence in our public wiki.
Atlassian tools used for internal organization at //SEIBERT/MEDIA: Confluence, JIRA, HipChat
SWIFT: The Easiest and Fastet Way to Try Confluence, JIRA or Stash
Confluence Workshops for Enterprises by //SEIBERT/MEDIA: Specialized to your needs
Confluence - Info, Knowledge, Hints, Best Practices
Project Reference - B.Braun - Confluence based Social Intranet
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