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Migration from Alpha to Beta

Matthias Gaiser _K15t_
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
February 28, 2024

Hey @Divya Sriram and team,

we got migrated from the Alpha yesterday to the Beta which I'm totally fine with. But today, I see that many things don't seem to work. So, I'm writing to you in order to let you know about it.

However, it's actually quite hard to write about it since the behavior keeps constantly changing:

  • I first had the behavior that all references to a database seemed to be broken, but noticed these macros still contained ALPHA.
  • When I saved that page, it seemed that these macros got migrated to new ones.
  • In addition, it seems that all Entry Link columns now only have empty content - the UI tells me that it's missing the database, but I'm too afraid to reselect it in order to not screw more up what maybe still can get repaired.

So, I'd like to ask you to provide clear guidance about what behavior we should see when you switch us over from Alpha to Beta - which features changed in which way.
Usually, I'd expect to get this communication beforehand - or at least include it into the "Migrated Databases" page you've created in every space.

Having a sentence like "If you dont see one of your databases here, it may have been broken or failed migration" - but no way how to get help, really doesn't help much.

This is really a bad experience for migrating users here 😔.

How should users reach out in case they need help? Via the usual Atlassian Support? https://support.atlassian.com/contact

Cheers,
Matthias.

 

PS: Maybe I've missed some communication, but I don't think I'm the only one.

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Matthias Gaiser _K15t_
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
February 28, 2024

I can't reference databases of other spaces in Entry Links anymore. Is this an intentional change? 😳

Filip Callewaert February 28, 2024

all entry link columns empty here too...

Divya Sriram
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
February 29, 2024

Hey @Filip Callewaert , if you haven't already, would you be able to open a support request ticket so we can have access to your instance and triage this issue of missing entry links: 

How to create a support request: https://confluence.atlassian.com/support/create-a-support-request-790796816.html

Thank you!

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Filip Callewaert February 29, 2024

Sure, thx!

 

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Matthias Gaiser _K15t_
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
February 28, 2024

I've found this guide which provides a list of differences.

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Hendrik Hillus February 28, 2024

Thats a helpful guide, thanks!

Unfortunately, half of whats mentioned under "Referencing and editing" is currently not working for me...

But all the removed features were removed just fine 

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Brian Clair February 29, 2024

Yeah, I'm having the same issue - all my links are missing. There must be some way to recover this right?

Divya Sriram
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
February 29, 2024

Our team is looking into this issue and finding a solution asap. This is not the expected behavior.

We'll update with comms here as we go. 

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Divya Sriram
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
February 29, 2024

Hey @Brian Clair , if you haven't already, would you be able to open a support request ticket so we can have access to your instance and triage this issue of missing entry links: 

How to create a support request: https://confluence.atlassian.com/support/create-a-support-request-790796816.html

Thank you!

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Brian Clair February 29, 2024

Hi @Divya Sriram - Done. 

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Tobias Haas February 29, 2024

I'm also not able to export a page with database entries anymore.

These database entries don't show up in the exported PDF.

Neither the default Confluence PDF Exporter nor the K15t Scroll PDF Exporter can handle the database items.

For some smart links it shows the link, for other items (orderly-database-entry) it just shows errors (Scroll PDF Exporter) or a loading icon (Confluence Exporter).

This is a feature that is really important to us, to build our use cases in Confluence.

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Divya Sriram
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
February 29, 2024

Hey Tobias - yes Confluence databases in Beta don't currently export in PDFs (this is the expected behavior), we're working with the team that works on Confluence exports to PDF to enable this functionality. We don't have an estimated timeline but it's on our roadmap

Divya Sriram
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
February 29, 2024

Hey folks, our whole team is investigating what's happening with entry links (connected databases) and working to resolve this atm and find a solution ASAP. Entry links should not be broken, this is not a change from EAP to Beta and is not the expected behavior.

We'll update with comms here as we go. 

Thank you for reporting!

 

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Filip Callewaert March 2, 2024

Thx for the repair, @Divya Sriram !

Divya Sriram
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
February 29, 2024

Hey @Matthias Gaiser _K15t_ - I think you've already opened a support ticket so we're looking into your instances.

Thank you

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Maik van Rossum March 12, 2024

Hello all,

As a former user of the Orderly Databases app, we are quite surprised by the way the migration of the new Databases functionality is going.

Since we also encounter all kinds of migration problems, we have a support request since February 29. Based on this, we were rolled-back to the Alpha version a few days later. Yesterday support informed me on the existence of this group.

