Setting Up Confluence to Index External Sites

Confluence cannot easily index external sites due to technical reasons, but there are two alternatives:

  1. Embed External Pages Into Confluence
  2. Replace Confluence Search

Technical reasons

Confluence indexes pages using a customised Lucene search engine that returns matching pages, mail and blog posts for which the searcher has view permission. It would require significant source code modifications to enable Confluence to process search results from external pages, as the indexing process has been customised to utilise internal Confluence metadata. Note that users can still index content from new attachment filetypes.

Embedding external pages into Confluence

If you only have a small number of external sites to index, you may prefer to enable the HTML-include Macro and use it embed the external content inside normal Confluence pages.

Replacing the Confluence search

Use your own programmer resources to replace Confluence's internal search with a crawler that indexes both Confluence and external sites. This advanced option is easier than modifying the internal search engine. It requires removing Confluence internal search from all pages and replacing the internal results page with your own crawler front-end.

  1. Setup a replacement federated search engine to index the Confluence site, as well as your other sites, and provide the results that way. You would need to host a web crawler, such as these open-source crawlers. Note that you can perform a search in Confluence via the remote API
  2. Replace references to the internal search by modifying the site layout so that it links to your search front-end
  3. Host another site containing the search front-end. You may wish to insert it into a suitable context path in your application server so that it appears to be from a path under Confluence. Tomcat sets Confluence's paths from the Confluence install\confluence\WEBINF\web.xml file.
Last modified on Dec 2, 2015

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