Confluence 4.2 Release Notes

10 April 2012

Highlights of Confluence 4.2


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Video of What's New

Highlights of Confluence 4.2


Page layouts

Page layouts offer a quick and easy way to add sections and columns to a page. Choose a predefined layout, add the content to each section, and you're done. It's a great way of creating a common page structure, so that readers know where to find the information on each page. Don't worry, the Section and Column macros are still available too. See the video.

A two-column page layout in edit mode. (It's all laid out in the documentation.)




Has someone written a mind-bogglingly clever post on Confluence? Did you laugh out loud at someone's comment? Click Like to let them know. Confluence has like buttons on every page, blog post and comment. If enough people like the post, it will show up on the dashboard's new 'Popular' tab and in the 'Recommended Updates' summary sent by email.  See the video.

Likes on a page and on comments. (You may like the documentation too.)



Quick comments

Showing people a picture of themselves is a great way to encourage them to say something! We have added an enticingly empty comment at the bottom of every page, with the user's profile picture. This replaces the rather uninviting Add Comment button in earlier versions of Confluence. And here's what we are really proud of: When you click the box to write a comment, the full editor loads instantly. No page refresh required. See the video. Pow!

Invitation to add a comment



Popular content on the dashboard

Want to see what's trending? The new 'Popular' tab on the dashboard shows the pages, blog posts and comments that are attracting most attention, based on the number of comments and likes they have received. The items are listed in order of popularity, with the most popular at the top. Activity that involves people in your network ranks higher than activity not involving your network, and the most recent activity ranks higher than earlier activity. See the video.

New popular content tab on the dashboard. (Try our trendy topic.)



Recommended content by email

Confluence sends out a daily or weekly email message summarising the top news that is relevant to you. This is a great way of drawing people into the wiki discussions even if they are infrequent users of Confluence. The report shows the most popular content in the wiki, based on the number of likes and comments, and recently-created pages or blog posts. Confluence gives a higher ranking to activity by people in your network or in your favourite spaces.  A link in the email message allows you to choose daily or weekly notifications, or to turn the notification off. See the video.

Note: All Confluence users will receive this email message by default. For instructions on turning it off, see the Confluence 4.2 Upgrade Notes.

Personalised summary of Confluence news and updates. (See the documentation.)



Labels on attachments

You can now label attachments, just as you can label pages and blog posts.

  • Using the Gallery macro, you can display a selection of images on your page filtered by label.
  • The Attachments macro and the Space Attachments macro can show documents or other attachments with a specific label.
  • The Content by Label macro also displays attachments (alongside pages, blog posts and spaces) with a given label, and you can filter by content type to show only attachments.

Labels on attachments. (Become attached to our documentation.)


Signup invitations via URL

It's what you have been dreaming of: a quick and easy way of inviting people to sign up to Confluence. Just send them a URL. You can also choose between public and private signup modes, and decide whether you want a notification each time someone signs up.

Inviting users and setting the signup mode. (You're invited to see the documentation too.)



Easy upgrade, try and buy for plugins

Now you can view, manage and upgrade your existing plugins from just one tab, called Manage my plugins. Simple, logical, clean. You will also notice some shiny Try, Buy, and Renew buttons appearing, for plugins that support the new functionality in the Universal Plugin Manager. Clicking one of those buttons takes you straight to, where you can get an evaluation or full license on the spot. The license is automatically added to Confluence, and you are returned to the plugin manager. And the plugin manager looks much prettier too.

Plugins offered for upgrade under 'Available Updates'.



Other improvements

  • Author lozenge on blog post comments:
    You will see an 'author' lozenge on blog comments, making it easy to scan a post for comments from the author. The author lozenge appears only on blog posts, and only for the original creator of the post.
  • Share notifications showing all people notified:
    When someone shares a page with you, the email message shows the other people they shared it with too.
  • Mouse-free macros, links and images:
    This is one for wiki markup fans! Now you can add macros, links and images by wiki markup alone. Type the macro, including its parameters and the closing curly bracket. Add a link, such as an anchor link, and end it with a square bracket. Insert an image or other embedded object, enclosed between exclamation marks. As soon as you close the macro, link, or embedded image, Confluence will convert it to rich text format and add it to the page. See the video.
  • Fixed images in Word exports:
    We have fixed this bug: CONF-6246 - Images in Word export pages do not show up because of login requirement Resolved

  • Personal spaces more open:
    The permissions for personal spaces are now more in line with Confluence's philosophy of encouraging collaboration. When you create your personal space, the option that allows registered users to update content is selected by default. You will also be assigned as a watcher of your new personal space. (Existing settings will not be changed on upgrade.)

  • Gadget subscriptions:
    An administrator can quickly add all the gadgets from a JIRA, Bamboo, FishEye or Crucible site – or from another Confluence site – to your Confluence gadget directory. People can then pick and choose the gadgets to add to their Confluence pages. Before this release, the administrator had to register the gadgets one by one. To subscribe to another site's gadgets, go to Confluence AdminExternal Gadgets and open the new Gadget Feeds tab.


Infrastructure changes

  • PostgreSQL 9.0: From this release of Confluence, we support PostgreSQL 9.0 as well as 8.2, 8.3 and 8.4. See Supported Platforms.
  • Java 7: We now support Oracle JRE / JDK 1.7 as well as 1.6. See Supported Platforms.
  • MySQL 5.5: Confluence 4.2 and later now support MySQL 5.5 as well as 5.1. See Supported Platforms. (Announcement made on 11 May 2012, retrospectively applicable to the Confluence 4.2 release.)
  • Confluence 4.2 includes version 2.0.5 of the Universal Plugin Manager (UPM).
  • Confluence 4.2 includes Atlassian Gadgets 3.2
  • The implementation of quick comments required some significant changes to the editor’s initialisation code. This will have consequences for some Confluence plugins. Details are in this blog post: JavaScript Changes Required for Confluence 4.2 Compatibility.

