Adaptavist Credibility

Well..I thought it was a bit rash at the time that Adaptavist issued it's free Essentials Plugin Pack "forever" and I was right.

It now seems that "free" becomes "paid" and forever becomes "bulldust" where Advanced Search is concerned if you wish to upgrade past 5.0.1

I for one will never be taking them at their word "ever" again

I would also go on to question Atlassians judgement in dealing with a company of such questionable ethics?

I hope the extra bucks are worth the trashing of the reputation!

Essentials Plugin Pack - Adaptavist



This is the Adaptavist Essentials Plugin Pack.

Thank you for getting the free license for this pack.

Licenses for this product...

Essentials Pack - adaptavist

Active (Forever)

Plugins covered by this product...

Adaptavist Footnotes


Adaptavist Content Formatting Macros


Create Page Macro


Adaptavist Advanced Search


Page Information Tools


Adaptavist Rate Macro


Adaptavist Replace and Render


Label Tools Plugin


17 answers

1 accepted

19 votes
Accepted answer

Davet, I as I said in our email exchange at the weekend, I'm really sorry you feel so badly about this. Adaptavist has made a lot of software available for free in the past. All of that software remains free today, and will remain so.

If we'd simply discontinued the plugin in question rather than developing and charging for a new version, would you be any happier?

The reality is that to continue to provide free software, and to continually improve the support we give, we need to have some commercial software to pay the wages. We are working through our entire portfolio at the moment, and some will be commercialised, some will remain free. There are some that we may not feel in a position to provide good quality support for, which we may decide to end of life. For those who wish to use our commerical plugins, as with any software, they have to deicde if the benefit they offer is worth the price we charge. Again, software we've already released as free remains so.

I'll make you an offer. If you pay half of the price of the plugin you need to a charity, we'll match what you pay, and give you the licence. At least someone wins out of this.

Wow - harsh! And honestly, *WRONG*!

And I need to step in and defend.

EVERY plugin developer out here works VERY VERY hard, and long hours and Atlassian does not pay developers to make free plugins (or any - risk is all on the dev or dev group) or even supporting you on - so this harshness is WAY wrong!

Do you provide solutions and services for free, in your professional career, daily, for years? or do you just receive a paycheck, regardless of what you do in your workday?

* If you do provide free solutions and services - great -

Then you *really* understand that sustaining that is very difficult with the realities of life, to which costs money in most corners of the earth. Now, have you done it for 7+ yrs, solidly?!

* If not - then think about it for a moment...

Now think about doing it for YEARS, which is the kind of gracious service that Adaptavist has provided to the Atlassian community... and also to Atlassian in furthering their platform, especially in the early years, well before Atlassian Answers existed (but as very loyal and strong supporters on the old forums, always).

Maybe the issue you have is that this is a turnabout.

Well, pretty normal in life -- things can ALWAYS change. NEVER take your blessings for granted - in anything. Ever, ever!

Incredulous comment @Davet.

Not right. I am sorry.

@Simon - I get the point from last weekend that you are very sorry that I "feel so badly" but the reality is that you, as a representative of your company, have been completely remorseless about the misleading manner in which you marketed and presented your plugins and and instead offer plenty of excuses about the commercial imperatives etc.

There are plenty of people out there who provide free software without limitation, hidden agenda or resorting to dubious claims of everlasting durability, so I am fresh out of medals.

When you say

We are working through our entire portfolio at the moment, and some will be commercialised, some will remain free.

how will I know what you actually mean when you say "free" at the completion of the review? Perhaps you may take the opportunity to provide a fuller definition of what you actually mean by "free" and even take the opportunity to remove the "forever" or at least provide another definition of what you mean by the use of this word so us poor suckers are not left with any false impressions about the status of your plugins? If you do not choose to do so it leaves it open to interpretation that this is actually a deliberate obfuscation.

I'll make you an offer. If you pay half of the price of the plugin you need to a charity, we'll match what you pay, and give you the licence. At least someone wins out of this.

I appreciate your very generous offer but as I communicated on the weekend we are now currently reviewing the use of all Adaptavist plugins

Sad to see the wonderful Adaptavist get flamed on here by what appears to be a self proclaimed lawyer. Our wikis have been tremendously better because of the free Adaptavist plugins. I honestly cannot believe how much they offer for free (I hope this comment doesn't come back to bite me! :) and I think they do a great service to the entire Atlassian user community and ecosystem.

- Jon Verville, NASA Wiki Manager

p.s. @davet - it seems that youve been complaining about the same thing for over a year. perhaps you should just find a new platform? but it sounds like it is working well for you and you stay on. as they say, s. or get off the p.

As an apologist for Adaptavists ransomware policies perhaps you could explain to me the context of the use the word "forever" that I obviously do not understand?

