Atlassian Keeps Banging the Social Drum with Confluence 4.2

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Atlassian logo Earlier this year Atlassian added social features to its bug tracking application JIRA. Now the company is adding Facebook-style quick comments and “likes” to its wiki software Confluence with the 4.2 release of the product. Also new in 4.2 is a system for surfacing popular content.

Social is an increasingly important component of the Atlassian line. In addition to adding social collaboration features to its two flagship products, JIRA and Confluence, the company acquired private chat room application HipChat this year. The company recently integrated HipChat into its continuous integration tool Bamboo.

Collaboration is an important part of DevOps, and wikis are one of the primary ways that software companies share information. Wikis were one of the original “Enterprise 2.0” tools. Socialtext launched in 2003 to bring wikis and social software to the enterprise, back before Wikipedia was a household name. Confluence followed soon after in 2004 as a follow-up to Atlassian’s JIRA, which launched in 2002. But although wikis have often been considered “social software” there’s often a limited level of social interaction enabled through a wiki. Talk or discussion tabs help editors discuss changes to an entry, but many wikis lack the sort of quick and dirty commenting and liking functionality that has become common in other collaborative software.

Since Confluence has caught on in particular with developers – and Atlassian claims that more than half of the Fortune 100 are using it – it’s of particular note for DevOps teams looking to improve communication and documentation.