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Modified 04/11/2001

Created by: Charles Grossman, Kody Hall, Hope Parker, Sarah Fitzgerald, Alyssa Gale, Bethany Jones, April Killion, and Matthew Dillingham

What are the uses of Confluence? What does it do?


    Confluence was developed primarily to be used in the business world, but its versitility makes it an easy fit in any education situation. It was made to improve the productivity of underperforming businesses and has already seen a lot of success. 1

Confluence is a newer program and much of its potential is still unknown. Below are a few examples of how Confluence can be used in unique ways.

  • You can use Confluence as a place to upload files for others to see.
  • You can incorporate Confluence into business, education, and personal uses
  • You can use Confluence as a discussion tool.

    Confluence is an organizer 2. Whether it be for a large project, like the one that is being created here, or for a group of people that need a network to colaborate ideas, Confluence makes it easy to keep everything in one place and makes it viewable from anywhere in the world.

Who uses Confluence?


    Confluence can really be used by anyone with a need or desire for a better networking or organizational system 2. It is easy to learn so that even people that may be new to computers can quickly pick up the skills needed to use Confluence. Confluence is mainly used by teachers and students as well as business people that may need to communicate from across the world.

Schools

Companies

Government Agencies

Cornell University

Disney

European Commission

Harvard University

UPS

European Parliament

Johns Hopkins University

Boeing

FBI

MIT

IKEA

Port of Seattle

New York University

Adobe

United Nations

Stanford University

Electronic Arts

USAID

University of California

Nike

US Department of Energy

University of Cambridge

NASA

US Environmental Protection Agency

University of British Columbia

NOKIA

US Navy

Yale University

British Red Cross

US Supreme Court

Section
Table of Contents

I.

History
    I.1 Development
    I.2 How Confluence works?
    I.3 Getting more out of the application

II.

How Confluence relates to other applications?
    II.1 Comparison to Competitors
    II.2 Unique Uses

III.

Real World Application
    III.1 Educational Lesson Plans
        i. Elementary
        ii. Secondary
        iii. Post Secondary
    III.2 Business/Industry
        i. Business

IV.

Demonstration of Educational Value

V.

How Confluence is used Internationally

VI.

References

I. History


    I.1 Development

    Atlassian Software Systems, the company by which Confluence was marketed and developed, was founded in 2002 by Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquahar 3. Confluence was developed in 2002 and its first public release date was May 12, 2004 4. Atlassian Software Systems has over 6,000 Confluence customers in more than 100 countries. It's an Australian company that specializes in issue tracking and collaboration software 5. Confluence was created to make it easy for everyone to share information with everyone all over the world.

    I.2 How Confluence works?

Confluence uses a wiki format, and it's own set of code to allow the user to create their own space for education, business, or personal use; similar to the format of Wikipedia.

Confluence is designed to give everyone — even novice wiki users — the confidence to become an online publisher.

  • Easy, instant editing: right in your browser.
  • Auto-save: so your work is always protected.
  • Version rollback: nothing is irrevocable.
  • Concurrent editing: safety for multi-user environments.

    I.3 Getting more out of the application

If basic Confluence tools aren't quite getting the job done you can use Plug-ins to make Confluence work for you.

Table of Contents

II. How Confluence relates to other applications?


    II.1 Comparison to Competitors

How is Confluence related to other applications?
To view and compare a list of wikis go to the following website:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_wiki_software;

A related application called Office Connector allows Confluence to be used with Microsoft applications. This way, users who are familiar these programs will be more comfortable working on Confluence. You can transfer Word documents, spreadsheets, and PowerPoints from the program onto Confluence and you can edit them in their respective Microsoft programs and save the changes to your Confluence page 6. To learn more and to view an informational video, visit the following site:http://www.atlassian.com/office/.

The following links allow you to explore Office Connector features:

Through SharePoint Connector, Confluence can be bridged with Microsoft Office SharePoint. This way, information from the two applications can be accessed by users simultaneously and securely. On top of this, documents from SharePoint can be embedded and edited within and Confluence. Also, searches conducted within either program yield results from both applications 7. To learn more and to view an informational video, visit the following site:http://www.atlassian.com/sharepoint/.

