What is Confluence?
Confluence is a team collaboration application that provides a platform for all teams working on a project to work together and share updates and information effectively. It reduces lots of communication gaps and improves the software development process.
It allows all the departments and teams to organize, share and discuss their work. It provides solutions regarding content or information, which is accessible to everyone. Any team or individual can share important information & data, post updates, and communicate with others.
Features of Confluence:
- Content Management: With Confluence, you can create dynamic content by inserting images with customizable sizes. You can create an infinite number of pages with versioning and history. The history helps you to understand the number of changes done by users in a specific period of time. Plus, you can create a centralized content repository by hyperlinking the pages. Also, you can upload various PPTs on Confluence and start a discussion thread for the same. Various built-in readymade templates assist in offering documents as per industry standards.
- Space Management: Confluence offers unlimited virtual space to an organization. This space can be distributed to various departments like development, human resource, marketing & finance, etc. within your organization. These are cloud-based spaces that store the information, thus making it easy to access from anywhere, anytime. Users can keep a backup of all data of a specific space by exporting the same to an XML file.
- Add-Ons: Confluence is featured with powerful add-ons that make finding answers for common work questions easy, with planning events and internal Q&A. These add-ons include team calendars and questions for Confluence.
- Site Management: You can rename the pages with links update in Confluence. The users can import the spaces or pages from plain text files. Users can also export these pages to PDF and HTML. The best part is it keeps a backup of the pages on a daily basis. You can view the report of the ‘orphaned’ pages that are not linked to any parent page and eventually link the same or delete them on the basis of requirements.
- User Management and Security: Confluence allows you to follow industry-standard user management practices. An admin can assign permission to individual users and groups for viewing, commenting, as well as editing content. Confluence is a secured platform that asks users whether they are human or robot while logging in via CAPTCHA. If the users fail to log in via CAPTCHA, they need to answer the security questions. Besides this, it uses the same security filter while adding comments, creating, and editing new pages. You can restrict or allow users to either view or edit the page.
- Jira Integration: You can insert the issues of Jira in Confluence to give a better understanding of the scenario. The OpenSocial gadget specifications are used to share content between Jira and Confluence. Plus, you can search the Confluence knowledge base directly from Jira with the Quicknav search gadget.
- Work in One Place: The unlimited space in Confluence allows you to assign designated zones to every team in your organization. It helps to keep your works organized in one place. You can find work fast with a powerful search engine and a structured hierarchical system.
- Project Management: Project management is a major part of Confluence, and it offers a flexible platform to all companies irrespective of size. You can track all of your projects in Confluence, and Jira tickets help to give a clear understanding of the progress.
- Dashboard: The dashboard is the main feature of Confluence that also comes with the full customization facility. The users can select an ordinary page to keep as a landing page. You can also edit the global layout file under advanced customization. Once you modify such features in Confluence, you need to do the same with every upgrade.
Benefits of Confluence:
- Collaboration: Confluence’s collaboration tools are the leading reason for choosing it over the competitors. While administrators can manage permissions at a micro level, anyone who has access to space can contribute to the base of knowledge. Version control is embedded to track individual contributions. Moreover, any time updates are made, collaborators are notified. This creates an efficient feedback loop for the collaborators and ensures that the knowledge base is comprehensive, accurate, and on time.
- Integrations: Apart from the direct integrations with the rest of the Atlassian product offerings like Jira Service Desk, Jira, Bitbucket, Trello, and more, there is a very robust marketplace of third-party integrations that work seamlessly with Confluence. These integrations can assist with anything from making better charts, connecting to the Google Suite products, to adding GIFs to your documents. The use of integrations enhances the richness of content to aid in future consumption.
- Analytics: With the help of plugins or APIs, you can track most viewed, accessed, liked pages, and so on. This is a critical component to understanding how knowledge is used in your organization.
Role of Confluence as a DevOps tool:
People give a lot of credit to automation when they talk about DevOps. And in some ways, it is true because it cuts down the costs and eliminates unnecessary human intervention. However, you should understand that DevOps is a cultural shift, centered around the quality of communication that happens between development and operation teams.
Since automation provides faster, more frequent deployments, having a collaborative, high-trust environment is more important than ever. Without such an environment, teams can collapse. Even worse, the productivity achieved through automation can take a severe hit.
That's why teams should focus on improving communication. Because Confluence provides seamless communication throughout the organization, it can be an appropriate candidate to facilitate a connection between the development and operations teams. It allows third-party integration with multiple applications, and from phases like planning to feedback, it offers various kinds of templates that you can use instantly.
DevOps is a process that never stops and Confluence helps you achieve that state effectively.
Confluence is an integrated cloud-based platform. It also works as a dynamic documentation platform that allows teams to collaborate easily. It has all the security features that are required for safe and secure communication. Also, it allows you to integrate third-party apps that enhance its functionality.