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Removing the Companion app from Confluence Cloud

Dear Atlassian Community,

I am Avni Barman, a Confluence Cloud product manager. Based on recent feedback of the usability of the Companion App, we’ve made the decision to remove the Companion app in Confluence Cloud. You won’t be able to edit files using Companion app after 31 March 2022.

In the future, you’ll have the option to replace a file directly from the Media Viewer and from the editor itself. We will be sure to share any new updates in this community post.

If you are currently using the Companion app, here are some alternatives to try:

  1. Use the /slash command to embed Google Drive files and edit these in real-time with your colleagues.

  2. Manually replace the file from the Attachments page by deleting and re-uploading the file or by dragging and dropping the file.

Please leave any feedback or questions below in the comments. Thank you!

76 comments

I hope that in the next 3 years, this removal will not affect Confluence Data Center.

Companion is still widely used in our company's Confluence DC and cannot be replaced.

I will continue to pay attention to the update and feedback of this post, thank you for your announcement @Avni Barman .

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The never ending story of Office documents in Confluence.

Keep in mind that Atlassian try's to motivate  enterprise customers to migrate their on-premise (server / data center) instances to the Cloud. These big companies don't use Google services, these users rely on Microsoft Office (on-premise and cloud).

Removing the support to open / edit office documents in without a lot of manual steps would be in my opinion a wrong decision.

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Hi @Ollie Guan_携程_ , I'm a technical writer on the Confluence Server and Data Center team, and just wanted to let you know that I recently confirmed with my team that we are continuing to invest in Companion, and have no plans to end support for the Companion App method for editing files in Confluence Server and Data Center. 

I'm going to drop a note in our documentation about this as well, so that there's no confusion. 

Rachel

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Good News, TKS! @Rachel Robins 

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A few years ago, to improve the workflow when editing files, the Companion app was introduced on Server/DC. Now Companion support is being discontinued on Cloud, so the workflow will be as it was before on Server/DC.

From Atlassian's perspective, what will the workflow look like in the future when editing files? Are you guys sure this is a step forward and not 2 steps back? I see a lot of difficulty selling this to our customers.

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It makes zero sense when you state that you are continuing to invest in this app...just leave it for customers like us who are happy with the usability.

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Very bad decision! Rong way you chouse. You should integrate Atl Companion  in cloud that all of users do not lost theirs time to search and install the one.   

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@Rachel Robins@Avni Barman Is there a working solution for our enterprise customers working with Microsoft products (on-premise, M365)?

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WHY?!?!?!?

Companion is widely used in our company's Confluence Cloud and cannot be replaced. It's complety against user usability.

I think this is one of the worst decision you've made, and I'm really disappointed.

You're removing a great functionality for companies who don’t use google, but Office instead.

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@Avni Barman Deleting and re-uploading files to Confluence cloud defeats file versioning. As other users have said most large enterprises rely on Microsoft Office products, not Google Docs (or Google Drive). I think the removal of the Companion app is a huge step back for user experience in Confluence cloud. We try to use the native tools when possible in Confluence to avoid having to attach files... but there are certain file types (xlsx, pptx, etc.) which are difficult to fully replicate using a Table or other native tools. Having to download, edit, and re-upload is a real inconvenience. Did your team solicit any feedback from actual users before deciding to abandon Companion for cloud users?

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Avni Barman Atlassian Team Jan 25, 2022

Thank you so much for the feedback! After talking to several customers about this decision we came to the conclusion that it would be best to deprecate. It is currently a very buggy experience with less than 0.02% of our users using it. Rather than investing team resources to fix this, we decided to put those resources into making this feature available natively in the editor for all users. We hope to have a better estimate of the timing of that in the near future. In the meantime, please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any other questions or concerns. 

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Hi @Avni BarmanWe use it a lot, and we've never found a bug. Nevertheless, I hope you come with a better feature that allows us all (not only google suit users) to update office files without having to download, update, and upload them, in a reasonable time.

As you set a deadline to deprecate the Companion, it’d be nice for us as users, to have an estimate for the new feature.

Regards, Aylin.

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Oh no! This is bad news :(

We are currently planing to transition from Windows File Explorer into Confluence Cloud to substantiate a digital transformation. Using the Companion really is a step forward as Confluence Cloud offers file version control and easy sharing of documents.

A version control system is likely to be offered by other vendors but why force us to leave the comforts of your ecosystem? This makes litteraly no sense.

Yes, I heard that your research showed that only a fragtion of us customers use Companion but do you really need to discontinue it? At least let it be as an unsupported application.

Please reconsider.

Regards,
Frederik Vindum

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Hi do we have a timeline on when this will be available in the editor? I own my own Atlassian solution partner business and just advised a client to start using this App this morning. I looked up the doco page for Cloud to send to them only to find it deprecated by March 2022. Also this sentence makes no sense to me...

