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Changes to the Companion App in Confluence 6.15.6 and 6.13.6

Hello Community 👋🏼

I’m Makisa, a product manager on Confluence Server and Data Center. Today, I wanted to share an update about editing Confluence attachments.

Back in August 2018, we released Confluence 6.11 and replaced the Edit in Office feature with the Atlassian Companion app. There were several reasons why we made this change. Firstly, the Atlassian Companion app offers a better experience for end users, since it allows you to edit and upload changes to any type of Confluence attachment, not just Microsoft Office files. Secondly, it does not rely on WebDAV technology, which is increasingly becoming a limitation, with modern browsers either choosing not to support WebDAV or deciding to deprecate it. We used to provide a Firefox addon to allow this to work in Firefox. However, since Firefox Quantum (version 57), the addon is no longer compatible with Firefox.

Since the release of Confluence 6.11, many of you and your teams have told us about how you rely on Edit in Office and of several requirements that are not met with the Companion App. We also understand the recent spate of CVEs have forced many of you to upgrade ahead of schedule and lose access to Edit in Office. Because of this, we have revisited our original decision and want to provide you with more time to prepare for Edit in Office’s eventual removal. In 6.15.6 and backported to our Enterprise Release, 6.13.6 (due out on 24 June), we will be adding a dark feature toggle for you to turn on Edit in Office as a deprecated feature.

In future releases, we will look to address key requirements for the Companion App, such as using the app in a terminal services environment or with 2FA, in order to make this functionality more widely accessible. In our upcoming platform release of Confluence 7.0, support for both WebDAV and the Edit in Office feature will be removed and no longer available.

We will be working on communicating big feature changes like this ahead of time and hope you continue to share your feedback with us. Thanks as always for your patience and for helping us build this.

34 comments

Finally some good news on this matter. Thanks!

Like # people like this

Thank you for those good news!

Like Makisa Appleton likes this

This sounds great. Thanks for listening. 

Like # people like this

Hi Makisa,

I tried to download Confluence 6.13.6, but cannot find it in within Download Archives Section. Where can I get ist from?

Thanks, Irmgard

Hi @Irmgard Schwarzer - unfortunately, we haven't yet released 6.13.6. It is due out in a week's time, on Monday 24 June (Sydney). We released 6.15.5 today, which is available.

"Firstly, the Atlassian Companion app offers a better experience for end users"

This is false.  The Companion app is clunky and all of our users refuse to use it due to its clunkiness.  The edit for Office was one of the main draws for us for Confluence.  Since you removed this feature we have had nothing but complaints from our end users.

Like Javier de Elena likes this

@Allan Libby Since we were never able to use the Companion app, could you please elaborate about the clunkiness? Is there a bug report?

@Thomas Kreft There are tons of complaints if you search for them.  The fact you have to open a third party app to go to the Office app adds an extra step our users refuse to use.  Add to that all the complaints about people not being able to install a third party app on their machines due to IT policies, this whole thing was poorly thought out and doesn't really work.

Davin Studer Community Leader Jun 17, 2019

@Makisa Appleton This is GREAT news! Thank you so much for this. Our site is not publicly accessible so we have not really been affected by the CVEs, but my security folks still want us to upgrade soon. Now I can.

@Allan Libby @Thomas Kreft Agree with Allan 100% this whole thing was poorly thought out. Due to company policy, its difficult to install third-party app. It should have been a default macro/ feature instead of third party add-on feature. 

Like Javier de Elena likes this

Thi is great, really happy to hear that. Hope that the future version of Confluence (7) will allow Citrix users to work with this feature. 

Like t.koeppe@eos-ts.com likes this

We've had to withdraw 6.15.5, and will release 6.15.6 soon. I'll update with another comment once the new version is available. You can find out more about the related issue here: https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/CONFSERVER-58490

Confluence 6.15.6 is available to Server and Data Center customers today. Upgrade now or check out the Release Notes to see what other issues are resolved.

Like Thomas Kreft likes this

And with one fell-swoop you knobble all Linux users as there is no Linux Atlassian Companion app.

Like # people like this

@Makisa Appleton , any update on 6.13.6 release please? Thanks!

Like Makisa Appleton likes this

@Ilango Arthanaripalayam Good news - 6.13.6 release is out today!

Like Ilango Arthanaripalayam likes this

Hello. I see that version 6.15.5 was withdrawn, and do not see mention of this feature being restored in the release notes for 6.15.6. Before I go to the trouble of testing 6.15.6 for this, can you please advise whether the Edit in Office feature is again available there?

Davin Studer Community Leader Jun 28, 2019

@Brad Taplin I just installed 6.15.6 a couple days ago and I was able to enable the dark feature. So, yes it exists in 6.15.6.

Like # people like this

Hi, I can't find any doco on how to enable the dark feature (Edit in Office). Can someone please enlighten me?

"To edit files, users need to install the Atlassian Companion app..."

So it never occurred to Atlassian that in many (if not most) major corporate environments, users are not simply permitted or able to download and install software on their desktops/laptops?

"want to provide you with more time to prepare for Edit in Office’s eventual removal. "

Prepare how?  It's far more likely companies will simply get rid of Confluence than take on the burden of re-packaging and maintaining the Atlassian Companion app in their respective desktop software provisioning systems.

Like # people like this

Thanks for that news. Now I can chase our accountant to use the new feature as recommended :) and no new bug fixes for old one :)

It looks like when the "dark feature" is enabled in Confluence 6.15.6 the dropdown "Edit with" path to the Companion disappears. If so. this would frustrate those who do successfully use the Companion, i.e. those in our organization lucky enough to have the rights and/or browser able to use it.

Am I right in thinking this is kind of either/or?

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