Adaptavist were under no compulsion to use the term and yet you would have me believe that it is OK to say anything at anytime because all that one needs to do to correct it, is withdraw?

By that definition there should be no need for consumer protection against snake oil merchants because when they are inevitably caught out they can just say "I did not really mean it"

Well, I think introspective and very awesome musician Ben Harper defines "Forever" pretty well.

I'll ride that definition, since you insist on this pt.

So - take a deep breathe and turn it up >>

@Davet - I think you will get over this, no?

Never let the facts get in the way of a good personal attack

It was Adaptavist saying "free forever" - not me

In civilised countries there are laws to prevent people profiting from false and misleading claims (perhaps not where you live)

Personal? Didn't say anything about you personally, nor have personal issues with you.

I do however take issue with your comments, defaming both Atlassian and Adaptavist, honestly -- simply because you are upset that you now have to pay for plugins for your Enterprise system that you have been lucky to have for free for a long time.

You could argue that maybe some of those should be core features or functions - but that is between Atlassian and Adaptavist, and otherwise, it is what it is.

Adaptavist is not the first company in the world that has had a change in pricing strategy, and surely not the last.

Happens. And logical - businesses do not run on vapor. Customers buy products, which funds companies. Pretty standard stuff.

It is a well known rule in the marketing field that if a person is happy with a product, he will tell it to few people, while he is angry with the product, he will tell it to as much people as possible. Even in the most civilised contries, this rule applies ;)
4 votes
David Simpson Community Champion Jun 02, 2013

Surely, free forever is entirely correct. Once you've got a license and installed that version of the plugin on that version of Confluence, it is free forever.

If this is not value for money, I'm not sure what to suggest.

I'm actually a bit confused by Davet's original question. I'm looking after some old Confluences where the Adaptavist plugins are installed, and the plugins are free, forever. On those versions.

The way I read the licences when they were installed, the plugins were free, but there were no guarantees that they would remain free in later versions of the plugins that were for later versions of Confluence.

Is this what the problem is here? That "free for version 3.x of Confluence" plugins are "paid for version 5 of Confluence". Or have I completely misunderstood?

The way I read "free forever" is that the plugins will remain free including updates that make them compatible with later versions of confluence.

Any plugin that is "free at the time", providing it's not time-bombed, is of course "free forever" if you take it to mean the version of the plugin at the time of downloading, for that version of confluence. So the fact that they were making a big deal about "free forever" made me think that this included updates.

I agree with most of the commenters' points, and I don't agree with the tone of the question, however I think there is some validity in it.

Mmm, that's what I thought too. Although I somehow went away with the "these versions are free free" message, I do remember telling the client that there was no guarantee that they'd be free for later versions of Confluence. I also remember having to read quite a lot to establish that.

Agree with Jamie, if this counts in any way. David, while strictly logic you're right, you sound like an attorney :) - and we only end up in costly legal wars when common-sense fails, this is the only time when we need an attorney.

Preserving common-sense is paramount IMHO.

As pointed out above "free forever" could mean "free now and works forever with your current version" or it could mean "free now, works forever with your current version, but may cost in the future for a newer version".

Yes, it would have been better to specify the intention less ambiguously, but I don't see deliberate deception in this. Simon seems to me to have made a reasonable approach to resolving this at

There are plenty of other add-ons that have gone from zero-cost to non-zero cost over the past few years, including Andy's JEMH, Bob Swift's CLI and some ServiceRocket's own plugins.


Ours didn't (we have 3 no-cost plugins as a company and we have 2 OSS ones as personae).

I admit that sometimes you need to make tought decisions, but that ones should be carefully balanced and explained to the users. Transitioning from no-cost to paid should be slow and well explained to all. Otherwise, it becomes the nightmare we all see above (I take no sides in the above problem, I do not think Adaptavist deserves it, or that Davet does not have the right to complain - but not with such words)

However, users and providers should know what free software means, and the definition is here (since the inception of GNU):

No offence, but let's not try to redefine "free". They both got it wrong:Adaptavist claiming that no-cost SW is free SW, and Davet because the licensing model is "Commercial - no charge", is closed source, but believed it's free SW.

In my opinion both should apologize, this is a classic over-reaction on both sides.

(BTW, I think I will need to ask to change some of our banners to eliminate the "free" wording from them :) )

This opinion it's just mine, and not my employer's, and I sicerely do not care about karma too much :) so you're free to downvote me for pi******g against the wind here.

Hmm...thanks for the pointer on how how to be more scientifically rigorous - by heading over to my music archive.

I would never have thought of that in a million errr...ever

Ah - but music is indeed the answer to so many things, honestly.

Never forget the music, and you will be ok, forever - and the word works there for sure! :)

Have a good one!

There are many generous words of interpretation and qualification by posters here - none of which were used by Adaptavist.

Adaptavist had every opportunity to qualify, hedge and equivocate at the time but chose to do none of it.

