Dropbox in Confluence, JIRA is HERE + glimpses of OnDemand integration

AppFusions has been moving faster than we can keep up with in last month+.

It always gets crazed like this every year before Atlassian Summit honestly, as the run up to Atlassian Summit becomes more like a sprint up Mt. Everest vs. a leisurely run in the park.

Ah well - it's all part of the fun, and so the team jumped in with all FOUR FEET each (given that four is better than two, and we needed the extras this round!).

Over the next week, we will introduce the many new products being launched at Atlassian Summit - but also already available/released in last couple weeks!



Here's two new ones, and prototype glimpses of onDemand app coming this summer.


Dropbox in Confluence - for Atlassian Confluence "on-premise"


In short - access, preview, embed, download and edit your DropBox files in direct from within Confluence!

When editing, you can edit with any Office application, and the integration also knows what OS you are running, and adjusts appropriately (supporting Mac, Windows, Linux).

Read more about it here.

Check out the video:


Dropbox in JIRA - for Atlassian JIRA "on-premise"


Access, preview, download, and attach (link) your DropBox files to an JIRA issue directly from JIRA. Read more about it here.

Check out the video:


Dropbox in Confluence - for Atlassian OnDemand Confluence


NOT YET RELEASED, but by the following screenshots/slideshow, you can see that the integration is WELL underway. Summer fun! (smile)

This initial implementation was done for Atlassian Summit presentation as a solid example of Atlassian's new RemoteApps frameworks.

As you can see here - the future is becoming closer to near!


MUCH Kudos Warranted!


Kudos to the AppFusions development team - which was truly a many person team effort for these integrations!

In particular, Laura Kolker and Danielle Zhu lead the Dropbox On-premise implementations, with some pitch-ins by David Simpson. Patrick Li drove the OnDemand implementation, our first - of many to come!

Also - kudos to Don Brown and Rich Manalang of the Atlassian Dev Relations team for valued OnDemand development tips ...

We're pretty stoked about these, mostly since its only the beginning. We have a few others in the coup to evolve for OnDemand customers.

Will be a very busy Q3/Q4!


What's Next?

We have lots more to introduce - but if you'd like to skip ahead of the curve - here's the teasers already released/in queue with the fancy new Atlassian Marketplace:

Of course, these releases are on top of our many other existing integrations and plugins!



Contact us any time if you have questions or would like to evaluate any of these products.

MUCH additional product development will continue on all our products through the summer.

Just getting going, as usual! (smile)

(Press Release) AppFusions Speeds Enterprise Software Development, Integrating iRise® Visualization with Atlassian JIRA, Confluence

[issued April 24, 2012]

iRise Simulations for JIRA and Confluence lets software developers quickly see and experience applications from within Atlassian’s most popular products.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. & SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--iRise®, the global leader in enterprise visualization solutions, and AppFusions, experts in Atlassian system integrations and services, today announced new integrations between iRise and two leading products from Atlassian, one of the world’s most popular providers of collaborative platforms for software developers.

iRise visualization gives users the ability to create visual prototypes of new software projects that look and act just like the real thing, before a single line of code is written. The technology lets stakeholders and target users “kick the tires” on new applications, including mobile apps, and give feedback while it’s still easy and less costly to make changes.

AppFusions’ integrations of iRise visualization with Atlassian JIRA and Confluence brings significant new value to two of Atlassian’s most popular development products: JIRA – their issue tracking tool, and Confluence, their enterprise collaboration wiki platform.

About iRise Simulations for JIRA

Users can easily link to and preview working iRise visualizations from any JIRA issue. Associating JIRA tasks with simulations naturally speeds development. There is no faster way to understand an “agile story” or use case than through a live simulation. See video | more info.

About iRise Simulations for Confluence

Users can embed iRise visualizations directly within Confluence pages, enabling others to interact with and comment on live, working simulations without leaving the page. Through live simulations, vague textual use case descriptions are strengthened and quickly understood, saving endless hours of design time and confusion between engineering and product teams. See video | more info.

iRise’s patented software visualization technology helps companies and government agencies meet their workforce’s raised expectations of elegant design and ease of use, a by-product of users’ personal experience with mobile platforms such as the iPhone and the iPad. The demands that stem from the skyrocketing use of such platforms in business - often referred to as "the consumerization of IT" - have put many organizations under intense pressure to create business applications for stakeholders who expect to take their apps with them wherever they go, and who are quickly irritated by even small usability flaws.

iRise Simulations for JIRA and iRise Simulations for Confluence are available now for purchase from AppFusions.

