Confluence 5.6-Beta1 Release Notes

6 August 2014

Atlassian presents Confluence 5.6 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 5.6-Beta1:

Downloading this Confluence release

The Confluence 5.6 Beta 1 release is no longer available for download. A new beta will be available shortly.

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 5.6-Beta1

Introducing Confluence Data Center

To provide performance at scale and high availability in large Confluence installations, we have improved our clustering solution. Confluence 5.6 Data Center edition will enable you to configure a cluster with:

  • Multiple server nodes
  • A shared file system 
  • A database that all nodes read and write to
  • A load balancer to evenly direct requests to each node.  

All nodes are active and process requests, spreading the load to enable you to serve more requests than in a standalone installation. If a cluster node fails, is shut down or disconnected from the network the rest of the cluster will continue operating - as long as one node remains. 

Confluence Data Center requires it's own evaluation license, contact us if you're interested in trying it.

Plugin developers: see Preparing for Confluence 5.6 for changes that may affect your plugins and to find out how to mark plugins as cluster compatible on Marketplace. 

New JIRA Charts

There are two new chart types for the JIRA Chart macro:

  • Created vs Resolved chart - a line chart showing the difference between the number of issues created, and the number of issues resolved over a given period of time. 
  • Two Dimensional chart - a matrix style chart showing issue statistics. You can configure the X and Y axis to show issue status, priority, type, assignee and more.  

Task Report sorting improvements

Sorting in the Task Report macro has been improved. There is now a Sort parameter that can be used to set the default sort order of Tasks (by due date, assignee or page title) and you can also sort tasks using the Task Report column headings when viewing a page.  

Natural date picker

You can now insert a date lozenge when typing a date in the editor.  Type dd/mm/yyyy or dd-mm-yyyy to trigger the date picker. 

See recently viewed pages on mobile

Its now easy to see your recently viewed Confluence pages on mobile.  Tap  then choose Recently Viewed. 

Changes to the sidebar

The sidebar now defaults to show the page tree when you create a new space. 

We've also improved the space logo uploader to make it easier for you to resize your images.  Go to Space Tools > Configure Sidebar to edit the space logo. 

Restrict blog posts

By popular demand, you can now restrict blog posts. Restrict blog posts is perfect if you want to be able to make a blog post available just for a specific group or team. Notifications are sent at the point a blog post is created - removing restrictions won't trigger a new notification. 

Reducing noisy notifications

Notifications will no longer be sent when a page is moved. 

PDF Export improvements

We have improved the way emoticons, JIRA issues and tables render in PDF exports. 

Infrastructure changes and API improvements

Notable administration or infrastructure changes in this release: 

  • Confluence now collects usage information to help us improve the product. All data we collect is subject to the terms of our Privacy Policy and our End User Agreement.
    For more information, or to opt out go to  > General configuration > Analytics.

  • New lightweight monitoring console - System Administrators can use this to monitor page and macro execution times.
    Go to   > General configuration  Monitoring console

For changes that will affect plugin developers, please see Preparing for Confluence 5.6.

End of support announcements 

  • Advance Notice: WAR edition will not be available after 5.6
    Confluence 5.6 will be the last release to include a EAR/WAR edition. 
  • Advance Notice: End of support for PostgreSQL 8.4, 9.0 and 9.1 
    Confluence 5.6 will be the last release that supports PostgreSQL 8.4, 9.0 and 9.1. 
  • Advance Notice: End of support for MySQL 5.1 
    Confluence 5.6 will be the last release that supports MySQL 5.1. 

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. If you are upgrading using the clustered artifact, some extra steps apply. 

Shared home directory for clustered installations

We have introduced the concept of a shared home directory for clustered installations. All cluster nodes will now need to be configured with a path to a directory that is shared between all nodes.

(warning) The following upgrade steps only apply to existing clustered installations

Follow the normal upgrade procedure, but execute the following steps immediately after shutting down the existing cluster:

  1. Create a directory that is visible to all cluster nodes in the same path.

  2. Shut down the cluster.

  3. Edit confluence.cfg.xml in the home directory of each node and add a new property called confluence.cluster.home with the path of the shared directory as the value. Example:

    <property name="confluence.cluster.home">/mnt/confluence-shared-home</property>
  4. Move all the files/directories from a home directory on one node to the new shared home directory except for the following: 

    • config
    • confluence.cfg.xml
    • index
    • temp
    • bundled-plugins
    • plugin-cache-*
    • plugins-cache
    • plugins-osgi-cache
    • plugins-temp

     Remove the moved files/directories from the home directories on all other nodes.

  5. Continue to follow the normal upgrade procedure

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