Any plans to add file management features?

We have had a couple needs for a document/file/asset management solution lately–one which allows us to define structured metadata for files to improve advanced multi-variate search capability for users. Unstructured labels or tags aren't quite enough for us. Does Atlassian have any plans to introduce a file management product or additional Confluence features?

Thanks,

Tillman

4 answers

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Davin Studer Community Champion Jun 03, 2015

I think labels right now would be the only thing you could use for that. However, have you seen the Labels Cage add-on in the marketplace. It gives admin the ability to explicitly define the labels that can be used in a space. Which would help deal with the the label convention issue.

Thanks, Davin. I've glanced at Labels Cage before. I'll take a closer look and consider it.

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Hi Tillman,

Another possibility for you may be to use another tool - purpose-built for file management - in a 'mashup' fashion with Confluence. Just so you know for context purposes, we use this solution in our Fortune 500 company and for the right purposes, users are very happy with it. We have just under 200 spaces, and they reside in many of our major business segments so Confluence has been well adopted.  This new solution is being adopted with increasing frequency for use cases calling out for it.

Confluence keeps improving its featureset for handling and displaying files and for many purposes this is all our users need. But sometimes the features offered by purpose-built file handling applications are better fits.  In our case, we have used Box as the application, and since folders offer embed links we place those on Confluence pages, often with point-of-use instructions on how to use it (which streamlines adoption/use w/o 'training'). The embed links allow us to display specified Box folder contents on given Confluence pages, and give users the option to directly access the files on mobile via the Box app.

This provides us a dual-access solution which also gives us some Box bennies such as (some of these may be available or not depending upon the license tier chosen):

  • supports massive file sizes (depending upon the tier chosen, up to a 5GB size single file)
  • makes it easy to share files of most any size, externally, without requiring the need to provide access to an entire wiki space, nor requiring us to create or manage userids and passwords for these users as Box allows file-sharing by email invites. With Box Enterprise, there are built-in security safeguards including encryption and other features (see this recent post)
  • there is now a retention management solution which we plan to look at (see announcement)
  • they do support metadata (see this page)

We enjoy the fact that Confluence is in most cases our web presence/collaboration site of record for many of our departments, projects and business units, and that we can bring in Box if we need a heavy-duty enterprise-grade file management solution.

There are also plugins available in the Atlassian marketplace that provide stronger integration with Box such as this one.  We may consider looking at such a solution if our Box use with Confluence demands it, but for now the simple embed of chosen folders is working fine.

Sorry for the long post. Hope it may be helpful.

Tom

 

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Davin Studer Community Champion Jun 03, 2015

"one which allows us to define structured metadata for files to improve advanced multi-variate search capability for users." Could you unpack that statement? What exactly do you mean by it?

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Hi Davin, Sure: We're looking to implement something that allows us to specify a set of fields that we can use to describe a file. For example: file category (pitch deck, analytics report, case study, etc.), product, vendor, project date, budget. With structured data like that we can drill down to the file we need with query scenarios such as, "give me a list of all the pitch decks for product X sold in 2014 for $10 or more." We might be able to achieve something like this by establishing label conventions, but we would have to rely on users following them to prevent garbage out. This is exactly the sort of thing we *could* do with SharePoint, but would much prefer doing within Confluence or the Atlassian ecosystem. Does that help give context to my question about the features? Tillman

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