Adding members to a group in Confluence Cloud

richard.wilkinson November 5, 2019

I'm rearranging user groups in our Confluence Cloud system to try to improve a setup that I "inherited".

I just created a new group that I basically want to add all our users to, which will correspond to permissions on a particular space. We currently have 236 users. We don't allow anonymous access and I don't want to just assign this permission to the confluence-users group, as I would rather keep the permissions explicitly on the confluence-users group minimal. (And we might not actually want all users in this group anyway).

This is proving surprisingly hard to do through the Admin UI. Initially I just thought it would be tedious, but I'm actually not even sure how you are intended to add users to a group in bulk. Is it possible?

When you click the Add Users button on the Group screen, rather than a paginated, selectable list of users, you get a scroll box with a search at the top, and the first 20 users (in alphabetical order) displayed. I duly clicked and added the first 20 users, and clicked Add Users again - to see the same 20 users offered again. There is no way to get to the second page. Trying search terms doesn't work well either - if there's more than one page of results, you only ever see the first page, even if all those results are already in the group. For example, I can't search for the organisation part of an email address and then add all the people with that address because I'll only ever see the first twenty of them in the results, even after I've added those twenty.

I am not going to search individually for every single user in the system, and I can't think of any other way to actually make the "Add Users" list display the users I want to add. Trying increasingly inventive searches to display different sets of users doesn't seem like much fun.

So the other way to do this would be through the Users screen, and then adding each user to the group in turn, individually, as there is no bulk select or change mechanism that I can see. This is doable but tedious and error-prone, especially as the User list doesn't show you which groups the user is in unless you click through, so you can't see who has already been added.

Surely there must be a better way to do this that I'm missing? How have others done it? Even if there's a good trick to add "all users" there may be other cases in which I just need a big subset, and I can't see how the system intends you to do this...

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richard.wilkinson November 5, 2019

I've come to the conclusion that this "Add Users" button in the Groups screen is fundamentally broken... not just a bad interface, you can't even use it for what it's supposed to be used for. How are you supposed to use a search that can never display more than the first 20 results?

And whoever thought that a small, scrollable list plus a search box was a sensible interface for this in the first place? All you need is a list of users, paginated, showing basic details plus a check box to put them in the group! Filters and search would help, but even those are almost extras compared to the ability to actually get to a user that's on page 2.

Sorry, I had actually meant to start this as an actual question not a rant, but I think the answer is just that "it's broken" and if I wanted to do this regularly I'd need to persuade the company to spend money on one of the user management plugins.

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