Share confluence page to non user

I am testing sharing some of our confluence content to external users.

I've added an external email address, and the linkis shared, but it then prompts the user to login. They don't have an account. The page specifically states:

"The recipients can be Confluence users or any email addresses."

How can they access the information?

Thanks

Tim

18 answers

1 accepted

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Hi @Tim Chapman,

We're about to release the v2.0 of Share Attachments for Confluence. In this new version, we allow the sharing of pages with non-confluence users, so you can send any page without giving public access to your Confluence instance.

Regards,

Gorka

No good for Cloud instances and this is also a paid add-on. There needs to be a better solution.

No good. Needs to work on cloud instances

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This one has killed me and have been slowly transitioning to Google Docs, which is actually working out pretty nicely so far.  I feel like Atlassian is missing the mark on newer companies who are lean and work with consultants and end-users directly.  But maybe that's just me. 

Ann Worley Atlassian Team Aug 11, 2017

What prevents you from adding an account for the external user, and giving access to just that page? Do you not want to use a license or is there also a technical reason?

I work with a lot of people from contract manufacturers to beta testers to end users to retailers.  They all need access to various bits and it's turning out I need to have a particular users I trust have access to an otherwise private area.  Usually these folks aren't employees but end users who are interested in helping develop a product along side.  With Google I just enter their email and the permissions heirarchy is as simple as adding it to a folder.  I can even have a 'share link' and anyone with that link can see it immediately.  No setup or manually creating accounts.

Then there's the licensing issue of taking up seats per account and I'd quickly be paying for lots of users that individually rarely use the tool.

I've done the export thing and that's, well, only read-only and the export is very basic.  Some of the pictures don't land right and I also put videos on some pages. 

It's just not a very 'sharey' tool.  Any public spaces are just that - public and it's the whole space which can be dangerous when you have to go in and restrict individual pages after the fact.  There is an area between private/secure and public.  And full private is easier to setup on something like Drive as well.  All you need is an email.  Login issues and me forgetting to unrestrict or set up permissions on a particular page have ended up costing some time and some folks kinda don't want to deal with any of that.  The end users in particular (who are being generous to me with their time in the first place) don't want to have to create new accounts and login to a tool that is new to them.  Most folks kinda just don't do it.  And since they aren't employees I cannot demand anything.  So it's got to be easy so I get more folks writing and reading.

So to answer, it's both.  Maybe I've missed something major here but I do not think this has been addressed considering no solution has been offered to the OP since 4 years ago outside of the server-based and paid for add-on.  So I think it's time to bail, unfortunately.

@Ann Worley Still awaiting a response for this. The above comment from @Philip Mease highlights a lot of issues that I think many users are feeling, and so far I've seen nothing from Atlassian to try to remedy the situation.

Creating a new user and assigning permissions to just that page would be a lot of work. 

+1 here about this. It's critical for us to be able to share single pages public. 

+1 here, same feeling of "unresponded requests" not only in this case, but in a lot of other little needs, where the solutions would be buy a plugin or have an unhandled open case here.

+1 This is exactly what I was trying to do today. Ending up exporting some pages:(

+1

I don't want use Google Docs for this, don't want use exports... Only simple "share user with email".

@Ann Worley +1

 

Is it possible to share a single page to a existing user which doesn't have access to that space? Because for me it doesn't work. After inserting username and pressing the share button I get a green checkmark, but then when I press the share icon again there are no users in there. And the user get a error message when he wants to access the page (not available).

Ann Worley Atlassian Team Jan 17, 2018

@Christian ee If a user does not have permission to see a page, the page cannot be shared with them. The share feature does not add permissions or remove page restrictions.

@Ann Worley So when I understood you right, it's not possible to share just a single page from a space to a user when it doesn't have permissions to that page. So why you implement a share button that it's not a share button at all?? 

