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Announcing Orderly: Replace Confluence Page Properties with Notion-like Databases 🐝

k15t-orderly-databases-for-confluence-teaser.png

 


tl;dr

  • Orderly Database is a new app by K15t to keep Confluence spaces in order with page metadata, field types, reports and filters.
  • Orderly Databases stores structured information in tables, that can be viewed and edited on Confluence pages (using the Orderly macros).
  • Think of it as page properties on steroids, or as Notion.so-like databases for Confluence.

 

Confluence is great to store information about what ‘things’ teams work on: Projects, feature specs, IT systems documentation, events – you name it! Simply create a page about ‘the thing’ and your team has a single source of truth.

However, it gets difficult when you have lots and lots of pages and you need to keep an overview. It gets even more difficult when you need an overview about what information is actually on those pages, let alone edit the information on each page.

Example: Imagine you want to get an overview of all projects that are delayed and want to change the target date. With Confluence out-of-the-box, this is only possible with a lot of manual work. What’s more, you would need to go through each individual page to update the target date.

With Orderly Databases for Confluence, the K15t team set out to improve this.

 

Enter Orderly Databases for Confluence...

The basic set-up flow of an Orderly database goes like this:

  1. Create a project database, where you manage all of your projects as entries.
  2. Each entry links to a project page.
  3. Additional fields contain information about each project, such as project manager, status, and so on.

Now, when Confluence users want to create a new project, they simply add an entry and fill out the fields. The new project page is created automatically and you can guarantee that the data related to each project remains consistent.

k15t-orderly-databases-for-confluence-quick-entry.png

When you dive into each project, all of the fields can also be viewed and edited directly from that page. What’s more, any updates will automatically reflect back in your project database as well.

k15t-orderly-databases-for-confluence-page-properties.png

If this reminds you of Page Properties macro, you’d be right! But Orderly Databases has many advantages:

  • When a value or a field is renamed, the change is reflected everywhere that it’s referenced, because Orderly Databases are the single source of truth.
  • Orderly’s field types help users fill out the fields correctly. At the moment, Orderly comes with 7 field types, but there are more to come!

k15t-orderly-databases-for-confluence-field-types.png

  • Need to drill down into the details of specific projects? Filter your entries based on criteria like project owner, team, or other fields to deliver different views on your data.

k15t-orderly-databases-for-confluence-filters.png

The current version of Orderly Databases is just the start. Orderly has seven field types – Text, Page links, Image, Database link, User, Date, Select – each of which have a number of configuration options.

Already have a field type in mind? We’re looking for feedback to help guide our development efforts.

 

Structured Content in Confluence: An Idea We Just Couldn’t Shake

This project was a long time in the making and I am super happy to finally release Orderly to the Atlassian Marketplace. Here’s some context to the app’s idea from inception to release:

  • Structured information in Confluence has been a topic for K15t for a long time. In fact, we had actually created an app called ‘Scroll Wiki Forms' (here is proof), which we eventually pulled back on because we thought it wasn’t quite good enough. Over 10 years later, with Orderly Databases, I think we have found the perfect approach to structured data in Confluence.
  • Orderly will make the lives of many Confluence admins and users so much easier. No more fiddling with Page Properties on many pages. Instead, (Space-) admins can create a database structure, regular Confluence users are guided to enter information in the right way, and in the end the content in Confluence stays more valuable for everyone.

Finally, I am happy to share that we’re offering Orderly Databases for FREE for up to ten users! We think every small team should be able to organize their content in the best possible way without having to think about the pricing.

What are you waiting for? Have a look yourself, and try it out for free:
https://marketplace.atlassian.com/apps/1227131/orderly-databases-for-confluence

9 comments

I've beta-tested Orderly last year, and I was very impressed even about the initial version. As a Solution partner we need this app heavily for our migrations to the Atlassian Cloud. Congrats, K15t

Like # people like this

I'm super excited for this app. @Lars Mählmann and @Jan Szczepanski have told me about it. I hope to find some time this weekend or next week to take a closer look at it.

I love Page Properties and extending the functionalities is something I've always dreamed about. (I know this sounds funny but it's the truth 😂). Can't wait to test it!

Like # people like this

@Svenja L.test it? I believe I won't recognize our Intranet on Monday. Yes, I am also excited about it and look forward to using it.

Like # people like this

Congrats, exciting to hear!
The article looks really great. We are also looking forward to have a closer look and test the app :)

Like # people like this
Jan Szczepanski Marketplace Partner Jan 26, 2022

Thanks for the opportunity to be part of the EAP team :)

I'm really looking forward to use this app myself - great work guys! 😍🥳

... oh and here is a GIF 😄

Like # people like this

I really like this. However, it's sorely missing reverse-links or lookup fields.

I created an Orderly database called "Devices" and one called "Services".  I created a couple devices, then I created a service named "VNC Server".  I linked 2 devices to the service.  Great. Except that I don't see any way to see the services from the Devices database. I tried creating a link field to Services, but it does not automatically populate, as I expected/hoped.

Any chance of this making it on the roadmap? Or maybe I'm just missing something?

Hey Scott,

totally makes sense. It's just that Orderly is still a young product, and we are building it step-by-step.

But I can tell you, that we have both features on our roadmap for Q2:
https://help.k15t.com/orderly-databases/our-roadmap-193404447.html

Best,
-Stefan

Like # people like this

Its a good start to replacing page properties! look forward to future releases and perhaps switching over one day. I like that you can lock editing of entries. For me to switch over, it needs to resemble page properties more because:

  • I wish in-page editing to not have a new page version with every entry change.
  • I wish to re-use the same fields in every new page I make. With page properties right now, I have a tempate page that i copy into new pages and fill out the page properties. Thats how I ensure to reuse the same fields every time.
  • I wish to combine this with macros from the page that in-page editing provides. One of my important fields is version number and that has to be dynamic. Currently im using QC Document Control to get the page version dynamically into my page properties (https://marketplace.atlassian.com/apps/1218839/qc-documents-for-confluence-cloud?tab=overview&hosting=cloud)
Like Max Förster (K15t) likes this

Hey @vilic, I reached out to you via email. Thanks for your thoughts! I would be happy to discuss your feedback and the use case further. Nevertheless, let me already respond to your input here:

  • You don't need to edit the Confluence page in the editor to make changes to related data. That simply happens in a macro on that page, all inline, and it does not create a new version for the page. 👍🏽

    inline_edit.gif

  • Regarding your second comment, you can use the Orderly entry macro in the template to create a new entry with that page. After that, you simply fill out the fields of your database on the page view. Inline, of course, as I mentioned above. 😎

    orderly_entry_add_page_as_new_entry.png
  • Support of external macros is something we don't have on our roadmap at the moment, but we have already discussed different options to offer access to this kind of page data. :) 

 

Best, Max

Like Matthias Gaiser _K15t_ likes this

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