Case Study: Global Scaffolding Template Management Add-on

February 24, 2014
#Confluence#Case Study
6 min

About Project

Not so far we completed a project for one famous brewery company. The company actively uses Atlassian products for inspection and management needs. Confluence has become a real cooperation and collaboration platform for thousands of employees working, communicating and interacting in the single and integrated ecosystem.

The company also takes advantage of third-party add-ons for Confluence. One of the most widely used is Scaffolding plugin developed by Service Rocket. This plugin allows you to create forms and blueprints with different field types and pre-populate them with specific values. Additionally, all structure modifications in page templates are automatically reflected on all pages created from those templates and blueprints.

The only bottleneck of this add-on is a necessity to switch the page all the time to the Edit Contents mode. As if editing the page itself you can only edit parameters of inserted fields and macros. So the customer needed a quick way to enter data into forms utilizing Scaffolding templates without routine manual page switch to the Edit Contents mode.

Project Overview

Our task was to create an easy-to-use solution that should incorporate both dynamic data retrieval and quick data access.We also decided to create the administration section for quick review and configuration of templates with Scaffolding macros. Here the user should have a capability to enable / disable transition of pages with Scaffolding macros to the Edit Contents mode with simultaneous page saving.

Additionally, the customer requested to add generation of an index page listing all content pieces created from a specific template within the space. As an option, the customer also requested support for title auto-completion through insertion of page creation date and child page counter.

Add-on Functionality

For project completion, we implemented several interfaces. Further, you can find description of specific interfaces and functionality they provide.

Template Management Interface

Add-on adds the section for quick configuration of templates with Scaffolding macros and easy navigation across all of them. Here the administrator can view the list of global and space-specific templates and make all the appropriate adjustments at once.

After enabling the template, the administrator can allow generation of an index page, disable any title changes, or use automatic addition of prefix and postfix with support for two custom macros converted into page creation date and child page counter.

admin_page (1)

Create dialog box

Source templates remain in Confluence, but the add-on replaces these entries in the Create dialog box with templates including strings for page transition to the Edit Contents mode. Additionally, templates with Scaffolding macros received a distinct icon so users won’t confuse them with other content types.

create_dialog (1)

Live Template Wizard

In the wizard, users can view the full path to destination where a new page is to be created or specify an alternative parent page with support for autocompletion of page titles. Additionally, the user can change page title, add labels and modify page prefix and postfix in case the corresponding option was not disabled in the administration interface. Two augmentations (%date and &index) are automatically converted into the date of page creation and counter of child pages relative to the parent page and the space.

live_template_wizard (1)

Page Output

When all is done, you proceed to the page opened in the Edit Contents mode. All you need is just to enter the appropriate in the corresponding fields of the template. All modifications in the source templates are automatically reflected on all pages created from it.

page_in_edit_contents_mode (1)

Index Page

Generation of Index pages has become a solution to keep hundreds of pages sorted by the source page template. The add-on creates index page for each page template individually in the space. Upon this option was enabled once several pages have been already created, the index page will also add these pages to the newly created. Right from here, you can always quickly create a new page based on the specific template.

index_page (1)

Project Results

Usage of the add-on has allowed the company to speed up the work with forms and page templates including Scaffolding macros and to simplify the overall user experience. Automatic page switch to the Edit Contents mode saves up quite enough time for other activities every month.  Automatic generation of an index page for each specific template allows storing all the related pages in one place with quick access to all of them at once.