Use Confluence as a user manual editor

Hi. I am new here. I would like to use Confluence to generate both a space for internal collaboration, and a space for sharing documentations (like user manual) with customers.  I am pretty sure Confluence can handle the former task. However how about the latter task. One instant question to me is that, user who want to take a look at our user manual most probably using anoymous and I cannot predict how many of these type of users access to docs. and if I am right, Confluense charges by the number of users. If this the case, how Confluence charge me?  

Anthor question is that is there any websites that ever used Confluence to edit their user manuals? Can you give me couple of examples, and I would like to take a look at how the manual looks like? 

Last question, no matter how I edited the user manual, I would like the user manual reside in our own website "template", which means, to users, looks as if the manual resides in our own website, not in atlassian. or maybe after editing in Atlassian, we need to migrate the docs back or sync to our own website.

 

thank you.

4 answers

0 vote
Cristiano Oliveira Community Champion Apr 17, 2017

Hi Bin! How are you doing?

As far as I know, Atlassian charges you only for logged in users, so anonymous access would not be a problem.

Confluence is, for sure, a very good tool for user documentation. Atlassian itself uses it and also lots of other vendors. In this example (https://docs.bmc.com/docs/ServerAutomation/89), they really changed the look and feel, so you almost can't see it is using Confluence.

Cristiano,

So can you let me know a little bit more about how the given example bmc.com made the documentation website using Confluence?  In another words, what I understand is that when I edit using Confluence, I am working on an Atlanssia cloud host with Atlanssian.com DNS, and under Atalanssia framework. So when user want to read documents, they will be direct to atlanssian.com, leaving my own DNS host. unless bmc.com migrate all contents edited in Confluence back to their own host, in which case they need to install something from Atlanssian. am I understanding this correctly?

thank you very much.

Sam Hall Community Champion Apr 17, 2017

It's likely that they are hosting the server version of Confluence themselves, rather than Confluence in Atlassian Cloud.

Sam. 

Thank you so much for your answer. I think that was the link I missed. 

0 vote

Hi Bin,

This is possible, and you'll find many add-on vendors in the Atlassian Marketplace use Confluence for their user manuals.

Some examples:

Some people use theme add-ons to enhance the look at feel of Confluence to match their brand/website.

Here are some examples of user manuals in Confluence with theme add-ons applied

(look for the text that says 'Powered by Atlassian Confluence and... " at the bottom of the pages to learn more)

You can set up public access to your Confluence instance (or certain Spaces within it) to let anonymous users access without counting toward your license costs.

Sam Hall Community Champion Apr 17, 2017

You can also change the look and feel of Confluence without add-ons, or style it with css if you are prepared to take a more manual approach.

Great Answer and examples. That helps a lot. 

Thank you Sam.

Hi Bin,

We are one of Atlassian's add-on vendors, and we use a very similar set-up to share user manuals with our users. For example, we use our own Comala Publising add-on along with RefinedWiki's Confluence theme to produce this one. The set-up allows you to collaborate on content using Confluence's built-in tools, then publish to a public space with the push of a button. Let me know if I can give you more information about the solution. Good luck with it!

Hi Bin,

we are using Confluence to provide our users manuals to our customers (anonymous) and partners (registered users).

You can find an example here using Confluence Cloud:

https://stromasys.atlassian.net/wiki/display/PORTAL/Portal+Home

Click on the "Product Documentation and Knowledge Base" box to access the documentation.

The main issue I see using Confluence for this is once published, you must remove all comments you or your reviewers did add to the docs because comments cannot be hidden to anonymous users. So that mean you will have to remove all those comments manually, one by one, and then lose the history. You'll also have to track for internal users adding new comments you'll have to solve quickly to prevent them from being seen by your customers. Another issue I have is I have no statistics on page reading.

Also I use the Copy Page Tree addon to copy a space documentation when we provide a new version for example (this only copies the pages, not the theme).

Hope this helps

Bruno,

great. thank you so much for the tips. These help a lot. 

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