New Version of Confluence 3.0
Atlassian (news, site) says they don't implement features just for the sake of it. That all enhancements to their solutions are based on customer feedback and needs. With the latest release of their enterprise wiki, Confluence, we see that some of these needs are universal across the Enterprise 2.0 market today. All show just how far the wiki has come in only a few short years.

CMSWire spoke with Bill Arconati, Product Marketing Manager, and Laura Khalil of Altassian to get the scoop on the new features and an update on the Atlassian Stimulus Package.

Better Than Expected

In April, Atlassian launched the Atlassian Stimulus Package: for 5 days you could buy Atlassian Confluence for 5 users for only US$5. They had a goal of 5,000 licenses for a total of US$ 25,000 with the money going to the Room to Read Charity.

Well that 5 days has come and gone, and the results were pretty awesome. Whether it was due to a great cause or a great software, we're not really sure, but in the end, Atlassian sold 13,000 licenses for over US$ 100,000.

Needless to say, according to both Arconati and Khalil, Atlassian was shocked and blown-away. Apparently many of the purchasers also bought 2nd and 3rd year licenses.

Using a custom dashboard built with Confluence, they tracked sales by the hour in real-time (F5 was a popular key that day). Apparently 1/3 have already installed the software (they can track by license registered).

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Dashboard - Stimulus Package
 

Final thoughts: Whether people bought for charity or not, there are going to be some very happy, well read kids out there.

What's New in Confluence 3.0

With the Atlassian Summit going on for the next few days in San Francisco, you have the opportunity to see and hear the news about this latest release in person. Here's a quick look to whet your whistle:

Plug-In Exchange

Atlassian has a big community of developers out there actively building plug-ins for the wiki solution and Atlassian has always offered a way to find those plug-ins. But now they have built a real marketplace that supports this growing community.

The creation of the Plug-In Exchange was in response to market demand.

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Atlassian Plug-In Exchange

Macro Browser

To support all types of users, whether technical, power-user and or just the guy in the next cubicle, Atlassian has built a macro browser that will help you easily build content pages that contain more than just text.

There are already dozens of macros shipped for Confluence already. The Macro Browser makes them accessible in a way not offered before. You can choose from a number of plug-ins, easily point, click and have them embedded in your page.

Confluence_Macros.jpg

Macro Browser

Profile Enhancements

There are a few enhancements to the Profile capabilities within Confluence:

  • Hover Profile: Want a quick and dirty way to get more information on a person? Hover your mouse over their name and see what comes up.
  • Enhanced User Profiles: Add a little more personal information to your Profile, while at the same time seeing your activity, current status and the people you follow.
  • Redesigned Personal Spaces: A new Profile Panel that shows information on activity, current status and the people you follow can be collapsed.

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Hover Profile

A Little More Social

There's also a few enhancements to increase the social collaboration of your Confluence wiki:

  • Activity Streams: A common addition to any Enterprise 2.0 solution, activity streams let you see what's happening in your networks.
  • Status Updates: Let people know what you are working on in 140 characters or less. You can even insert links into your status update and use wiki markup to format it.
  • Networks: Just like SocialText Activity Streams, you can follow people or activity streams and syndicate this information in your Profile or via RSS feed.

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Activity Streams

Listening to Customers

Atlassian gives their customers a voice in what comes in each new version of Confluence. An interesting approach to do this is through crowdsourcing bugs and enhancements. Here's what made the top of the list for 3.0:

  • PDF Export: A completely new way to create PDFs, Atlassian replaced their current engine to provide higher quality output and better control over formatting.
  • Performance Improvements: Single Nodes are now 40% and Clustered Nodes 100% faster.

Along with these additional improvements include Smarter Email Notifications and Rich Text Context Menus.

New Pricing to Top It Off

Atlassian has also adjusted their pricing models to address some flatness in the SMB market. They have reduced their 25 user licenses to US$800 from US$ 1,200 to make it more competitive.

They also adjusted the high-end by adding a new tier: 500-2000 for US$8,000. 2000+ now costs US$12,000.

In addition, hosted pricing has dropped and is more simplified.

You can get all the details on the pricing here.

More Than Just a Wiki

When you talk with Atlassian folks, you don't really hear the term wiki used a lot. When it is used, it's used more as a philosophy than a technology. For Atlassian, Confuence is a Knowledge Management Strategy. Widely used for internal collaboration, it is also used for external sites and "hyper-productive intranets".

The wiki has come a long way in terms of what it does and how it's used by organizations. SocialText and MindTouch are other examples of enterprise wiki vendors who have taken this basic technology and evolved it into enterprise class solutions.

You can learn more about Confuence and even take advantage of a 30-day trial by visiting their website.