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Atlassian Confluence Room for Improvement

WiseCat - PeerSpot reviewer
Enterprise Architect, CISSP at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees

Atlassian should rethink its withdrawal of the self-hosted version of the product. They only offer cloud-based service or the "datacenter-edition", which is quite expensive for small companies and private users.

I have been using and recommending Atlassian Confluence for more than four years now, and never had to regret it until the end of 2020, when they suddenly got this cloud madness.

Not only does the cloud version come nowhere near the responsiveness of the self-hosted version (which is a matter of course, as self-hosted servers are within the LAN with single-digit milliseconds of round trip time, whereas cloud-hosted servers will always have 20+ ms), but also it requires a customer to entrust their data to a third party, which is in many cases a no-go.

The only way out would be to buy the "datacenter edition" and thus spend a whole lot more money on the product. This may be what Atlassian intended in the first place and if so, shame on them.

With that, I will no longer recommend the product, as I am opposed to the cloud-first hype. Our data should be our own and we should be free to decide where we store them.

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Hina Tufail - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Atlassian Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees

Some macros can be technical, and they are better managed on the Confluence cloud rather than on-premises. For example, when you add an image on the cloud, you can resize it just by using the mouse. This is not the case on-premises yet. You have to write pixels of the size of the image sometimes.

Some of the very old macros are still there, and some of them are technical. It can be hard for users if they are not from an IT background to understand how to use them quickly.

There's a feature that is really helpful that I like, but it is inside the cloud version and not in the on-premises version. It is the inline comment in edit mode. In fact, you can do inline comments on articles and pages on both the cloud and on-premises versions, but when you modify the page on the cloud, you can still see them but in edit mode. When you edit the page, you cannot see them anymore. You need to have two tabs in order to remember what the comments were.

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Delivery Lead at Cyma

We've used a lot of time in correcting our knowledge in this product. Can't really think of a negative feature of the product.

This is kind of by design, however, the lack of control in terms of editing the page to make it look the way you want it to look is an issue. It would be nice if there was more flexibility there.

It's only a very constrained format you can use. You cannot change the font and you can't really make them smaller. It is by design, but it doesn't like people playing with those aspects. It's probably gone a bit too far. The inability to format the layout of a page is an issue for us.

The logic for searching for pages is a bit off. I assumed it would be very smart in terms of looking at the content on your page and looking at what people clicked on. I assumed it would be like Google in that it would know what people clicked on previously when they were looking for this keyword, what page do they click on, et cetera. It doesn't. I found some detailed explanation of exactly how the search works and it's quite disappointing. It's very basic. Search largely depends on the title of your actual document. It doesn't look at the words in the document, and doesn't look at the search history, in terms of how people pick pages.

It turns out that the searching algorithms are very basic. When I assumed the product was bad, it was actually due to the fact that most of the knowledge management tools have very smart searching logic. This one doesn't. 

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Buyer's Guide
Atlassian Confluence
June 2022
Learn what your peers think about Atlassian Confluence. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: June 2022.
607,127 professionals have used our research since 2012.
CEO & CPO at a tech services company with 11-50 employees

With respect to Confluence, it would be interesting if they had graphical templates that allowed typical agile ceremonies to be documented better. For example, one of the agile cadences that we regularly run is risk roaming. Confluence, as of now, doesn't provide any kind of graphical support for creating a two-by-two portfolio matrix design or even something similar. Basically, Confluence is heavily text-based. Some of my customers have actually started to tweak the system a bit and implement workarounds. On the screen, you can make it look as if it is a two-by-two portfolio; however, if there were templates provided, that would be great. The basic graphical templates that are used regularly in management would be fine. It would be great to see them supported in the future. 

In regards to Jira, it would be nice if they had two-dimensional features for backlog support. At the moment, backlog management is always a flat, one-dimensional list but our customers actually prefer having the opportunity to have that read out in a graphical fashion as well. That way, there's so much more overview and they can cluster smaller backlog items that come as a bunch. It just provides much more clarity.

Jira still seems to have issues on modelling Kanban-systems - as far as I know it still doesn't support the so-called "commitment point" (i.e. creating a non-romovable time-stamp when moving a ticket onto a board) helpful in creating transparency about start- and end-time of performing an activity — similar to signing a document in writing.

Think of it this way: if you take an item into a boardroom, it must be noted and signed. It should be done in pencil where the data could be erased later on, rather, it should be stamped — basically, you are not losing the data again. That is still an issue with these systems. That's one of the reasons why many teams who want to run Kanban methodology don't want to use Jira. They tend to use other software, which is able to do these sorts of things. 

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Lindsay Fifield - PeerSpot reviewer
Customer Success Manager at LogiGear Corporation

The UI is good but bland. It could be updated a bit to make it more modern and interesting to look at.

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Styliana Araouzou - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Operations Analyst at Etoro

Due to the fact that there are so many diverse plugins available, the solution really isn't missing any features. 

The product is considered expensive. 

In the future, I would like to be able to copy from other documents, local documents on your PC, and paste them into Confluence pages while keeping the formatting. At the moment, you can copy and paste, however, all your formatting disappears. This is one of the features that I would want. 

In terms of the feature for uploading documents, at the moment, when you want to upload documents from your local PC into Confluence, you can do it. However, when you want to make updates on your document, you need to download it from Confluence, make the changes in the document, and then upload it again. Instead of doing this, instead of downloading the document from Confluence, it's better to have the possibility to make your changes in Confluence and open the document in Confluence instead of downloading everything.

