we want to upgrade to latest version of Confluence (from 5.1.1 to 5.7) and JIRA (from 6.1.5 to 6.4) and we have used the Confluence/JIra addon checker which has identified:
16 Incompatible Confluence add-ons (for Confluence 5.7)
Code Macro Plugin
Confluence browser fixes
Confluence Contributors Plugin
Confluence Mobile Plugin
Confluence What's New
Copy Space Plugin
IM Presence NG Plugin
Live Search Macros
Page Tree Plugin
Table of Contents Plugin
3 Incompatible JIRA add-ons (for JIRA 6.4)
Jenkins Plugin for JIRA
JIRA Welcome Plugin
Our problem is that we are not certain if these plugins are really used by the end users and if we could disable them. Is it possible in some or other way to identify usage of these add-ons, either through the administration UI or by looking into DB?
If we are not going to disable them, then we have the option to either upgrade to earlier application version or ask the vendor for a upgrade. Or do we have other options?
It all depends on what the plugin does. One suggestion might be to look at the access logs if the addons's core functionality has a unique page that it serves up. Expand the list of modules of that the add-on provides and check what it actually provides. That will tell you real quick if you can look in access logs, custom fields or other things.
The nuclear version is to disable the plugin for a day and see if it gets noticed by user base (depending on your env that may/may not be practicable though).
As far as contacting the add-on developers - I'd go ahead and do it now. If you don't get an eta of when it will be compatible - then it might be a signal of concern. Most add-on developers already know the work involved to get it compatible to the next version (at least for minor version compatibility). That said - I wouldn't expect that add ons are compatible as soon as the next version of a product is released since the EAP versions aren't always the same that are released as the final version;
Unfortunately, there is no way to check for sure which plugins are being used and which ones are not, even looking the database.
Usually, the JIRA administrator evaluate the functionalities of a plugin and decide if the plugin is important enough to be in JIRA.
About the incompatible plugins, the fact that they are marked as incompatible does not mean they will not work in the latest version of Confluence or JIRA. Developers need some time to test the plugins to the latest version and, most of them are compatible, and the developers only sets a larger version range to the compatibility list of the plugin.
The best approach here, from my experience, is wait some weeks for the developers, and if one of the plugins still shows as incompatible, contact the developers or remove the plugin.
I think I did not help much on this, but if you have any doubts about what I said, let me know.
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