The following links allow you to explore SharePoint Connector features:

Office Connector and SharePoint Connector are just two of Confluence's plugin features. Users can pick the plugins that best suit their needs 8. To learn more about Confluence plugins, visit Atlassian's plugin overview. Also, the Plugin Library provides a list of all of the available Confluence plugins.

    II.2 Unique Uses

Following is a list of the most popular Confluence plugins:

Table of Contents

III. Real World Application


    III.1 Educational Lesson Plans

        i. Elementary

Confluence as a communicator and helper:

    At the elementary level, teachers with access to Confluence can create a page for each of their children. They can use that page to track their progess and behavior in class. The teacher could then give parents access to their student's page. This would create a constructive environment where teachers and parents could communicate without worrying about scheduling conflicts. Even though most of the current possiblities involve just adults, students themselves are growing more and more familiar with technology and could learn to use the Internet through Confluence.

S.T.E.M.

Functions of the Skeletal System.doc

Functions of the Skeletal System.pdf

S.T.E.M.

Biomes- The Arctic Food Web.doc

Biomes- The Arctic Food Web.pdf

Delivering a Persuasive Speech.doc

Delivering a Persuasive Speech.pdf

        ii. Secondary

Confluence as a tool for distance education:

    Confluence could be a good way to keep students and teachers on the same page. Each student could have their own page (they are called children, after all) in which they could ask their teacher questions. Also, the teacher could provide individual students with extra help or information. This could be very helpful for kids that have missed class due to illness or an extended vacation. Since it can be accessed anywhere and links to websites can be inserted onto pages, teachers can teach their class and present their materials without having to speak with students face-to-face. On the main board, teachers could post information that apply to the entire class about updates and reminders. The easy access to all of these materials could help students who don't speak up in class as much, or perhaps just students that are confused when doing work on the weekends and don't have a teacher present to ask directly.

Le Shopping en France.doc

Le Shopping en France.pdf

An Approach to Current Events.doc

An Approach to Current Events.pdf

S.T.E.M.

Definition of the Derivative.doc

Definition of the Derivative.pdf

        iii. Post Secondary

Confluence as an organizer:

    Confluence is being used right now as a way to organize a large project. A class doing extensive research needs a place to compile and share data. Confluence's ability to be divided into chapters with pages and subpages give it an outline-like structure. This can make it easy to keep track of one's own research while still being able to show it to the rest of the class in order to increase cohesiveness.

Confluence as an everyday tool:

    Confluence can be used as a tool for coordination between a student and an instructor. Updates about grades, class cancelations, and important projects can be easily and clearly displayed to keep a class on track. Purdue uses its program "Blackboard" much this way, but it does not provide the same information sharing and contact abilities. Using Confluence could eliminate many misunderstandings and technical problems with a reliable system that saves a persons work every ten minutes and is constantly accessable. Students could post attachments rather than e-mail them, and with the ability to track posts, instructors can make sure that they were sent on time.

    III.2 Business/Industry

        i. Business

Here is a list of businesses that are already using Confluence and seeing positive results 9:

  • Dow Jones & Company
  • Wyrcan, Inc.
  • Giga Spaces
  • GPC Biotech
  • Night Kitchen Interactive
  • National Constitution Center
  • Red Ant
  • Sabre Holdings
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Customware
  • Near Infinity
  • Telenor
  • University of California Berkeley

  To learn how they have been using Confluence to improve their business practices, visit this site http://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence/casestudies/. Also, from this site you can access case studies over each of these businesses experience with Confluence.

Table of Contents

IV. Demonstration of Educational Value


What general ways can Confluence be utilized for learning?
Confluence is a web-based wiki that functions much like the well-known Facebook. It is easy to navigate and store data through attachments. With the use of labels, users can quickly access any information needed. Taking time to understand the concepts of a program can take away from the actual substance of the material needing to be learned, so this simple program was designed to optimize features while limiting guesswork in program mechanics.