“Integrated iRise simulations in Confluence and JIRA are a natural fit, enabling fast and efficient design, vetting, and code rework cycles,” said Ellen Feaheny, CEO and Co-Founder of AppFusions. “With high-fidelity iRise simulations early in the development lifecycle, requirements are conveyed crystal clear, misunderstandings are mitigated, and most importantly, costly design pitfalls are avoided.”

“As a trusted Atlassian integrations partner, AppFusions is an expert at developing integrations for Atlassian products. We couldn’t have found a better partner to integrate iRise to JIRA and Confluence,” stated Emmet B. Keeffe III, CEO and Co-Founder of iRise. “The availability of these two integrations will bring unprecedented speed and accuracy to the development process for JIRA and Confluence users.”

“We’re excited to see these new iRise integrations. Atlassian’s core objective is ‘to help software development products work faster and smarter, together.’ Simulated user experiences drive home this goal directly, and teams will now be able to diligently collaborate, tune, and drive their projects even faster in Confluence and JIRA, so when coding does begin, it is done right---the first time,” said Audra Eng, VP of Product Management at Atlassian.

"The use of iRise with other popular tools such as JIRA and Confluence can only help to streamline application development and accelerate time to market," says John Nevin, Manager of Technical Operations for The Community Corps at NPower and a user of both JIRA and iRise. “We've already experienced an order of magnitude improvement in speed and efficiency using iRise, and look forward to even greater gains now that these products are easier to use together."

AppFusions’ integrations of iRise into JIRA and Confluence were enabled by the iRise iConnect API, which provides web services that allow bi-directional linking between iRise and almost any requirements definition and management system. To learn more about extending and integrating with the iRise platform, visit the iRise Developer Network at http://idn.irise.com.

About iRise

iRise is the world's leading provider of enterprise visualization software for business applications. Visualization has become a critical competitive advantage for businesses to more effectively communicate their needs to technology teams and give everyone involved the ability to interact with and fully experience applications before they are built. Companies of all sizes---such as General MotorsUPSFedExHaworthManpowerM.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and hundreds of others---use iRise to "test drive" their applications before building, which accelerates time to market, improves customer experience, and drives cost down. Headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., iRise is backed by Morgan Stanley Venture Partners, and Deutsche Bank, and has sales offices across North America and in London.

About Atlassian

Atlassian products help innovators everywhere track, build, and launch great software. More than 18,000 large and small organizations – including Citigroup, eBay, Netflix and Nike – use Atlassian’s issue tracking, collaboration and software-development products to work smarter and deliver quality results on time.

About AppFusions

AppFusions is a social, business, and engineering systems integrations firm offering multi-technology application solutions, enabling enterprises to harness together key systems for improved efficiencies. AppFusions' Atlassian technologies' expertise is some of the most technically capable in the industry. Their products portfolio includes integrations with Atlassian, Jive, IBM, Box, Google, UserVoice, Attensa, Alfresco, and more. AppFusions' customers overlap with their technology partners' customers – from SMB to Fortune 100s, worldwide. AppFusions works in U.S., Australia, and Europe.
Companies and products mentioned may be trademarks of their respective owners.


Contacts

iRise
Maya Zarchan, 781-894-1739
SS|PR
mzarchan@sspr.com
or
AppFusions
Ellen Feaheny, 831-247-9417
CEO/co-founder
ellen@appfusions.com

New Confluence Wiki Industry-Shaker Book - by Sarah Maddox - Get it


A few weeks ago a technical communications industry-shaker book was released!


"Confluence, Tech Comm, Chocolate: A wiki as platform extraordinaire for technical communication" is a book by Sarah Maddox, the brain, brawn, and head information architect (along with the killer tech doc team at Atlassian) behind Atlassian Software's extraordinary technical documentation set, developed and delivered on Confluence Wiki, and supporting over 10 products, developer documentation, and more.

Icon

Following is a story and by the end, book justification vs. review.