"It is currently a very buggy experience with less than 0.02% of our users using it."

I advise most of my clients to use and most like it and use it. However you have to know its there and go looking for it. For some reason Atlassian have never really let people know its there so no surprise there is little uptake. Why is that? This feature is a big step towards convincing people to use Confluence over something like SharePoint and now its gone. So it needs to be made available in the editor by March 2022 is that going to happen? It is already February. 

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You want customers to move to the cloud, but you keep punishing us for doing so.

  1. First you fix bugs for S/DC that you will not fix for Cloud.
  2. Now you keep a great feature in S/DC but you're going to delete it from Cloud.

We've already had to move to another company for help desk because of #1 (for Service Management). Now you're trying to force us to use Google instead of Office?  It will never happen, what sane company does that?

I learned early on in life, and business, that I don't remove something or someone until I have a replacement. 

If only .02% of people use it, it's probably because it's hidden. Why don't you let people know it exists (as @Dave Gardner pointed out)?

Finally, since only .02% of the people use it, how high does that number need to be before you consider those customers' needs important? We know that .02% are small enough for you to toss away.

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This is a backwards step and i agree with the sentiments above.

1/2 an hr ago i had a call requesting shifting some docs out of Confluence into Teams / Sharepoint - because it can handle live editing of office docs by multiple users at the same time.

That was (kind of) doable with Companion. You should be fixing it to make it better - but you are removing it.

I guess its time to start the tiresome process of moving away from Atlassian.

How you can do this and call Confluence "a team workspace where knowledge and collaboration meet" is beyond me and our management team.

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Our company subscribed to your cloud service. The Companion App has been, arguably, one of the most valuable apps we were provided with as part of that paid subscription. Would it not be prudent to advise paying customers, directly, in advance, that such an important app is under consideration for removal? To have to find out that this functionality is being discontinued only via a happenstance blog search does not qualify as good customer service.

I respectfully request that you reconsider the removal of this app. Thank you.

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So... Larksuite or Coda?

Please reconsider this decision as Confluence without Companion app is a major step back and will  probably be forcing some of us to go back to Sharepoint or similar in order to maintain version control of MS files. 

I respectfully request that you reconsider the removal of this app. Thank you.

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I am baffled by this situation...I was only made aware of Atlassian Companion via a popup and UI change when downloading a frequently edited Excel file 3 weeks ago. Our team was super excited about what I assumed was a new feature and I was just composing a email to advise stakeholders of a new workflow to edit the document.

I open the support page that I am planning to link in the email and see that the feature is being removed and that the announcement was made in December 2021...then WHY did you change the UI to highlight this feature and app in early February??? This makes zero sense. 

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Wow, that's a very poor notice period. I'm in the same boat as Alexandra, above - having just gotten to the point where this app was going to be a useful tool in the collaboration arsenal, I find myself stuck with the grim reality that Atlassian have joined the relentless march towards cloud supremacy; Hybrid is a thing of the past, people!

This is very much a backwards step, and one that I suspect is more designed to shift cloud consumers towards embedded external storage throughout. The short timeline also makes me suspect some sort of technical or legal issue may be at play, but to be honest it just stinks of a purely agile "it's ok, the world moves fast" product leadership. 

Key takeaway from this and other recent changes: Atlassian Cloud products are not to be relied upon for anything but the shortest strategic use in any business critical function, due to questionable product and feature lifetimes. That's quite sad.

Like Rowan Page likes this

This is a widely used functionality at my company, and while downloading the separate app is annoying, the functionality is good. Throwing my voice in to oppose this change.

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Divya Sriram Atlassian Team Mar 22, 2022

Dear Atlassian Community,
I’m Divya, a Product Manager on our Confluence Cloud team. Thank you for your feedback on the deprecation of the Companion App in the Cloud. We hear the need for an easier way to replace files. We want to enable a reliable, effective experience for all of you, which the Companion App is not.

We will deprecate the Companion App on March 31st, and are looking into building a native replace feature that will give you a better file replacing experience.

We appreciate your patience as we explore this native replacement feature. Please leave any feedback or questions below in the comments. Thank you! 

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Dear Atlassian Team,

Perhaps we don't share your use of the term "deprecate".  Deprecating in an IT context can mean removing development of a product, removing support for issue management, but still allowing its use for a period of time while you work up plans that make customers smile.  You sound like you are intentionally removing valued functionality on a whim (given the timeline) before replacing the functionality for use by the community at an undetermined future date.  This is not how customer management works.

Rating you down on "Listens to the customer" with all research organisations I connect with.

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Just remember everyone - only 0.02% of users use this app and it purely by chance that we luddites are all here moaning about it.

The other 99.98% of users (and those special 'several customers' who were asked for their views) are truly amazed at how well Confluence handles office doc editing ....

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