Ways confluence can be used:

  • Message forums to share ideas
  • Online announcements
  • Access to offline data and other materials
  • Starting point to other learning programs
  • Organize materials for class, whether a student or teacher

What features of Confluence help learning to occur?

Confluence is an effective program because of its versitility. Confluence has easy to grasp concepts that make simple work out of sharing links of other websites, attaching offline work, and organizing data in tables. Confluence pages can be directly exported to Microsoft Office and versions of Confluence contain features called "Plugins" to further work with familiar software. 10

For more information on Plugins, consult the following website:http://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence/plugins/

Confluence also uses features called labels. A creater of a page can label that page using keywords. Other users can then search for those keywords and any page that contains that label will appear. It makes short work out of searching for the information a person wants to view. 11

Confluence can also be organized into chapters, making it an ideal program to launch a large project, much like the one seen here. This makes it easy to organize, which makes requested information fast and easy to find.

What other materials would a person need to utilize Confluence for learning?

To use Confluence, one would need access to a computer and an Internet connection. To use some of the other features, an individual may need to have Microsoft software installed on their computer, but running the basics are as simple as a trip to the computer lab or sitting at home on your own computer.

Table of Contents

V. How Confluence is used Internationally


    Confluence can be used all over the world! It is designed for collaboration between teams, organizations, friends, and family to communicate with one another all over the world and to share information and ideas. It is useful for businesses as well if they have employees all of the world and they want them to share information or collaborate with each other. People can upload presentations, reports, etc. So, if you're traveling abroad and have a report due about something you could post it in Confluence for your colleagues to see. Also, if you give a presentation, the PowerPoint can be posted directly on Confluence for people who missed the live presentation to see. It could also be used in classrooms where the students are learning about different parts of the world or are in a foreign language. They could used Confluence to communicate with students, teachers, or experts all over the world to learn things that they would otherwise not have been able to access. Currently, Confluence has over 6,000 customers in more than 100 countries! 12

To see a list of some of Atlassians customers, consult the following site: http://www.atlassian.com/about/customers.jsp

Table of Contents

VI. References


1 Confluence Case Studies. Retrieved November 20, 2008, from Atlassian Web site: http://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence/casestudies/
[2] Confluence Enterprise Wiki. Retrieved November 20, 2008, from Atlassian Web site: http://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence/  
[3] Confluence Software. (2008, November 14). Retrieved November 20, 2008, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confluence_(software)
[4] Comparison of Wiki Software. (2008, November 17). Retrieved November 20, 2008, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_wiki_software
[5] Atlassian Software Systems. Retrieved Novemeber 20, 2008, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlassian_Software_Systems
[6] Office Connector. Retrieved November 18, 2008, from Atlassian.com Web site: http://www.atlassian.com/office/default.jsp
[7] SharePoint Connector. Retrieved November 18, 2008, from Atlassian.com Web site: http://www.atlassian.com/sharepoint/
[8] Confluece- Enterprise Wiki Plugins. Retrieved November 18, 2008, from Altassian.com Web site: http://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence/plugins/
[9] Confluence Case Studies. Retrieved November 20, 2008, from Atlassian Web site: http://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence/casestudies/
[10] Confluence Enterprise Wiki Plugins. Retrieved November 20, 2008, from Atlassian Web site: http://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence/plugins/
[11] Working With Labels Overview. Retrieved November 20, 2008, from Atlassian Web site: http://confluence.atlassian.com/display/DOC/Working+with+Labels+Overview
[12] Confluence-FAQ. (2008). Retrieved November 20, 2008, from http://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence/wiki.jsp#whousesconfluence Atlassian Pty Ltd.