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Michael Peterson - PeerSpot reviewer
GM Technology at a energy/utilities company with 51-200 employees

Workflows is an area where it could be improved. Out-of-the-box, it does not have a good workflow solution, which is a bit odd given that there is a good workforce solution in Jira software. We had to purchase a workflow management tool off the marketplace called Kamala and that probably should not have been necessary. So, they could probably do with a bit of development on the workflows front to include a better solution out-of-the-box, but other than that, not a lot needs to be improved.  

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Sr. Manager - Global Systems Manager at a paper AND forest products with 1,001-5,000 employees

When we import the data in Confluence from Word or any other document, the formatting is not correct. When we export the data, more or less, it is fine. Let's say from Confluence to Word or Confluence to PDF, it's okay. Otherwise, we face formatting issues.  

The solution would offer more importing features. 

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System Engineer at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees

They can easily take on some of the features from Slack. 

They could try and copy Slack more and bring them into the market a bit quicker. That would be helpful for them.

I would like to see integration with Slack.

There could be improvements with the app ecosystem. For example, if we look at Teams, there is now an entire ecosystem. With Teams, you can essentially install any apps and do any integrations. Third-party, similar to Microsoft.

It's more about integrations with third parties. That is also something that could be better.

I think it can be more competitive, considering the competition they are now going to get from Slack and Teams. For example, if you look at Microsoft Teams, Microsoft is providing 365 for free with Slack.

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Luc Cools - PeerSpot reviewer
Digital TV Solution Architect at Pro 71CHA3

Atlassian Confluence could improve how information is shared outside our company. We had some negative experiences with the rights we have with our information when sharing it within Atlassian Confluence and with other teams outside the company. It's due to the limitations on the rights we have on the export capabilities. We don't have sufficient rights to do so.

In an upcoming release, there should be improvements in the graphical support for drawings. We have some plugins, but it's limited for making drawings within Atlassian Confluence, it's rather difficult. Most of the time we create I create drawings outside Atlassian Confluence and import them as a file. It makes it a bit difficult to update drawings within the solution itself, but it's mostly limited to the plugin support we have internally.

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Attila Mozes - PeerSpot reviewer
Managing Director at provalida GmbH

The scalability for larger companies could be improved.

Atlassian has decided to stop the server edition of Atlassian Confluence. In the future, you can only buy an enterprise installation called Data Center, and you have to pay for a thousand users on up. This means that it will be very expensive. So, small installations will only have the cloud option, but the cloud version of Atlassian Confluence is not as stable as the on-premises version.

It would be good to have more graphical components on dashboards to show table components as graphics, pie charts or bar charts. These are not included at the moment.

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IT R&D Project Portfolio PMO Lead at a consumer goods company with 10,001+ employees

The user interface could be improved.

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Sundaresen Rungasamy - PeerSpot reviewer
SAFe SPC Coach and Consultant, South EMEA Agile at Valiantys

We have to use other applications that make Atlassian Confluence more customized for what you want. They should improve by adding the ability to make more customizations.

In a future release, they could add easy reporting. For example, EZPi can be deployed easily into 

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Sr Associate at a maritime company with 501-1,000 employees

On the cloud, we do not have a source editor if you want to go and validate the watch type of HTML or if you want to pull that HTML content for that cloud of pages. Atlassian needs to provide the source editor or a built-in plugin. 

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Business Analyst at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees

It would be good if they can continue working towards making documentation and editing as quick and easy as possible. 

It has got a lot of capability, but I don't know how to use it. I don't find some of the things that intuitive. Sometimes, it doesn't seem obvious to me how to use it, but it is like learning any new tool. You actually need to get trained on the tool to get maximum out of it.

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Fabio Casasus - PeerSpot reviewer
Co-Founder - Managing Partner at Helvetia Fintech

The performance could be improved, we sometimes run into difficulties creating tables. 

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Lead architect at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees

Some aspects of the drawing perspective could be improved. When we upgrade a design and make technical architecture drawings to publish, we still use Visio first and then copy and paste it. If this feature were available on Confluence, it would be a useful tool. 

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Tai Hyo Kim - PeerSpot reviewer
Chief Executive Officer at Formal Works Inc.

Managing user permissions and credentials could be easier. 

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Sebastian Lawrence - PeerSpot reviewer
Solutions Delivery Lead at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees

Space maintenance could be made a little more user-friendly.

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Sofia Alves - PeerSpot reviewer
Cloud Consultant at Axians

Atlassian Confluence should improve the interface, it needs to be more user-friendly. It is easy to use, but it could be more intuitive.

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Mathias Florian - PeerSpot reviewer
Business developer at Bat.IT

An area for improvement would be the intuitiveness of using the features, especially if you want to customize. In the next release, I would like to see an instant messaging feature for document collaboration.

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User at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees

In the next release, I would like to have the ability to import pictures.

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Goncalo Valadas - PeerSpot reviewer
Principal Engineer at CRITICAL Software

I'd like to see some improved reporting on usage. 

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Buyer's Guide
Atlassian Confluence
June 2022
Learn what your peers think about Atlassian Confluence. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: June 2022.
607,127 professionals have used our research since 2012.