The Confluence 4.2 team


Ryan Ackley
Nabeelah Ali
Richard Atkins
Niraj Bhawnani
Joseph Clark
Paul Curren
Lachlan Dally
Chris Darroch
Anna Dominguez
Matthew Erickson
Steven Haffenden
Chris Kiehl
Fabien Kraemer
Anatoli Kazatchkov
Daniel Kjellin
Steve Lancashire
David Loeng
Brian Nguyen
Craig Petchell
Agnes Ro
Matt Ryall
Stefan Saasen
Sam Tardif
David Taylor
Ryan Thomas
Wesley Walser
Don Willis
Joe Xie

Charles Miller

Build and release engineering
Adrián Deccico

Plugin updates
David Chui
Philip Cher
Kai Fung Chong


Product management
Bill Arconati
Helen Hung
John Masson

Product marketing management
Ryan Anderson
Terrence Caldwell
Matthew Hodges

Development manager
Jonathan Gilbert


Sydney support
Denise Unterwurzacher
Michael Seager
Tim Wong

Amsterdam support
Dennis Kromhout van der Meer
Yilin Mo
John Inder

Brazil support
Alyson Reis
Guilherme Heck
Rodrigo Adami
Tiago Comasseto
Luiz Carlos Junior
Guilherme Nedel
Bernardo Acevedo
William Zanchet

Kuala Lumpur support
Joachim Ooi
Husein Alatas
HengHwa Loi
Septa Cahyadiputra
Foogie Sim
Hanis Suhailah
Rian Josua Masikome

San Francisco support
Adam Laskowski
Robert Chang
Ryan Goodwin
Andrew Campbell

Cross-Product Team

Henry Tapia
Valter Fatia

Quality assurance 
Joey Corea
Mark Hrynczak
Glenn Martin

Technical writing 
Sarah Maddox


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11 Archived comments

  1. User avatar


    Seems the improvements are mainly aimed at making Confluence even more like Facebook, the ideal documentation and knowledge-support tool. Hmm, may have to rethink that branding strategy. 

    18 Apr 2012
  2. User avatar


    Nicely done !!

    Upgrade from 4.0.5 required only /var/atlassian/application-data/confluence/plugins-osgi-cache/felix/felix-cache because Universal Plugin Management refused to upgrade

    03 May 2012
  3. User avatar


    I need a tool for documentation, not a 2nd or 3rd facebook. Sorry Dev-team please go back to the roots.

    19 May 2012
    1. User avatar


      This is precisely my reaction to Confluence as I examine an evaluation copy. A very well-developed piece of software, but why would one of my company's customers want to "like" a topic in our technical documentation or "follow" the person who wrote it? I'm looking in the Confluence documentation for a way to "configure out" the Facebook-like features, but so far I haven't found it.

      15 Aug 2012
      1. User avatar

        Paul Curren

        You can disable the 'Confluence Like Plugin' via the Plugins section of the admin console if that helps.

        15 Aug 2012
    1. User avatar

      Paul Curren

      I need a tool for documentation, not a 2nd or 3rd facebook.

      Keep in mind though that some people use Confluence as a different sort of tool. There are various scenarios/usages discussed on our "collaboration" page.

      15 Aug 2012
  4. User avatar


    While the FB-centric updates are somewhat silly, "social" is a big buzzword right now, and I bet a lot of clients are requesting these kinds of features...


    23 May 2012
  5. User avatar


    I was rather excited about the 'like' functionality, hoped it would result in increased usage of confluence within my company. But after having upgraded I became disappointed because I think it is only half way there. What is missing is to:

    1. be able to like status updates (basic!)
    2. see the number of like in the blog-post macro and the recently-updated macro
    3. be able to like blog posts and recent updates directly (without going to the blog post/page)
    4. be able to disable getting email notifications about likes

    Had I known this, I would have waited with the upgrade until this functionality was completed. I am championing for Confluence within my company and it is not helpful to get half completed functionality like this.

    24 May 2012
  6. User avatar

    Theresa Locklear

    you should be able to LIKE status updates!!!

    24 May 2012
  7. User avatar


    What is actually the purpose of the 'like' button? Sure you can click something but what then? Do you get any value out of it? It seems as though not enough thought has gone into putting it in and it was just added because other applications have a like button.

    Unless there was a way for people to see all the likes and which pages were more popular and to help determine why some pages / spaces are popular than others. That would be somewhat useful but simply having a button you click with no real purpose is light having a light switch on a wall that doesn't turn any lights on or off.

    25 May 2012
    1. User avatar

      Sarah Maddox [Atlassian]

      Hallo there

      The documentation describes the effects of the 'like' button in the current release:

      When you like a page, blog post or comment:

      • The author of the content receives a notification.
      • People in your network receive a notification. They will receive the notification only if they do not already know about the content. Let's assume Arthur is in your network. Arthur will not  receive a notification if:
        • Someone else in his network has already liked the content.
        • Arthur himself has already liked the content.
        • Arthur has already commented on it.
        • In the case of a threaded comment, Arthur has already replied to the comment.
      • If enough people like the content, it will appear on the 'Popular' tab of the dashboard.
      • Similarly, if the content is popular enough it will appear in the 'Recommended Updates' summary sent out by email.

      The Confluence product managers will keep an eye on the usage of the like button and on feedback from customers, and possibly add further value in later releases.

      15 Jun 2012
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