Table of Contents

10. Downloadable Content 

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35 Comments

  1. Unknown User (agale)

  2. Unknown User (aczarnec)

    Hey guys...I am new to this whole thing so if you have questions I can try to work through this with you. If you have any questions e-mail me at: aczarnec@purdue.edu

  3. Unknown User (amkillio)

    Hey Everyone!  I'm still getting used to this whole Confluence things, but it's kind of like getting used to facebook.   From what I am getting it's a good place to share information and to communicate with people.  Those websites Hope sent are really helpful. I will try my best to contribute to this and help as much as I can!

  4. Unknown User (hmparker)

    Ok guys, I think that we need to start assigning roles so we can get this thing off the ground. I posted this under the "Roles?" page, but I don't think many of you saw it.

    By the end of Friday's lab, we need to have gone through and organized all of the information under the pages so that we can identify what research still needs to be done. I'm sorry, but plan on staying for the entire lab. Then, over the weekend and through about Wednesday, we need to find the rest of the research and make sure we have covered everything that we will want in the final chapter. By the end of next week, we need people to start writing the chapter (including figuring out the format and editing) and people to start working on the presentation.

    Let me know what role that you would like to take on. To be honest, we are all going to have to work on organizing and completing the research. After that is completed is when we will take on specific roles. Let me know if you want to be a writer, a formatter, or a presentation organizer.

  5. Unknown User (hmparker)

    This site tells gives basic info on Confluence and wikis and stuff http://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence/wiki.jsp.

    See if it can help you with any of your assigned research pages!

  6. Unknown User (cgross01)

    I'm a bit confused about our Lesson Plans for Confluence page.  Are we suppose to find a lesson plan and modify by having it use Confluence in some way?  You said it was like the lesson plans we already did so can we just use one of those (or maybe we can add attachments of all of ours) and modify it to use Confluence?

  7. Unknown User (amkillio)

    Does anybody know when Confluence was created?  I have been searching and searching and cannot find out when it was first developed.

  8. Unknown User (bjones)

    so once we post our stuff tonight, what comes next? the writing? by wednesday?

  9. Unknown User (bjones)

    oh and here's a website that compares other wikis to Confluence. it has a ton of different categories for them and a lot of different wikis

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_wiki_software

  10. Unknown User (kkhall)

    I suppose that I am the only one that can remove pages, so at 10:00 pm Monday (that's today) I am removing every page that is not on the sheet that Hope passed out.  I'll leave up a presentation page if there is one by then.

  11. Unknown User (hmparker)

    Ok, for the lesson plans, we do it just like we did for our workout. Find a pre-existing lesson plan and modify it to encorporate Confluence.

    Kody- thanks for removing the pages, And sorry I hadn't made the presentation page yet. Thanks.

  12. Unknown User (amkillio)

    For anyone that is assigned the presentations, I will do the poster and make the draft of it and whoever wants to make the brochurefinal draft and what the handouts will be can do that.

  13. Unknown User (kkhall)

    I'll work on the brochure for Friday.

  14. Unknown User (cgross01)

    Since the handouts are left I will take care of those. 

  15. Unknown User (amkillio)

    The Poster I'm making is the basic one on what a wiki is, what confluence is, fun and unique facts, about it etc.

  16. Unknown User (hmparker)

    hey can someone help me figure out how to take screen captures and put them on a page??

    1. Unknown User (cgross01)

      Make sure your internet explorer is expanded to full screen (unless you know how to cut it down because this will take a screenshot of the whole monitor).  There should be a button your keyboard that says Print Screen (might be Prt Scn or Pnt Scrn or something like that on laptops).  Press that and what it does is just makes a copy of your whole monitor screen.  Go to the Start menu, All programs, Accessories, and then open paint.  You can then just go to edit paste and you will see your screen shot there.  Then you can just save it and add to the page.

      When adding to the page just click the add picture button next to the link button.  Browse for your saved picture and attach it and you will see it pop up as a thumbnail.  Click on the picture and it will put it under the Filename field nd that is the what will be added to the page.  I recomend checking the thumbnail option or else it will be very big and the thumbnail can be clicked on and they can see the image larger if they want but does not take up so much space on the page.