It's really bad that I have to give access the user to the whole space and then restrict all other pages so that he can see just the only one page. Because every time you create a new page you have to restrict access for the user again and it has to come into your mind to do this. Both things are a very bad user experience :-/

All cloud sites have this functionality to give access to a single page but you don't?? When do you plan to implement this "state-of-the-art" feature???

It's for sharing with people who have permission to see it.

@Nic Brough [Adaptavist], ok, yes but why just restrict it to these users? I can understand it from the point of security in a huge company where the users shouldn't share details from one space to other users. But the admin wo has the rights to change permission should be able to add an "opt-in" for a single page for selected users. This is a basic functionality for iCloud, Google drive, Nextcloud, Dropbox,... and so on. Atlassian marketing is saying that you can put all your files from that services into confluence because it's easier (and it is) but they don't have this pretty basic functionality within Confluence??

You might think it's "basic", but have a read through the conversation, and more usefully, the request that has been raised to get it added.  It's simply not that important or useful a feature for Atlassian to bother (yet)

Thanks, Nic. Just testing the software to migrate to from another wiki and within an hour of testing, this is already an issue for me. Single source of truth for content curating and document management optimally means flexible and nimble view and share policies. I want to create some documents which are internal and external at the same time. E.g. I might want a single environment policy that i can share a link to externally to view without sign in, have internally for staff, and embed on a our webpage and be publicly visible. 

It's the same answer as above.

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Hi @Mauro Ezequiel Fernandez Badii

@Tim Chapman is askings something different, Sharing a page with external non-confluence user. Like you can do on Google Docs with Share-Link. Something which I also would like to see. Same as my collegues.

Setting up public access for the whole wiki or even a space is not an option. ONLY a secret link for a single Page

@Gorka Puente [Comalatech] unfortunatly your tool does not work with cloud based Confluence OnDemand

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Hi there - I'm a product manager for Confluence Cloud. Thank you for your comments on this discussion thread, and for the feedback on the use cases where privately sharing with anonymous users is crucial. 

As per Ann's earlier comments, there is a feature suggestion open for this where you can comment and vote: https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/CONFCLOUD-32999.

This feature isn't on the Confluence Cloud roadmap, however it hasn't been ruled out for inclusion at some point in the future. It is clear that this type of sharing would be a useful feature, which is why the suggestion hasn't been closed.

It seems to me that people have been asking for this since 2014 and clearly there is a need. I notice that someone has even developed an external plugin (unfortunately just for the server solution I gather). So I don't understand why this feature isn't on the roadmap for cloud. Perhaps not a high priority for you, but still worthy of road mapping. 

 

From my point of view, it is yet another reason for me to look for a solution elsewhere. And bit by bit I get to the point where Atlassian just no longer rates on my radar. This feature could help with stickiness for your customers, but it's just pushing me away. First helpdesk ticketing now knowledge base ... once I move those away, I could then question whether Jira has a place in our business. 

@Nicholas Hutchings I totally agree, I don't understand their logic behind this, I really like Jira but they seem to be pushing their customers away, if you have any good suggestions on where to move, please share.

To be honest @Eliav - we've reached the stage of building in-house with a wordpress instance. Also looking at the Zoho wiki option that comes with their Helpdesk

@Caroline Bartle Please consider how many people have posted in this thread, and for how long. I 100% do not want to trust a sharing feature to a Third-Party plugin, and even if I did, we use Confluence Cloud and wouldn't be able to use Comalatech's solution anyways. I really liked writing tutorials and guides in Confluence but if I can't share them with non-atlassian members on an ad-hoc basic I won't be able to use Confluence. 

Hi! I am a product manager myself, and I understand well that not every feature can be added to the product, sometimes you have to say now. But I am confident that this feature is not a corner case. I think this feature is absolutely necessary for people who work with external clients a lot: consulting teams, website and app developer studios. This seems like a whole chunk of you audience. The reason why you might not be seeing any activity from this audience is beacause... they are using docs, paper and etc! I think you guys should do more research into that, I just can not believe that this feature is not useful for many puseful. In the mean time, we are not going to use the product, as we have to work with external clients all the time. Having the ability to share documents with them and for them to leave comments on the documents is crucial. Sharing a pdf over mail and the receiving edits over email and updating the documents seems like a lot of hassle. I need the ability to allow external people to view and comment on the documents in the system. 