The reasons behind this choice are what prompted this post and have opened the credibility gap for me.

People are judged by the words that thay use, not just in law.

I note that it now also time for Adatavist to pull the net in on the Content Formatting Macros and move it from the "free forever" pool to the "Paid forever" pool. That tide of commercial imperative is surging at the moment.

A colleague pointed out to me that the balloon attached to "Active(Forever)" actually states a 50 year license for the Essentials Pack which is yet another fine example of a poorly thought out and executed licensing shambles.

p.s. It is also not a good look for Adaptavist workmates to be upvoting their colleagues who defend this blatant nonsense.

@Alain Moran

Rather than posting snide comments in a separate forum you may be better served to address the issues here where it was raised and begin with some recognition that it was not me that used the word "Forever" nor me that promised a license expiration period of 50 years.

Just because someone has the audacity to call you out for deceptive, unprofessional, misleading and hamfisted marketing of your plugins does not mean that you and your colleagues should go straight into denial mode and subject the complainant to derisory and belittling comments.

Adaptavist is desperately in need of a PR department which could gently advise you to take it on the chin, and to admit that you could possibly have been more circumspect with your overly ambitious claims to license your plugins "forever" or "50 years" (whichever happened to suit at the time)!
It is obviously not apparent to yourself, or anyone else at Adaptavist, that the the longer you persist with your denials and refusal to acknowledge any lack of of transparency or inadequately detailed licensing documentation, the more it begins to look like a ploy! In the absence of said PR department advice, perhaps someone with a better gist of the English language and gretaer understanding of the consumer protection laws could be given a more senior role in your organisation to help in weaning you off the use of these unnecessary, undeliverable and outlandish claims.


and Davet because the licensing model is "Commercial - no charge", is closed source, but believed it's free SW.

The "model" may be "Commercial - no charge" (we won't get into examining the nuances between "free" and "no charge" here) but I "believed" that the banner clearly displaying the "free" and "Forever", everyday, for years, was correct.

You are now suggesting that this was an unreasonable position to hold, and like many of the other posters here, have an altogether different way of using the English language.

“I used to believe in forever, but forever's too good to be true”
A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

@Jon Verville

I am sure if NASA promised a fifty year warranty and then withdrew it suddenly with the only explanation being "the money made me do it", their integrity and trustworthiness would ber greatly diminished, as is the case here.

"self proclaimed lawyer"=unsubstantiated claim

"youve been complaining about the same thing for over a year. " !="the same thing"

This is a study in how to successfully transition from free to paid plugins ala Bob Swift (and keep the customer relatively happy)

Bob comes across as open, honest, transparent and professional when compared with Adaptavist's effort.

From the banner all the way down to fine print Bob makes it very clear, in bold letters, that the given plugin is being changed to a "Paid" status.

Adaptavist, on the other hand, make no mention, whatsoever, that they have junked their "free forever" status and it is only after troubleshooting the "red dot" and contacting Adaptavist's helpdesk (their forum is defunct now) is it pointed out that a paid license is now required to use the offered upgrade!

This seems to be entirely consistent with their cavalier use of the "free forever" terminlogy and a gung-ho approach to implied, disguised, hidden and belated defining of this misleading term.

User-installed Add-ons

Adaptavist Advanced Search


A plugin to expose the search engine and allow it's manipulation, through a variety of access mechanisms.

A free update (v. 6.0.1) is available for this add-on.
Why update to v. 6.0.1?

20th May 2013 - support extended to include Confluence version 4.3.

Read release notes for v. 6.0.1
Installed version: 5.0.1
Available version: 6.0.1
Add-on key:com.adaptavist.confluence.advancedSearch

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Run Plugin


You may update this add-on but the newest version is not free. You will need to purchase a license through Atlassian.

Macro that displays a dialog for substitution parameters and then renders the contents after substitution.

An update (v. 4.2.0) is available for this add-on.
Why update to v. 4.2.0?

Improvements and Fixes

  1. Form HTML content to needed to be corrected to following more strict standards to prevent errors like with Hide macro usage.
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Read release notes for v. 4.2.0
Installed version: 2.1.0
Available version: 4.2.0
Developer: Bob Swift
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Atlassian deserves all the credit for the Paid update banner, this was a welcome improvement for handling open source projects switching to paid. This is available on later versions of UPM.

I blogged about the reasons for the change to paid almost a year ago and I believe that most customers have seen that the benefits of the change out weigh the costs. If not, they were free (to use the open source term) to continue to use, maintain, and extend the existing open source software themselves. Most realize how expensive that task can be.

@Matt Doar

Adaptavists use of "free forever" and "fifty years" is obviously completely unpredictable.

I agree that plenty of other publishers have moved from free to paid but, to the best of my knowledge, none have revoked a fifty year license in doing so.

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