      Sorry if you already know some of this but I wasn't sure how much you needed to know so I figured I might as well be detailed about it.

      1. Unknown User (hmparker)

        thank you! that was super helpful!

        can you tell me how you added links to parts of your page too?

        1. Unknown User (cgross01)

          Sure.  All you have to do is hit the button called Insert/Edit Link up top right next to the Insert Picture button.  This brings up another box that looks like:

           In the link box is the url or the website where you want to send the person and under the alias is what it will look like. this sends you to facebook

          1. Unknown User (hmparker)

            i was able to do that on my page, but can you tell me how you put links to the different sections of your page? like you have your questions listed at the top so that readers can click and jump down, how did you do that?

            1. Unknown User (cgross01)

              ooooh.  that's really easy. right at the top of the page before all the writing and stuff just type

              Unknown macro: { toc }

              without the spaces (had to add the spaces because it was trying to put a table of contents in my response).

               simple as that

              1. Unknown User (hmparker)

  17. Unknown User (kkhall)

    I finished the brochure and attached it to the presentation page, April attached a preview of the poster there too.  Check them out and send some feedback.

  18. Unknown User (fitzgera)

    Hey, guys,

    Quick question as I'm helping to edit the pages: What do you think about having different colored headings for each page to differentiate? Just a thought, although it's looking great as is. (smile)

  19. Unknown User (bjones)

    i think that would be good (smile) i think the same fonts and stuff we should keep consistant just so it can look uniform....any other thoughts?

  20. Unknown User (hmparker)

    sarah-- thank you for all of your hard work on the editing!!!!!

    hope

  21. Unknown User (hmparker)

    Ok I am just going to start a list of ideas from other chapters:

    1. Table of contents (YouTube)
    2. Have a link to each lesson plan from the Lesson Plans page. Have the lesson plan formatted on the page so that it does not have to be downloaded. (See Zoho)
    3. Evernote has information on how to contact Evernote if we want to do something like that???
    4. MS Office Live's formatting is really cool
    5. Maybe do a "Getting Started on Confluence" like Remember the Milk?

    Honestly you guys, after going through all of them, I think that our chapter is AWESOME! Thank you so much for all of your hard work!! If we want to add any of this stuff we can. Beyond that, the only thing that I can think of that we have to do is add the Confluence logo (which I already emailed Atlassian about) to dress up our opening page, do the references on our pages like Wikipedia does references (just check out the Wikipedia pages if you need clarification), and prepare for the presentation. Amazing work everyone! Have a great weekend!

     

     

    1. Unknown User (cgross01)

      I've kind of started something like that "Getting Started" on Remember the Milk.  It's under the mechanisms page and I am adding a little description on they need to know how to do that certain function and it's uses and then linking the video tutorial so they can actual see how to do it.

  22. Unknown User (hmparker)

    hey guys these are just the video tutorial that iTaP provided. we have them on the mechanism page, but maybe this is what we could have up on the laptops for people or we could have them playing on a projector and then the laptops can be for people to actually try what they have seen. We could just have someone explaining the video as it goes and people could "request" what tutorial that they want to see.

    http://wiki.itap.purdue.edu/display/INSITE/How+To+Use+Confluence

  23. Unknown User (cgross01)

    I have added the table of contents to all the pages with the boxes around them and have figured out how to do references.  There is an example on the Mechanisms page after the first paragraph.  So if there are any other references that need to be added anywhere just let me know and I can work on adding those.

    1. Unknown User (hmparker)

      Thank you for already getting to those!

  24. Unknown User (hmparker)

    Holy crap! Who did the opening page??!! This is awesome!!!!! I was just getting on to work on this!!!! Thank you!!!!!!!

  25. Unknown User (amkillio)

    Wow this looks really good!!! (big grin)

  26. Unknown User (kkhall)

    I am going to remove the link to the peer review that is under the table of contents.  If you want to look at the peer review just view it as an attachment under the tools menu.