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Share a confluence page between spaces or with external users

Hi all, 

First, I know that this issue has been raised a lot over the past 10 Years or so. However, I have not yet found a solution to the problem and I wanted to check if there is any effort made by Atlassian to address this issue. 

My use cases are the following. We are currently building a jira/confluence structure for our company with a confluence space for every company division. Each division has a number of team members who have access to the space, others don't.

Now the first, easiest thing I would like to do is to share pages with users that are not part of this space. Say for example, the management division wants to share some information with a product manager. Of course, the product manager should not have access to the management space, but needs to view or edit certain pages or child pages. Or perhaps the hardware division needs to share information with production (but again, not every hardware development issue should be available to all production users). 

Second, I want to share a page with a customer, where I provide current information on the production process. This page should be in the customer projects space. However, each customer should only see the corresponding page, not every project. 

Third, the same thing is necessary in next-gen projects in Jira, where I want to assign Issues to non-Board members without granting them access to every issue in the project. This is again especially important in the development processes to protect IP and in the management because of data security issues. 

So here is what I found so far: 1) not possible with confluence, 2) not possible with confluence 3) not possible with Jira next-gen Projects. 

The following workarounds:

for 1) Make spaces public, protect the homepage and move pages that needs to be shared above the homepage in hierarchy. This is of course a ridiculous workaround, as it kills the complete structure of the space an only allows a one-level page.

for 2) Use an additional app to provide functionality of my second point. I could live with that. However I think this is a possibility which is offered by every other cloud based service and I don't really see the point, why Atlassian would just not provide that feature. Especially as they feature a "share" button, which can only be used to "share" a page with people who already have access to this page?!

for 3) Use classical Projects instead of next-gen Projects. This would mean lose the roadmap feature and transfer around 30 projects from next-gen to classical, which in Jira is everything else than straight forward. Just as above. I dont see a reason, why Atlassian would not even implement the most basic permissions settings in the next-gen projects. And I know that creating a custom Role in a next-gen Project will not help with this as this always means that you have to grant access to the entire project. 

 So I have finally come to a point where I consider to stop working with jira and confluence at all, which is sad, as I kind of like many features. However the points mentioned above really kill the experience for our company. 

I would be interested to know how other companies treat these issues. If you have any further suggestions for workarounds, I am happy to hear about them. And if you can share any insight, on why Atlassian is ignoring these issues, I am also interested. 

 

Cheers, 

Felix

 

2 comments

Everywhere I use Confluence, this system works well, controlling access to places that should be restricted, while sharing pages with everyone who should be able to see them.  It is a system designed for visibility though and restrictions and hidden spaces should be an exception.  When you say "I want to share a page with someone in a different division", it tells me you have a restricted and closed system.  I'd fix that first, rather than try to change a tool that is designed for sharing.

Atlassian don't have any issues to ignore, the problem is with how you are (not) sharing information, not with the tools.

Dear Nic, 

I have seen that you answered most of the posts concerning this issue with always the same attitude, that it is the users fault that they want to share pages from restricted spaces. Maybe it works for you. For us, and many other people (as you can see on the number of posts concerning this issue, including apps to fix the external viewer issue), it doesn't (or at least is much more effort that the other way around).

Apart from that, it seems very inconsistent itself. Say, I have a restricted page that I want to share with a coworker. I can press the share button (which is ridicculous, as I cant share the page, I can only hint coworkers to a page they already have access to). He will get an invite and find a "restircted page" window. Now he can ask for access, I get an mail, grant him access (again), the system saying, the user already has access, while he still has no access. Why would such a workflow even be possible? Wouldnt it just be possible to introduce a button on a page to "unselect inherited permission" and the problem would be solved. I don't get why this is such a no-go, really.

And your argumentation seems ridiculous to me. We do have an open culture and share stuff, and many pages are accessible for everybody. There are just divisions, which are not for everyone, say HR, Management, Sales, Intellectual Property. In these Divisions, the "open" approach just doenst work. I don't know how you handle private employee, business development or customer data. But we are legally obliged to make sure this information is not shared with the whole company.

So perhaps confluence is not the right tool for us. But I really doubt, that we are the only company with such issues. 

Cheers, 

Felix

Hey @Felix Rucker 

Atlassian have an open feature request which I think aligns to your use case, see https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/CONFSERVER-7089 although you'll notice its been open for a long time so I assume there is a fundamental architectural reason why permissions work this way.

Could you split your content between 'open' and 'restricted' spaces for those divisions that have that need? You could use page include / excerpt include to pull open content to the restricted space if you wanted to maintain a more detailed structure in the restricted space.

All the best

James

Hi James, 

thanks for your comment. I have seen the issue, however I have also noticed that is is open for 13(!) years now. So I just wanted to raise some more attention. 

Your suggested workaround would certainly work and with the excerpt feature it would even be possible to maintain a certain page structure, however it still seems very complicated considering that my request "I want to share a page with a co-worker" seems quite simple and not worth restructuring the whole organisation. This is at least my opinion :)

Cheers, 

Felix

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