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One Year Later: First Impressions of Confluence Cloud from an Atlassian Veteran

About a year ago, as a part of #ConfluenceLovers, I wrote an article about my first impressions of using Confluence since joining my new company. It’s really hard to believe that a whole year has past already. I thought it might be fun to reflect on last year’s article and then also look at how much further I have come from being a Confluence newbie in just one year!

How it started:

I started using Confluence as a regular user with standard access to the main company space and a couple of smaller R&D specific spaces. As a quick recap from last year here are the things that really impressed me:

  • Ease of use navigating the REST API documentation

  • Templates help with visual discovery of important macros

  • Real time collaboration on content creation

How it’s going:

My role has expanded so much within the past year. I can’t believe that just a year ago if someone asked me to create a page and document our Jira Workflow process I would struggle with anything beyond clicking the create page button. Now, I’m doing so much more than that!

  • I’m not doing as much with the API now, but I’m still referencing it when someone asks “if it’s possible to do something not visible in the UI“ (I’m looking at you CQL searches).

  • I’m regularly using templates, and I have expended from just the “How To Articles“ into the “Meeting Notes“ (and soon many of the new templates that were announced and launched yesterday).

  • While real-time collaboration is cool, I have also found the massive advantages to asynchronous collaboration. I’m an early bird, which means I can see all the inline comments that have been left by the team members reviewing documents at 6pm, and I can then respond to them and make adjustments at 6:30am ahead of our entire team meeting at 10am.

  • I’m now a full Confluence administrator (and Atlassian site-admin but we’re focusing on Confluence in this article). I have been tasked with a number of larger projects, from splitting our 'Mega' space into logical, smaller spaces. Performing an audit and revamp of all our permissions. And, helping to define the custom templates and process for people requesting changes to our Jira workflows.

  • As a part of achieving my goal for 2021 of getting to Atlassian Certified Expert, I was even able to successfully pass the Confluence Space Administrator Pro Badge! I would 100% attribute the studying I needed to do to pass that exam as some of the largest “Ah Ha!“ moments in my Confluence knowledge.

  • I’m also drafting this article in my personal Confluence instance as I do for every article I write on the Community now. I also love using the mobile app for adding scratch notes or topics that I want to write about. Being able to jot them done the moment I think about them is amazing since I sometimes have a very short-term memory.

To say I have fallen in love with Confluence would be an under statement at this point. It’s hard to believe I was writing content without using Confluence, I’m here to stay!

#I<3Confluence

4 comments

Bill Bailey Community Leader Feb 10, 2022

Hello @Jimmy Seddon . Thanks for your article. I have been a long-time Confluence fan and advocate at the admin level for nearly a decade. I have looked at moving to Cloud, but there have been several issues that stop us from moving as an organization:

  • No custom domain support
  • No custom CSS support
  • No user macro support
  • No configuration control over the instance -- "upgrades" happen, causing macros to dissappear.
  • Defunctioned macros
  • Funky editor that seems to have removed some of the power of the page layout function

How has your organization worked around these issues?

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Jimmy Seddon Community Leader Feb 10, 2022

Hey @Bill Bailey!

I think it's best answered as you don't know what's wrong if you never had it in the first place.  Our company has always been on Confluence Cloud, they are also using Jira Software and Jira Service Management Cloud (among other Atlassian tools).

The lack of a custom domain, CSS or control over upgrades isn't something that anyone cares about.  As a premium customer we have the option to use "Release Tracks" to delay upgrades until we are ready but when I mentioned that as something we had available no one was interested.

It might be that our macro usage is limited to begin with, but I haven't heard any complaints about defunctioned macros (I assume we just never had them to begin with).

As for custom macros, I have actually written a couple for my company using Atlassian Forge.  Forge is built and hosted on Atlassian's infrastructure so there is no additional cost and they support the ability to hook into the macro frame work, you just need a little Node.js experience to write them.

I heard about the new editor changes not being well received, I think my company "might" be the weird one in that they 100% embraced the new editor with one arms.

SO as much as we may have 1500+ users on Confluence, I thin the root of our success is that we generally use things as they are provided out of the box.  Not to say that is the way you "need" to do things but I think that could attribute to why we have had very few issues.

Thanks!

-Jimmy

Like Andy Gladstone likes this
Bill Bailey Community Leader Feb 10, 2022

@Jimmy Seddon  that makes sense. You are unaware of the limits as you never had the experience of server. I view Cloud as a RISC version of the server version -  with many features removed to reduce Atlassian's support costs.

And yes, I saw that Forge was the alternative to user macros, but when I looked a year ago, it was still in beta, and requires a completely different skill set than user macros (which are Velocity based), creating another barrier. Moreover, we would have to re-engineer all of our macros to use Forge.

So yes, for power users of server/DC, Cloud is just a non starter. But if you are new to Confluence, you build your solution around what is available.

Thanks for the write-up!

Like Jimmy Seddon likes this
Sharon Tan Community Manager Mar 04, 2022

Congrats on the Pro Badge @Jimmy Seddon !! I love the meeting notes template too. I also get really excited when I resolve inline comments 😀 Thanks for writing this piece!!

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