Requesting new features or add-ons to wikis

Aalto IT encourages users to think up new ways of using the service. This can be a need for new features (a new way of doing things, a template etc.) or a new add-on (plugin) found in Atlassian Marketplace
There is a process that every new feature has to go trough, before it's implemented.

1) Usage

Who will be using the new feature or add-on? There are a lot of good add-ons and features, but to implement them all would mean cluttering the service and making it unusable. The wider the audience for the new feature or add-on, the better. That way we can keep the usefulness and quality of the plugins better.   

2) Does it cost? 

There are both free, and paid add-ons in the marketplace. With the paid plugins there is the question of fees, where does the license fee come from. On the other hand, paid plugins are more likely to be developed more quickly and coherently than the free ones. 

Free plugins can be great. Some of the are developed by teams that really want to make good products. Other plugins are created by one person, and are not updated or developed as often as others. This will mean that the plugin might stop working with the next Confluence core update, or that a bug can be left unsolved for a longer period. 

3) Testing

Every new feature and plugin must undergo testing in a development environment that matches the production service. That way we can check that the new feature does not "brake" anything that's already implemented. Some times even testing is not enough and we have to disable an add-on or feature when it causes trouble in the production environment. This is done to maximize the stability of the production service.


4) Lifespan

Lifespan in this case means: how long can we keep using the add on? As the Confluence core evolves, so the add-ons have to be updated to work with the new core system. Before a add-on can be implemented into AaltoWiki, it's probable lifespan has to be estimated. There are few key factors that we use in this estimation.

    • Are there versions for previous Confluence versions
    • How often is the add-on updated
    • Is the add-on developed by one individual, small group or a company
    • Does the add-on cost?
      • Developers of paid add-ons tend to have more interest in keeping the plugin available 
    • Add-on documentation

With every add-on, Aalto IT has to weight the possibility of a plugin not being updated for new Confluence versions. We can not however guarantee the compliance of add-ons in case of critical security updates, or in Confluence core updates when the add-on has low usage or small audience.

Sometimes previously free add-ons become paid when a major development phase has been done.  

Here are some of the many add-ons in Aalto Wiki. You are encouraged to try them out in your personal space.
Add-onWhat does it do?Documentation

CustomWare Composition Plugin

Multiple macros for page content layout.
Features for example Cloack - where you can hide a part of a page and use a link
to reveal it and Deck that creates tabs to sort page content into.

Custom Space User Management Plugin

Gives Space Administrators ability to manage user groups associated to their Wiki Spaces

CustomWare Scaffolding

Scaffolding plug-in contains macros for creating 'permanent templates' and editable forms

CustomWare Reporting

Allows powerful reporting of Confluence content and has extension points for other plugins to provide their own data sources and handling.

Google Calendar Plugin

Creates Google Calendar links in Confluence.
GliffyCreate diagrams and flowcharts with an online editor!

Render LaTeX mathematics! This plugin contains two macros: an inline macro and a block macro. The inline macro renders math entered into it with inline LaTeX math delimiters, such $<maths>$. The block macro renders a paragraph block of math entered with LaTeX block math delimieters such as \[ <maths> \].

Table Filter PluginAllows you to dynamically control what data you want to see in tables and hide table rows that are currently irrelevant. Custom settings make your work with large tables more productive.

New features or Add-ons can be requested in the comments section of this page.