Besides missing features, it seems that linked tables / cross references in particular do not pass the migration well. We also saw a difference in naming after the migration, with some databases having 'Orderly' added to their new names.

Is it true that there is no concrete solution or planning yet?

In that case, is it advisable to request another migration from Alpha to Beta and rebuild the affected databases?

Thanks in advance.
Regards,
Maik

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Matthew Machuca
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
March 12, 2024

Hi @Maik van Rossum 

Matthew here from the Confluence Team.

We also saw a difference in naming after the migration, with some databases having 'Orderly' added to their new names.

The naming scheme for Databases inherited this from the original acquisition of orderly databases, databases created before a certain point contained "orderly" within their name although it might not have been viewable in the UI. Some migrated databases will have this appended to your content's title, depending on the date of when it was created. For databases that were created more recently, the migrated databases will show "(database)" appended. Definitely apologize if this was confusing, we did not communicate this in our page on "what was changing


Is it true that there is no concrete solution or planning yet?

In that case, is it advisable to request another migration from Alpha to Beta and rebuild the affected databases?

As far as a plan to resolve the issue. The team has identified the root cause that has caused issues migrating databases with entry link and back link fields. We are currently working on and testing a solution to successfully re-migrate customers who were affected. Affected customers who will undergo migration again, will see a banner within their databases in the days leading up to it like previously, letting them know databases will be moving to the content tree. 



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Matthias Gaiser _K15t_
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
March 13, 2024

@Matthew Machuca - thank you for the update about the further migration plans. We were also affected.

Can you please clarify where the announcement banner is shown? Is it only in the database? Or also in the database macros? I'd appreciate it if you proactively reach out to the owners of each site so we're not as surprised as last time.

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Matthew Machuca
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
March 13, 2024

Hi @Matthias Gaiser _K15t_ 

Apologies, my images did not post correctly in my previous message. Below are samples of the 3 surfaces the banner would appear. (Note the content may slightly differ)

This is, within the left navigation tab, directly when viewing a standalone database, and within the database.


As for a notice email, I will work with support to try to get a followup sent for those who opened support tickets.

I am reviewing the recipients of our original migration email notice we sent, and I unfortunately am not finding anyone with your name or email domain in the list.



Screenshot 2024-03-13 at 3.33.50 PM.pngScreenshot 2024-03-13 at 3.33.31 PM.pngScreenshot 2024-03-13 at 3.32.41 PM.png

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Matthias Gaiser _K15t_
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
March 14, 2024

As long as you let us know via our support ticket (https://support.atlassian.com/requests/PCS-259671/), that should be sufficient for us - but if we're not on the list of users, you might want to double-check your list to make sure if also others were left out.

Maik van Rossum March 14, 2024

Hello @Matthew Machuca 

Thanks for your replies.

On the (re)naming posts:

I meant that the affected databases had "(Orderly database)" instead of just "(database)" added to their original names. Those names didn't have 'Orderly' in their names, so the migration script was able to make the distinction somewhere and executed differently upon that.

On the notification posts:

How can I as a Knowledge Manager and Confluence Administrator get informed at forehand? Just to make sure that I can anticipate on the upcoming changes, inform and instruct our users and also have the option to postpone (individual) changes until we're ready to migrate at a time that's also suitable for us? 

This way we can plan our work and we are no longer surprised by these kinds of unforeseen events, which were completely unnecessary. After the rollback, some pages were still crippled, as they still showed the 'new' but affected databases.

Side note: yes, we can activate a certain feature (like Whiteboards) from the Admin panel, but just one at a time. It doesn't seem to be possible to activate a single feature when there are multiple upcoming changes; you cannot get past the first one without activating it.

Perhaps it is good to consider that people who use Confluence every day to read and maintain documentation in the work with their customers and clients are not always happy with these types of 'vague' banners. They often raise questions and require additional time to delve into the underlying information. And, as far as I know and experience now, communication from Atlassian is quite fragmented.

Finally, mistakes can always be made and not everything can be prevented in advance, so no problem there. But I'm sorry to say that the approach taken here wasn't exactly a best practice. And it seems that you're planning on exactly the same approach for a rollout of the fix...

Do you see my name on your recipients list? After the (incomplete) rollback we know have to sit and wait until the mentioned banners comes up? Because we are not informed whatsoever.

Regards,
Maik

 

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Matthew Machuca
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
March 14, 2024

Hi @Maik van Rossum 

I meant that the affected databases had "(Orderly database)" instead of just "(database)" added to their original names. Those names didn't have 'Orderly' in their names, so the migration script was able to make the distinction somewhere and executed differently upon that.