It is a story of a situation that likely resonates with many current or past tech writers – as well as marketers and execs, since truth be told, documentation affects all sides of a business.

This is a story about the love/hate realities of niche documentation tools, process knowledge, and all too common lone-soldier documentation roles. It is a story about the personal, professional, and corporate limitations and risks to this paradigm – and the many more opportunities available with a collaborative documentation strategy.

Sarah's book provides fresh industry perspectives for healthy documentation strategy freedom, and vital keys to her craft. Her book is a 476-page enabler to build a documentation set as great as Atlassian Software's.


Making "state of the art" documentation, back then

A little over 5 years ago, I was first introduced to Atlassian Confluence (and JIRA).

At the time, I was a newly hired product manager at a unified communications/voice messaging company in Cupertino, CA.

Prior, I'd had a thriving tech. doc consulting business for 10+ years. My experience came from great name corps, like AOL, Apple, Avaya, Cisco Systems, ChipX, Cylink, ECTF, Kineto Wireless, Motorola, 8x8, Octel, PublicMind, Symbol, Symantec, Visteon (Ford Motor Co.), and more than a dozen lesser known startup corps...

As a self-employed contractor, I’d always been tossed the gnarliest of tech doc challenges – which honestly, suited me just fine. The harder the problems, the better and more vital my skills became, the more contracts came my way. Work was endlessly steady, even through the dot-com bust. I’d often juggle 3-5 clients at a time. I was in my element.

My main tools: Adobe FrameMaker, Adobe Acrobat, and the ultimate niche skill product: WebWorks Publisher.

The new company I was joining had been my client for the previous 1 1/2 years. I owned and created their doc set from scratch, with all the latest and greatest flexible-doc bells and whistles:

  • single-sourcing
  • conditional text excerpts and flexible variables
  • integrated context-sensitive links from product dialogs
  • multiple graphics formats
  • auto-compiling doc builds
  • multiple platform/format outputs: online help, Website HTML, PDF, and print

It was versatile, friendly, and searchable with custom navigation features. It was polished. 

It was state of the art at the time, in tools, practices, and results. After all, I'd learned from some of the best high tech corps of the times!


The ominous onus of niche tech doc skills

I knew the company's product like the back of my hand – afterall I'd doc'd (and tested) it from all angles.

My conscience was clear – I could leave the doc behind with good faith, and dive into PMing fully.

==

Truth be had: NOT so fast!

Months later, a replacement tech writer job req had still not been opened! My management kept telling me "We'll hire; I assure you." But it never happened. I felt duped, and extremely challenged by the reality of my "stuck" predicament.

In-house, I was the only one that knew how to use my tools, update docs, even cross Ts. No one knew how the tools/doc process worked, compiled, ran, published -- and no one wanted to know!

I also knew that finding someone with WebWorks skills was close to impossible. It was the most sought after tech doc skill in the valley, and those who knew the tool were never available. I knew – I'd been one of them!

I was willing to train someone, but clearly my management thought differently: Why pay to train when you already have someone doing it great?

I was caught in the “hostage twist of the trade": cornered in a role because my skills were too specialized.

While deciding my next career move, I supported 40+ engineers in all product documentation efforts.


What? Confluence for official product documentation?

Confluence meanwhile was picking up pace for internal project management efforts. I started getting excited about the wiki and all it had to offer (even at v2.1!). 

About the same time, I learned of Sarah Maddox, a senior technical writer at Atlassian.

Sarah had a blog, providing sage and experienced tech writing advice. We used different tools, but I really identified with her way of thinking.

The Atlassian documentation team were in the early stages of building their product documentation set on Confluence Wiki.

Building official product documentation on a wiki?! This was new, and interesting:

  • I noticed that their wiki documentation was exposed to the Web, and changes were often made on-the-fly. They would do releases, but they could also make changes after a release. Unheard of!

  • I noticed that the online wiki doc was the primary format, but they also provided PDF and XML outputs, and context-sensitive links.

  • I noticed how certain components were templated ("excerpts", "includes", "user macros"), so "content blocks" could be shared in other docs or sections.

  • I noticed how easy it was to find things with Google, and that all content was SEO indexed regularly. Atlassian documentation always ranked high in search results.

