How to overcome quick search limitations for non-licensed Confluence Users?

Jeannine Wanderley March 1, 2024

We are aware of a limitation in Confluence Cloud where the Quick Search does not work for non-licensed users.

I wanted to reach out to the community to get ideas on how you guys are overcoming this limitation in your organizations. 

We know that the search can now be done in the portal but the navigation is limited there and the user experience is not ideal. Have you been able to find a way to improve the user experience by re-architecting your Confluence space or did you have to move the content outside of Confluence?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

 

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Nic Brough -Adaptavist-
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
March 1, 2024

Welcome to the Atlassian Community!

The only "limitation" on search in Confluence is that people can not see stuff that they do not have the permission to see a target page.

For JSM customers, they only have access to the knowledge-bases linked to the JSM portals they can see.

So I'm a bit stuck on what you mean by "limitation" - what are you expecting people to see which they are not, when you run a search?

The only changes I've ever made to improve what people find are permissions and restrictions. 

But I've gamed the search a bit to move certain pages up in the results (I don't think I'm alone when I say "Confluence searching is rubbish", and I've written several apps that change the weighting of search results in DC for many clients)

Jeannine Wanderley March 1, 2024

Hi Nic,

We have linked the Space in question to one or our portals knowing that, once the internal Portal customers log into the portal, they can actually access the Space directly in Confluence. The initial challenge was managing the log in step if internal customers launched the space from outside the Portal, which is our most common use case.

To solve that, implemented some saml authentication steps to allow them to launch the Space from our internal apps with the authentication and login process taking place  automatically. That's working well but, once the internal customers are in Confluence, though they are able to navigate to all pages within that Space, they are not able to search for keywords within the Space. When they type a term in the Search field, no results are returned.

The internal customers are able to execute searches from the Portal but we would like for them to be able to search directly in Confluence so they can retain the ability to navigate to other pages within the Space.

I'm currently watching the ticket below related to the search limitation which is in "under consideration" status. 

https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/CONFCLOUD-71545

Thanks!

Nic Brough -Adaptavist-
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
March 1, 2024

That's not a limitation, you have not given them accounts that have access to Confluence.

Jeannine Wanderley March 1, 2024

Here is some additional context:

  • The users have access to the Space (even without a Confluence license) as JSM Customers they just don't have the ability to use the Search feature within the Space while in Confluence.
  • We recently migrated from Confluence Server and our JSM Customers were able to search content within that space even w/o a Confluence license before.
    • We had "anonymous" access enabled for this space in Confluence Server but, now that we are in Confluence Cloud, this is no longer possible since the Space contains proprietary information.
    • We only want users who are JSM customers to access the Space.

I understand that these users do not have Confluence Cloud licenses and that I should not expect the system to provide the same features available to licensed users but this is something they were able to do before the migration so, to my user base, this is a limitation.

I'm looking for others in the community who faced this challenge (likely after migrating from Confluence Server) to determine if there's a viable workaround that would allow them to search content once in the Space or if our only options are to buy hundreds or Confluence licenses or move that content out of Confluence.

Thanks!

 

Nic Brough -Adaptavist-
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
March 2, 2024

So you are saying that the "limitation" is that service-desk customers who can not log into Confluence can not search for things outside their service-desk knowledge base?

Jeannine Wanderley March 4, 2024

Technically they can login because the space is linked to one of our JSM projects and they can navigate to the space in Confluence itself.

When we linked the space to the JSM project, we set the "Who can view" permission to "All logged-in users". This allows them to access the Confluence space by logging in with their Atlassian acct (as a Service Desk Customer) with read-only permissions and not just see the KB articles from the Portal.

Once in Confluence, they can navigate through the pages but not use the search capabilities.

I don't want to get hung up on the term "limitation". I'm just looking for feedback from folks who may be using Confluence in this way. I gathered, from your questions, that you may not have this use case in your organization.

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