Yes, like you have noticed certain databases had a suffix attached to them that differed from others. Without going to deep into details, we identified the root cause of the issue, and it did relate to this. Databases created prior to a certain date had additional identifying properties added/changed. Our migration script unfortunately did not properly handle this change gracefully, resulting in the issues of entry link fields not migrating correctly for the affected databases.


How can I as a Knowledge Manager and Confluence Administrator get informed at forehand? Just to make sure that I can anticipate on the upcoming changes, inform and instruct our users and also have the option to postpone (individual) changes until we're ready to migrate at a time that's also suitable for us? 


I hear your concern, we had anticipated the migration to be a fairly seamless transition for all of our customers participating in our EAP, and fortunately for the vast majority this was the case. While confluence does offer a solution like you described to our customers, this is known as "Release Tracks" , this typically doesn't apply to EAP/Beta products because of the nature of how quickly changes and improvements are shipped to customers and their "opt-in" nature. 


Our original notice of the original migration was a 2 pronged approach. 1st we had a banner internally displayed on all databases, letting users know changes would be coming soon, the banner contained a link to this page with even more details. https://support.atlassian.com/confluence-cloud/docs/changes-to-your-eap-database-experience/ I understand that the time from when the banner appeared -> actual migration taking place might have been too short and a some people may have not seen it.

Additionally, known site admins were emailed in addition to this banner, but it appears our support system for the EAP program (intercom) has not tracked emails for all sites admins properly, I apologize for this. I'll attach what the email originally looked like here.

Screenshot 2024-03-14 at 12.42.58 PM.png




The team is working to finalize the fix in order to get everyone re-migrated over properly, with entry links functioning as expected. In addition to the banner that will appear several days leading up to the migration for affected sites, I will try to make sure emails are sent out directly to the admin of affected sites or followed up on filed support tickets.

 

I understand the way things have gone have not yet been ideal, we very much appreciate everyone who has been a participant in our Early Access Program for databases. These transitionary periods are not often without hiccups, and this transition from EAP -> beta is no exception.




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Maik van Rossum March 15, 2024

@Matthew Machuca thanks for sharing these insights and clear communication. For whatever reason, we did not receive it...

How do I get on the mailing list for timely receipt of this type of information and upcoming releases/release tracks? Because I think that something is not working as supposed to, and therefore there's miscommunication.

One point regarding the participation in an EAP... as far as I know that wasn't a choice. We were users of the Orderly app and automatically switched to the Databases functionality. Or someone else must have accidentally clicked on a link, but as an admin (Confluence, not Jira) I did not receive any notification about this. The Alpha version was turned on from one day to the next. Just like the conversion from Alpha to Beta took place without announcement.

So no blame, even though I am of course disappointed with the problems and additional work that it now causes. Hopefully we can improve this for future updates.

Regards,
Maik

 

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Divya Sriram
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
March 18, 2024

Hey @Maik van Rossum - thanks for your note about comms and not being notified about the change from Orderly to EAP to Beta. I'm the Product Manager for Confluence databases - would you be able to reach out to me directly at dsriram@atlassian.com? I'd love to figure out the details of your specific instance and make sure that you are receiving the necessary communication! Thank you. cc: @Matthew Machuca 

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Maik van Rossum March 19, 2024

Thanks for looking into this. Did sent you an e-mail this morning.

Regards,
Maik

Maik van Rossum April 5, 2024

@Matthew Machuca I've just received an out-of-office notification when replying to a conversation with Divya. She's on sabbatical, but the mentioned 'cristevksi@atlassian.com' is unknown. Would it be possible for you to provide the correct email address or have him/her reach out to me? Thanks.

Matthew Machuca
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
April 8, 2024

Hi @Maik van Rossum 

That'd be @Christina Ristevski 

email: cristevski@atlassian.com

 

 

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Maik van Rossum April 8, 2024

Thank you, I will forward my e-mail to her.

Regards,
Maik

Maik van Rossum March 19, 2024

@Divya Sriram cc: @Matthew Machuca 

Is it already possible to perform a rollback / migration from Alpha to Beta?

Even if the migration script isn't fully fixed by now.
In that case we choose to rebuild the corrupted databases. 
The link-fields will be (re)added later on. 

If so, I will immediately submit a request to support, as this is taking too long for us.
We really need to get out of this crippled situation due to the rollback to Alpha.

Thanks.