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Has anyone a solution for this question yet?  I'm in the same boat.  Right now it seems like it's either fully private or fully public with no middle ground.

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8 months later and I'm getting the same issue - anyone have an update on this? Would also like to be able to share a page with a single external user, rather than making it public.

Update: There is an add on in the marketplace for this, but it's not free and is only for the server version of Confluence, which doesn't help those of us using the cloud solution.

https://marketplace.atlassian.com/plugins/com.keinoby.confluence.plugins.share-attachments/server/overview

Surely there has to be a better answer to this?

Ann Worley Atlassian Team Aug 11, 2017

If the page is not available to anonymous users and the user does not have an account, they will not be able to see it.

Would it help to export the page and email it to them?

Not really, since exporting the pages makes an absolute mess of formatting a lot of the time, and is limited to Word or PDF. Also means we have to export and import constantly to update, which completely defeats the point of Confluence (intended to reduce our use of emailing documentation back and forth!).

To me this is a serious oversight on Atlassian's part. As mentioned in other comments, even free services like Google Docs allows this kind of sharing!

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Hi Tim,

You'll have to enable annonymous access to your Confluence instance.

Take a look at this guide for instructions; https://confluence.atlassian.com/display/AOD/Setting+Up+Public+Access

Cheers!

Page Not Found - so pick one from the list...whichever matches a need...

Anonymous access? That doesn't seem logical

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Ann Worley Atlassian Team Aug 21, 2017

There is a suggestion ticket open, requesting the ability to share pages as you are describing: Ability to share a page to an anonymous user with a private URL

Since the suggestion is on our public-facing bug tracker you can add comments and vote, to communicate directly with the development team responsible for adding features.

These bugs were created over 3 years ago, and the latest comment, which isn't even from the dev team, is from over 2 months ago. This is simply not at all helpful - just redirecting the problem to someone else. When can we expect to actually see any work happening on this feature? I am amazed that this ticket can be untouched for YEARS, while we were given an entirely new UI experience recently that absolutely nobody asked for. Maybe refocus the dev efforts to something actually helpful?

There isn't even a way to vote on the Cloud version of the issue: https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/CONFCLOUD-32999

The link @Ann Worley has above is for the server version.

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It's crazy that this still hasn't been dealt with. @Philip Mease had some good points, please address them.


Barney

Voting with your feet. I like it!!

Sandy

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Being a Confluence user, I also cannot understand how I cannot share a single page with an external user. This is such a common occurence, e.g. sharing a policy for review with a regulator, or sharing a document with a temporary team member. Being a company that uses suppliers regularly, your solution to just make the page anonymous is not satisfactory and neither is the solution to add user / remove potentially every couple of weeks, or more if the users on the supplier side is changing.

This really has to be incorporated into the product. The only reason I can see for not doing it is that it forces us (small businesses) to purchase a higher volume license and then pay more money in order to allow people access to the document.

Currently I have to recreate the document in another storage mechanism and so makes me wonder if I should actually just forget Confluence altogether and use a different system.

Many thanks.

Completely agree with you.

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+1 from me.

The use case for this is really simple.

My company is a digital agency. We have multiple clients, large and small. We use Confluence for the majority of our documentation on our own systems, AND for the systems/projects of our clients that we're working on.

We work collaboratively with our clients. For each client (Organisation), we'd like to create a space in Confluence, probably identified by the name of that Organisation. For each of these spaces, we'd like to grant access to one or more employees of that Organisation. Some will have read/write access, some just read access.

That's it.

Naturally we don't want to create full user accounts for all employees (that need access) for all the Organisations (100+) that we work with.