    I recalled how Cisco did something similar years earlier during their rise. As one of the first networking companies, Cisco quickly gained credibility as THE defacto networking industry expert by overwhelming the Internet with their voluminous content and PDF documentation (among other reasons). RIM and BEA Systems were other corps that took this strategic approach, also having fast early momentum.

  • I noticed how engineers and PMs -- without special doc tool skills – would lend a hand, and update the doc themselves sometimes: fix wordings, typos, clarifications, add sections. In general, help – a notion that was completely foreign to me as a lone soldier.

  • I noticed how Atlassian was having above average fast success for a still very young company at the time. The doc had to be driving some of that Internet traffic and success.

  • I noticed how fast Atlassian was releasing product iterations. I figured that the increased documentation visibility and collaboration was naturally pushing better momentum in the organization.  

  • I noticed how Atlassian was also growing an active online community by allowing comments on the public doc wiki pages.

And a whole lot more. I didn’t know any companies at the time that was doing doc this way (yet!)


It was cutting edge, bold, powerful, and strategically AWESOME!

I watched Atlassian documentation evolve that year, and was envious. It pained "my stuck" feelings even more:

  • I started realizing just how deep my hole (and the entire tech doc industry hole) was. 

  • I started realizing just how inefficient niche tech doc tools and processes had become, ironically.

  • I could see that efficiencies well beyond the doc teams' efforts where being accomplished at Atlassian using these wiki approaches to documentation.

Clearly, "documentation" was not the only thing Atlassian was building through their documentation set!

==

I wanted to use the wiki for our doc, but I wasn’t allowed. I wanted the engineers to collaborate on bit pieces for the doc, and even that was trumped down. In fact, almost every time I added anything to the wiki, the Sr. PM would come to my desk and ask why I wrote something in the wiki; it was only for product management. #SeriousInsultToInjury

"What?! It’s a collaboration tool – that’s what it’s for!"

For a bit, I thought I was nuts. But I also knew that the Atlassian documentation progress I witnessed that year was not nuts.

After a year, I finally left that company/nuthouse! – with a new career passion in my sight: Atlassian Software!


Building a goldmine!

At a higher level, I considered Sarah Maddox to be one of the most brilliant and daring documentation professionals out there!

And Atlassian was building a goldmine in their web-based wiki documentation assets. 

Fast-forward 5 years... the proof is in the pudding!

  • The Atlassian documentation set speaks for itself.

    It is truly a phenomenal technical documentation set/reference implementation by any industry measure.

  • Atlassian as a corporation is now a globally well-known fast tracking success-story that has quadrupled in size since -- with far more in sales success -- even despite "the GFC".

    Sure, their great products and marketing help in this success, but as a company selling Enterprise software on the Internet, their documentation is an enormous contributor to this success without a doubt.


Morals of the story

While there's numerous points to this story, here's a couple key takeaways:

  • For tech writers/corporations stuck in linear old non-collaborative doc process paradigms, there's hope!

    With iterative collaboration and shared purpose deliverables, business goals, and processes – incredible efficiencies, teamwork, value, and new opportunities can take root through the documentation process.

    With management support – the potential of documentation (and you) to your organization is endless! And that’s how it should be!

  • If your management does not support you, leave. Run, do not walk, and find your path!


Who should buy this book?


Check out Sarah’s book -- for best-in-industry perspectives, valuable tips, tricks, recommendations, and a whole ton more on being successful using Confluence as a documentation platform, and beyond!!

476 stocked pages! Here's the link on Amazon.

I don't think there is any bigger power user than Sarah!

Are you ...

Why?

Atlassian customer

If you use Confluence - or considering Confluence in the future, learn about the endless opportunities with Confluence, for documentation and well beyond.

Technical Writers

Regardless of where you work or live in the world, if you are currently using conventional technical documentation tools like FrameMaker, Word, Webworks, Robohelp, MadCap, or the like, learn more about strategic documentation practices with Confluence.

Product Managers

If you are responsible for end-to-end product deliverables, including documentation, you should read this book for new perspectives. Optimize your team collaboration and product documentation, with greatest results.

Marketing Professionals

If you work in a company with documentation "behind the firewall", and large business growth objectives, you should review this book. By not having your documentation public, you are missing a massive SEO opportunity, in addition to an opportunity to show yourself off as a technical expert in your industry – among much more!

