I want to use Confluence On Demand as an Online Help tool for my customers.

Hi all,

The tech company I'm at is using Confluence On Demand for our Intranet and it's great. For our online help tool we are currently using HelpConsole. I would like to create a Documentation Space and let my customers use that to find help.

My first question is: Is it possible to use Confluence On Demand for this? It looks like I can set space permissions to allow for anonymous viewing, but when I did that on a test space and tried to access it from my friend's computer I was asked to login. So, it's possible that I didn't set things correctly, but it's also possible that that is not allowed with On Demand!

(Edit: I had the Global Permissions set incorrectly. This is now working perfect, thanks!)

Second question is how would I prepare for a new software release? If we have version 1.0 of our help documentation live and are planning to release v1.1 of the documentation. I want to get the v1.1 documentation ready to go. But I don't want it live before the release is available. Is it possible that I'd have to export v1.0 and import it into a new space (by manually editing the Key). Make the changes there and export v1.1. Then delete v1.0 and import back to that space (by manually changing the Key back)? Or is there a much better way to do that? Or...again, is this just a fool's errand?

(Edited this paragraph for clarity)

Thanks for any advice and help!

Scott

5 answers

1 accepted

1 vote
Davin Studer Community Champion Nov 19, 2013

For the permissions issue global "can use" access must be granted to the Annonymous role. Then at the space level view perms should be checked. If all that is set then annonymous users should be able to see the space if they go to it. Make sure your URL bar isn't pointed to the login page. If you simply just log out to test annonymous access it will take you to the login page. I'm not sure if that is what is happening in your case, but I just thought I would mention it.

As for copying a space there is an Atlassian plugin for copying a space but right now On Demand doesn't support it. So, the only way to do it would be to exort the space and edit the xml.

Thanks Davin! I didn't have the Global Permission set correctly. Now that's working.

Regarding the other issue. I seem to be able to export the space easily. The trouble comes when I attempt to reimport it, I'm not allowed because "That Key already exists". Do you think I would have to delete the existing space, and then import it back as a new one?

Davin Studer Community Champion Nov 19, 2013

Another thought is that it looks like Bob Swift's CLI (command line interaface) for Confluence can copy a space ... and it works with OnDemand.

0 vote
Jason Worley Atlassian Team Nov 19, 2013

For anonymous access, do the following:

  1. In Atlassian OnDemand, log in as an administrator. At the top right of the screen, choose the cog icon > Confluence Admin.
  2. SelectGlobal Permissionsin theUsers & Securitysection. The settings for Confluence will appear.
  3. Click anyEdit Permissionbutton and change theAnonymous Accesssetting to can use to allow anonymous access to your project's wiki.
  4. In the space, go to Browse > Space Admin > Permissions. Configure the anonymous access setting as needed.

https://confluence.atlassian.com/display/AOD/Managing+anonymous+access#Managinganonymousaccess-EnablinganonymousaccessinConfluence

In terms of OnDemand releases, generally speaking, Confluence is updated by Atlassian staff. I'm not quite sure what you mean by version 1.0 help live. If you are refferring too Active JIRA Live Help, that plugin is not available for OnDemand and its not for Confluence. If its the page revisions, it starts on v.1 and will increment on each save (i.e. v.2, v.3, v.4, v.5).

Hope this helps!

I've tried this as a test:

  1. Exported an XML of a space
  2. Manually changed the key in exportDescriptor.properties
  3. Deleted the original space
  4. Imported the XML with the changed key

It gets to 46% complete and then I get this error:

Import failed. Check your server logs for more information. com.atlassian.confluence.importexport.ImportExportException: Unable to complete import because the data does not match the constraints in the Confluence schema. Cause: PSQLException: ERROR: duplicate key value violates unique constraint "bandana_unique_key"

So I guess that's not the approach to take. :)

David you are right Bob's CLI does work with OnDemand, we did however have some issues with it copying attachments/images but my nerds fixed it.

It's how we copy spaces when I need to update our online help. I need this done evrytime we release a new version of our software as customers are all on different versions so I need to keep all versions of the user guides online *le sigh* :)

Thanks Lillia and Davin (again!). I'll take a look at Bob's CLI. We're lucky in that we don't need to keep different versions of our online help available. But as I said, we don't want to update the documentation before the new software is available.

I know this probably doesn't answer your question but having built a full help system in Confluence this is what I would use:

* A hosted solution like https://swift.seibert-media.net/which is full version of Confluence but hosted for you.

* The excellent versioning plugin by K15T https://www.k15t.com/software/scroll-versions/overview(I did it with just the space publishing plugin but this looks to be a much slicker option). And the blog post by Sarah Maddox about it http://ffeathers.wordpress.com/2012/08/04/version-management-gets-serious-with-confluence-scroll-versions-plugin/

Depending what other features you want in your help system, such as translation, PDF export etc, there are other plugins that can help.

Jodie, I have been asked me to evaluate the differences between using Madcap Flare and Confluence (Wiki) for converting our documentation. At AAA, we use JIRA and Confluence. What has been your experience (pros and cons) from developing documentation in Confluence? Thank you for considering sharing your experiences and learnings with me.

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