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How to create complex blueprints in Confluence

Have you always wanted to make nice blueprints available to your team in Confluence, so that you can have standard pages for your projects and help people get started ? I know I have, because starting with a blank page in Confluence is HARD ! But I also don't want to have to write code, and unfortunately until now you needed something like this just to have a placeholder in a simple table :

blueprint1.png

So, how can we make blueprints easy ?

 

Meet Blueprint Creator

I recently discovered the app Blueprint Creator for Confluence and it made my life so much simpler. I'm in a technical team and often need to write documentation on system architecture or software, and share it inside my team and with other colleagues. The problem is that other teams or even people in my own team have different page structure for their own documentation, meaning that we sometime have different pieces of information in our documentation. With a blueprint for my documentation pages, I could make sure that everyone has the same page structure, knows what information to write where, and of course doesn't start with a blank page !

Installation

The Blueprint Creator app can be installed from the Atlassian Marketplace, like any other app :

blueprint2.png

 

Once the installation is done, let's go to our team space and to Space Tools → Content Tools → Create New Template

blueprint3.png

 

Time to create our first blueprint now !

 

Creating a blueprint

We can start our first blueprint here, by adding various placeholders (they can be simple text field or lists, users, dates ...). In our case, I want my pages to always have a component name, the technical stack it uses, where it will be hosted and the internal domain:

blueprint4.png

Here, I've added the placeholder Component Name and set it as the page title, changed the page layout with sections, added tables with other placeholders and even a Draw.io diagram that will automatically be generated and attached to the page !

After saving the blueprint and selecting it to create a new page, I will be able to choose from different options (component name, technical stack, ...) :

blueprint5.png

 

This information will then be populated to my page after I click on Create :

blueprint6.png

 

You can seen that the page title was automatically set, and labels were set too from the Hosting and Domain fields :

blueprint7.png

This means that there's no need to check after someone creates a new documentation page that they remembered to add labels.

In the end, you have a page that's already populated with information and has the structure and macros you need to make awesome documentation and share it with your team !

blueprint8.png

 

You can also automatically create index pages and buttons to create new pages, just like the Meeting Notes blueprint for example.

 

Final thoughts

As you can see, it's definitely easier to use this app rather than trying to code a blueprint from scratch : no need to know Groovy, it's an easy click and drag interface and you can automate page titles, labels, index pages ...

Did I mention you can also use Blueprint Creator for Space blueprints ? If you often need to create new spaces for your projects, you can automate this process: create as many pages as you want, choose a hierarchy, set labels and child pages easily !

 

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