Hoping that Atlassian will come up with a smart solution one day for this.

Ross

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Confluence's collaboration features are awesome, and so is the goal to centralize knowledge and information. Understandably licensing is part of the business model, and most sharing occurs between internal users, but we all share information externally!

But without anonymous external sharing of individual pages, our users will just default to duplicating content (no!) in a free competitor's platform, such as Google Drive or OneDrive

From the IT side, it makes alternatives more appealing to not have to provision new users anytime someone wants to share externally, or worry a plugin will break on an upgrade. Sharepoint, heck, even the open source Documize  has external sharing with link expiration. 

While the aforementioned alternatives offer "free" external user access, even offering cheap buckets of "external user licenses" limited to x pages would be better than nothing. 

On the upside, it might drive actually drive additional license purchases to avoid "Who is Anonymous Aardvark", and might get new users to see how great Confluence is and tell their teams about it!

Atlassian Team, what do you all use when you need to collaborate externally with an external partner on a just a single or few pages ... do you provision new users and futz around with permissions?

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+1 for this feature. I understand the complexity of sharing a page with external non confluence users if the page has links to other Confluence pages.

But atleast to start with, we should get this feature without thinking about links to other Confluence pages within shared page.

NO!  Implementing a botch without thinking about security would be fatal.

It would be illegal to do this to Confluence in the second largest Atlassian marketplace and soon the third as well (unless it could be globally disabled, in which case you might as well not implement it)

PLEASE, think about data security before making silly statements like that.

@Nic Brough I do understand your concern regarding the security, and I  also would love to see that dealt with, however, for the love of god, how hard will it be for them to allow sharing pages that DON'T have links in them for nonusers for starters?? you would think it wouldn't take 4 years.....

Same as above - if you're sharing the pages, you must trust this person, so make them a user, or make the page anonymous.  (Or scrape it and send separately, bypassing your security policy)

I do not agree with your argument.

From a security perspective, having to trust a user does not require to create an account for them just to share one or more pages. A sharing link contains a (secret) token and thus, does in some sense represent a password to access the shared content. Additionally, the sharing link can be revoked in case of potential leaks/compromise.

I think this is a perfectly fine solution, especially for less confidential content - and has successfully been deployed and used by many other services, eg. Google Docs.

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Why is this marked *solved*?  It is not solved.

I have recommended Confluence many times in the past, but today as an influencer, I can no longer recommend Confluence--this is one of many reasons.

By not addressing the awkward roles and rights mgmt, (and other long-standing short-comings) Atlassian is begging for people to go elsewhere.  They create an opportunity for better solutions which have addressed these and other flaws.

My current company is very unlikely to pick Confluence. 

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We also absolutely need to be able to share a page to an external non user, at least as read only

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Lets hope that this come soon. At least as readonly share. Current situation is quite pain when we need make half of documents to google docs. 

Confluence & Jira have extremely clunky roles and rights managements. We are strongly thinking about switching to other tools.

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+1

As others have said, why has this issue been marked as solved? It isn't.

Obviously it's a crucial feature (nowadays) to be able to quickly share one or more pages with external parties, without having to create an account for them.

Do you actually suggest that I create 10 user accounts and set permissions to share a short text of a project proposal with my client's company that has 10 employees?
Sorry to say that, but that's just impractical and unworldly.

Sad to see that Atlassian rather sees longstanding Confluence users leaving their product(s) just to make some additional license fees here and there...

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I've previously posted that my company is a digital agency with multiple clients, and that we'd like to be able to create documentation for each of our clients, and then share it with them in a collaborative, wiki-like way.

Given that this is not viable with Confluence currently, the next best thing appears to be to encourage each of our clients (who can benefit from shared documentation) to create their own Confluence account, and then for them to add a single user account (e.g. info@...) for my company to that Confluence account.

The above solution is not ideal, mainly because it's not as collaborative as a well thought out shared solution, but it does the trick.

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