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Documenting features X products at scale in Confluence?

Hi all, I'm asking for suggestions, ideas and brainstorms related to documenting / tracking / relating many products and their many, many features in Confluence.

Essentially, we need to document which products do or don't have which features, and if they do, link(s) to the documentation that provides more detail. The scale we are talking about is, say 250-350 individual features and 150 products. 

To date this group has been using a very large Excel workbook, with features as rows and products as columns, and text in the individual cells.

Some of the options I can think of include,

  • Continue using Excel but display the workbook on a wiki page
  • Page Properties & Report macros (except I don't think PP/PPR are meant to scale to this degree)
  • Figuring out something creative or crafty in Jira
  • A Confluence add-on of some type (although this may not be an option for us)

I suspect that this situation really requires a relational database, but I don't have a good solution or option there yet.

Ideas? Examples? Brainstorms???? Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

1 comment

@Michelle RauI have a very similar problem - trying to design a confluence based solution and currently the best idea i have is Page Properties & Report macros (separate child page for each feature (created from template)) and page properties report to display all features (to have a similar view to the one we currently maintain in excel)

 

Have you found any better ideas? I'll be keen to know which solution you've decided to go with

Hi @Anna Dziubańska for the time being I have been using the Page Properties & Report macros. This is indeed generating a list like I intended but there are a couple of drawbacks.

  • The PPR report is not sorting properly by one of the columns (Confluence 7.4.3). Not sure if this is a bug, need to research.
  • Some team members seem a bit confused about whether or how they should fill out the PP table. (coaching can help here)
  • It's only possible to sort the PPR report by one column, when what we really need is a list where it can be sorted first by one, and then by a second. The team has done a great job of putting their pages in a hierarchy, but the PPR report does not mirror the hierarchy of the pages. This can partially be mitigated by using labels and filtering to generate multiple PPR reports instead of one long list. (For example, one PPR to list all pages under "first category," then another PPR to list all pages under "second category," and so on.)

It might be possible to generate a more sophisticated listing by using ServiceRocket's Scaffolding, LiveTemplate and Reporting add-ons. Scaffolding can add metadata to pages; LiveTemplate keeps data entry consistent across pages, and Reporting can generate reports using the metadata. I hesitate to use this more complicated solution right now, but it could probably work.

Let me know what direction you go in, too!

We've tried the scaffolding app (mainly because we would like to use live template), but unfortunately it doesn't work with page properties report and the workaround they proposed in one of the help sites does not work as we expected.

 

We are currently using Table Filter for Confluence by Stiltsoft to work together with page properties report - it allows you to sort/filter by multiple columns

 

We have not fully set up the solution though - as I'm a bit worried about the size of the page properties report (ours would have ¬300 rows) - we've only tested it on around 30

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Hi @Anna Dziubańska and @Michelle Rau ,

I'm from the Stiltsoft team and the Table Filter and Charts for Confluence app is one of our add-ons.

We confirm that the app works with the Page Properties Report macro perfectly well - you may check here for the use cases.

The 300 rows is not a limit for our macros, they support thousands of rows. To make such big tables readable, use the pagination feature inside the Table Filter macro. 

Maybe a short 30-minute live demo will be interesting for you and your colleagues? Please book your time and we'll be glad to answer all your questions regarding aggregating tables, collecting data and amplifying standard Confluence reports.

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