altassian, enterprise collaboration, confluence
Atlassian offers an improved search engine in Confluence 5.2.

With so much collaboration software out there, vendors are trying to distinguish themselves by ramping up key features. One player, Atlassian, is now offering what it describes as "a whole new search experience" for version 5.2 of its Confluence content and team collaboration platform, as well as an add-on offering a simple entry to files stored externally.

Once teams have collaboration tools, attention of course turns to where common content resides. These days, needed information can live in a wide variety of locations -- local hard drives, the cloud, emails or inside collaborative software. In fact, one of the hottest areas of development in the world of collaboration in recent weeks has been how and where content should be shared and synced across devices, such as in the spate of recent announcements from

50 Per Cent More Relevance in Searches

Atlassian said it has found that users frequently need documents they've recently used, which is why a click in the search box in version 5.2 brings up most recently viewed content. The company said that the new search engine will deliver relevant results even for phrases that are only somewhat related to the topic you're looking for.

Confluence's new search engine also features an updated algorithm that Atlassian said returns results with up to 50 per cent more relevance, and offers a simplified interface for the use of filters. Additionally, the company said search indexing now requires up to 40 per cent less disk space in the new search engine, thus improving performance.


A new add-on, Filepicker from Ink, allows the user to quickly access files stored in the cloud, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote or Box. The links connect to the external files from Confluence's pages, thus maintaining content within the application.

Confluence Speed, BluePrints

Speed has been a recurring key theme for Atlassian's development of Confluence. The company has emphasized speed of use in various incarnations of Confluence, and once created an infographic showing how much time workers spend because of email, pointless meetings and interruptions.

In April, Atlassian released Blueprints for Confluence, which it said could help speed up certain practices in content management and workplace productivity. The initial Blueprints included one that provided a tool to improve meetings, another that helped keep track of where files were stored, and a third that assisted in the management of product requirements. Additionally, developers can create their own Blueprints for sale in the Atlassian Marketplace.

In addition to Confluence, the Sydney, Australia-based company offers Jira for project tracking, Bitbucket for source code storage and GreenHopper for agile project management.