Confluence 5.5-Beta1 Release Notes

 

4 April 2014

Atlassian presents Confluence 5.5 Beta 1. This release is a snapshot of our work in progress, primarily focused on allowing Confluence users to see the new features in advance. Beta releases also give add-on developers an opportunity to test and fix their add-ons in advance of an official release.

Highlights of Confluence 5.5-Beta1:

Downloading this Confluence release

Development releases are not production ready. Development releases are snapshots of the ongoing Confluence development process. While we try to keep these releases stable, they have not undergone the same degree of testing as a full release, and could contain features that are incomplete or may change or be removed before the next full release.

No upgrade path. Because development releases represent work in progress, we cannot provide a supported upgrade path between development releases, or from any development release to a final release. You may not be able to migrate any data you store in a Confluence development release to a future Confluence release.

Atlassian does not provide support for development releases.

Highlights of Confluence 5.5-Beta1

Tasks that fit the way you work

We know that keeping track of a growing to do list can be challenging, so we've given tasks a huge facelift. The new and improved tasks are perfect for when you want transparency and accountability without the weight of a full workflow.   Simply add a task to a page get started!

More accountability with due dates and assignees

By popular demand - due dates and assignees!  Type // to trigger our new date picker and add a due date to your task.  Colors indicate when a task is overdue or due within the next week. Type @ to mention a user and assign the task to them. You can even assign a task to yourself. 

Better visibility of your own tasks

We've added a new Tasks view to your profile which gives you a place to see all your tasks.  Filters let you refine the view - complete or incomplete, and tasks created by you or assigned to you. Once again, colors indicate tasks that are due soon - tasks that are due first appear at the top of the list. 

Greater transparency with new task reports

There's a brand new Task Report blueprint that's perfect for keeping track of tasks that are important to your team or project. Choose Create > Task Report and follow the prompts to build your report. You can report on tasks by the space or page they were created in, or by the people they are assigned to or created by.   

If you want to add a list of tasks to an existing page, there's also a new Task Report macro that lets you filter tasks by location (spaces and pages), user, date, completion and much more. 

Move blog posts

By popular demand you can now move individual blog posts between spaces. This is useful if you create a blog post in the incorrect space, or want to reorganize your spaces.

Mentions improvements

The @mentions autocomplete dialog now recognizes usernames, partial names, and displays usernames to help distinguish between people with the same name.

 

Reducing noisy notifications 

We are reducing some of the more repetitive Confluence notifications. Watchers of a page or space will no longer receive a notification as each individual attachment is added to a page in the editor. 

Stand out in a sea of browser tabs with a custom favicon

Administrators can now upload a custom favicon image for their Confluence site. Favicons are the icons that appear in the browser tabs. Go to Confluence Admin > Site logo and favicon.

Insert markdown in the editor

You can now insert content in Markdown into the editor. Go to Insert > Markup and choose Markdown. Confluence will convert your content to Confluence editor format (this is a one way process).  

Insert > Markup is also handy if you want to strip all formatting from your text before adding it to your Confluence page.

Hide previews in the attachments macro

You can now choose to hide previews in the attachments macro. This is useful if you have very large attachments. You can also now choose to sort the macro list by created date. 

Greater control of the Page Properties and Page Properties Reports macros

The Page Properties and Page Properties reports macros now have a new ID parameter. This parameter can be used to identify a specific Page properties macro to report on. This is useful if you have multiple Page Properties macros on a page and want to be able to report on all of them, or only some of them. 

Note: The Page Properties macro no longer automatically adds a label to your page. You will need to add the label (that you plan to specify in the Page Properties Report macro) to the page manually for your page to appear correctly in the report. 

Find out how you can use these macros in our tutorial - Create a Blueprint-Style Report.

Improved JIRA integration

We've continued to improve our integration with JIRA. In this release we've:

  • added support for creating JIRA Issues in projects that have required fields. There are still some limitations, but we currently support:
    • required system fields (for example Fix Version and Component).
    • text based required custom fields (number field, text field (single line and multi-line) and URL field types only).
  • added the new JIRA status lozenges - the clear design makes it even easier to see the status of your JIRA issues at a glance.
  • added the ability to display a single issue in a table, and configure the columns to include.
  • improved how pages containing the JIRA Issues macro export to PDF.
  • improved column sorting.

Disable space blueprints globally

Administrators can now disable specific space blueprints across your entire Confluence site.  Disabled blueprints will not appear in the Create Space dialog.  Go to Confluence Admin > Global Templates and Blueprints

New health checks for your Confluence site

Our support team have added a new tool to help you check the health of your Confluence instance. Go to  > General Configuration > Atlassian Support Tools > Health Checks

We'll be adding more checks over time, but for now you can find out if your license is valid, your application server, Java version and vendor are supported, and whether you are using the embedded HSQLDB database (which is provided for evaluating Confluence but is not supported as a production database). 

We want to hear from you! Tell us what else you'd find useful in a health check via the feedback button on the health check page. 

Required system properties for importing mail and JUnit reports 

For security reasons mail and JUnit report files can now only be imported from a specified location in the Confluence server's file system.  We recommend administrators create folders in their Confluence home directory, add then specify the location for files to be imported from in the following system properties: 

  • to import JUnit reports set confluence.junit.report.directory 
  • to import mail set confluence.mbox.directory

Mail and JUnit Test result files cannot be imported from the server until these system properties are set. See Configuring System Properties for more information. 

Infrastructure changes and API improvements

Notable infrastructure changes: 

  • For developers: Source distribution change - The internal Atlassian dependencies for Confluence's source distribution are now Maven-based archives, rather than exports of the source repository for each dependency. There will be a Maven-based archive for each dependency, named <dependencyname-version>-sources.jar. See Preparing for Confluence 5.5 for more. 

Improved APIs:

  • New REST API.  Over the next releases we will be deprecating our existing APIs.  Existing API methods will be deprecated as an equivalent resource is made available in the REST API.   See Confluence API for more. 

For a full description of these changes, please see Preparing for Confluence 5.5.

Giving feedback

We'd love your feedback so please:

  • Feel free to comment on this page with your feedback, or
  • Send us your comments via the 'Got Feedback' option in the header of your EAP Confluence site.

Upgrade notes

Follow the usual upgrade instructions to upgrade your test site to this release.

  • This release includes upgrade tasks required to support the new tasks features (assignees, due dates and task reports).  In very large instances it may take some time to complete the upgrade. 
  • Confluence now creates an upgrade recovery file from the database before and after an upgrade. These files can be useful for diagnostics and recovery in case there is a problem during an upgrade. If you have a very large database, setting the confluence.upgrade.recovery.file.enabled  System Property system property to false will speed up the upgrade process by disabling this feature. It should only be used where there is already a process in place to back up your database and you should verify this external backup before performing an upgrade.
  • A small change has been made to the Administration console. Some options previously under General Configuration now appear on the Further Configuration page.  The Cog menu has also changed. To access Confluence Admin choose  Cog General  Configuration. This will take you straight to the General Configuration page in the Confluence Administration console.  If you want to administer users or add-ons there are now options in the cog menu to take you directly to those pages. 
  • We will not be providing a clustered version of Confluence 5.5.  We are working on improving our clustering solution and expect to make it available later this year.  

Advanced Notice

These are points of interest for plugin and add-on developers.

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