Regards,
Maik

Matthew Machuca
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
March 19, 2024

Hi @Maik van Rossum 

As of now the migration is scheduled to re-run March 22nd, emails with details should have been sent to all affected admin sites today. Additionally you might have seen the banner I mentioned appear within databases as of Monday.

If you reach out via support, I can get you re-migrated sooner than the scheduled Friday. 

Also feel free to email me at mmachuca@atlassian.com


Maik van Rossum March 20, 2024

@Matthew Machuca thank you! Hopefully this time with more success :-)

Yesterday our admin for Atlassian Cloud did receive the information on this, as sent by @Divya Sriram

Again, as the registered admin for Confluence I didn't receive the information from Atlassian.

Regards,
Maik

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Maik van Rossum March 23, 2024

Hello @Divya Sriram , @Matthew Machuca 

It looks like the new migration took place somewhere in the day, as previously announced via (forwarded) e-mail.

Unfortunately this time no banner with the message that a migration has taken place ... (sorry, this makes me a little cynical, but let me stick to the facts).

Yesterday morning and afternoon there was nothing to see yet, but this morning I see folders with the name 'Migrated Databases (updated)'. Inside of it are new duplicates of the old databases with '(Database)' or '(Orderly Database)' and '- NEW' added to their file names.

Given the 'Databases ALPHA' button is still visible and has not been replaced by 'BETA', I would like to know if the migration has been completed successfully?

On the first time opening a new databases, there were many links 'unnamed'. Only after selecting the link and loading the properties in the side panel were those names loaded / shown. In short, it seems something still doesn't not work properly there.

As mentioned earlier, we choose to rebuild all our 'old' Orderly databases, so please no unsolicited rollback. First I would like to see the above question answered before getting started.

Thanks!

Regards,
Maik

Matthew Machuca
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
March 24, 2024

Hi @Maik van Rossum 



I'll dig into this with the team but, the banner should have appeared starting Tuesday March 26th. I apologize if did not appear as expected, but like I mentioned previously it was a 2 front approach, I am glad to hear your Site admin was able to forward you the email sent to them and you were able to be aware from that side.


"Given the 'Databases ALPHA' button is still visible and has not been replaced by 'BETA', I would like to know if the migration has been completed successfully?"

Yes, the migration has been completed successfully. The "Alpha" tab is still there for sometime, as upon clicking, it serves as a reminder to let you know your databases have moved to the content tree.

Screenshot 2024-03-24 at 3.16.09 PM.png

"On the first time opening a new databases, there were many links 'unnamed'. Only after selecting the link and loading the properties in the side panel were those names loaded / shown."

I appreciate the insight here, but aside from needing to "refresh" the links, they seem to have migrated over then? I understand it may not have been as seamless as you and I would have hoped.


On the topic of rollbacks, there will not be any additional rollbacks from Beta -> Alpha, if you are still seeing gaps in Databases that were migrated then "rebuilding" or fixing any other errors you might see would be my recommendation.




Again, we really appreciate the continued use of our early access features and are happy you have been able to raise your concerns directly here in the community group with us.

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Maik van Rossum March 25, 2024

Hello @Matthew Machuca as Tuesday March 26th is tomorrow then it would appear 4-5 days after the actual migration...

Thanks for the clarification on choosing the label 'ALPHA' on the button and conforming a successful migration.

On the first test of the databases it seems that there're some parts missing, but we will fix them on our side. We need this Database functionality as we were using it successfully when it still was the Orderly Databases app; our Site Admin confirmed that we did not join any Alpha version or EAP program for Databases, we were simply migrated from Orderly (some traces of that did still remain in permissions etc.).

But to move on, an example of the problems we see with links 'unnamed' (or not showing up):

01.png

1) This problem occurs only in former 'Orderly' databases.

2) Text fields were correctly migrated.

3) Showing 'unnamed' links on page load (I also think some missing links).

 

---

 

02.png

1) After clicking an 'unnamed' link all correct names do show up.

2) Also the correct properties are shown / cross-links are loaded.

3) Related information / multiple links do show up, too.

4) The other department as shown in the properties pane.

 

- - - -

03.png

1) The properties / cross-links are correctly loaded.

2) Clicking a 'process name' loads the correct information, too.

- - - -

 

As the problems do't occur on all databases, we're moving on and rebuilding the infected ones. Hopefully that will solve these kind of problems.

@Divya Sriram please add Confluence Admins to your recipients list, too. Because only informing Site Admins is a bit too limited. Or at least give the customer (in your view probably the Site Admin) the option to add other employees. In my opinion, this way you avoid this kind of confusion in your well-intentioned and clear communication.

Regards,
Maik

 

 

 

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