Executive Management

If you want to increase your brand, sales, marketability, and overall business growth, read this or give it to your team to evaluate it. Sarah's book has high strategic value.

If you fit in the above list, this book is a must have.

(Press Release) AppFusions Rolls Out Eight Integrations to Support Atlassian's Most Significant Release to Date - JIRA 5

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 28, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AppFusions is pleased to announce the release of eight integrations supporting Atlassian Software's most significant release: Atlassian JIRA 5.

  • Box in JIRA
  • JIRA in Jive
  • JIRA Connector for IBM Sametime
  • Google Docs in JIRA 
  • UserVoice Feedback and Helpdesk for JIRA
  • JIRA+ Enterprise Activity in IBM Connections
  • SpeakMyLanguage Translation On Demand for JIRA
  • SSO Authenticator for Active Directory and JIRA

All offerings are available via Atlassian Plugin Exchange, AppFusions' website, and cross-vendor catalogs.

"AppFusions continues to push the envelope as an Atlassian expert in system integrations," said Ken Olofsen, Atlassian's group product marketing manager for JIRA. "They leverage JIRA 5's advanced API to enable users to gain access to information across varied software systems and applications that ultimately contributes to higher engagement and accountability."

About JIRA 5

Atlassian JIRA is project tracking software for teams building great software. Sitting at the center of your development team or support center, teams track cases, bugs and defects, link issues to related source code, plan agile development, monitor activity, report on project status, and more.

The JIRA 5 brings together people, teams and other applications through many social business and integration-significant new features. At a high-level, JIRA 5 includes: 

  • "share" issue or search forwarding features
  • embedded "@mention"-support to engage other team members
  • enhanced APIs for remote system creates, updates, links
  • mixed-system activity-stream integration support, and more

JIRA is deployed in 11,300 companies in 110 countries. See Atlassian JIRA customers here

About AppFusions' Releases

AppFusions took top advantage of the expansive JIRA 5 improvements during Q3/Q4 2011 to ensure timely releases of their integrations, new and updated. 

Box in JIRA -- new!

"Attach" (link), preview, edit, download, and navigate Box files directly from JIRA. Video | More...

JIRA in Jive -- updated!

Search, view, create, update JIRA issues directly from Jive, among other (e.g., activity streams, Jive discussion integration, etc.). Video | More...

JIRA Connector for IBM Sametime -- new!

Engage in IBM Sametime messaging in context with JIRA issues, where it matters. Video | More...

Google Docs in JIRA  -- updated!

"Attach" (link), preview, edit, download, and navigate Google Docs directly from JIRA. Video | More ...

UserVoice Feedback and Helpdesk for JIRA 5 -- new!

Bi-directional feedback and helpdesk ticket processing between UserVoice and JIRA. Video More...

JIRA+ Enterprise Activity in IBM Connections -- new!

Live-link activity streams in IBM Connections from JIRA and all systems integrated with JIRA. Video | More...

SpeakMyLanguage Translation On Demand for JIRA -- updated!

On-the-fly translations of JIRA issues, supporting 31 languages. More...

SSO Authenticator for Active Directory and JIRA -- updated!

Windows SSO authentication between Active Directory and JIRA (or other applications), using Kerberos protocol.  More...

Note: Most of these products have sister versions for Confluence 4.X, Atlassian's latest Wiki release (Oct. 2011). The product is enjoying much acceptance with a re-designed rich text editor that increases adoption cycles while reducing learning curves.

What's next?

Atlassian Summit is May 30, 2012 in San Francisco. AppFusions will be a key sponsor, presenting these and other applications in their portfolio, and under development. Early-bird tickets to the event are here!

About Atlassian

Atlassian products help innovators everywhere plan, build and launch great software. More than 17,000 large and small organizations – including Citigroup, eBay, Netflix and Nike – use Atlassian's issue tracking, collaboration and software-development products to work smarter and deliver quality results, faster. Learn more at http://atlassian.com

About AppFusions 

AppFusions is a social, business, and engineering systems integrations firm offering multi-technology application solutions, enabling enterprises to harness together workflows and key data systems with improved efficiencies. AppFusions has created many unique solutions, such as these mentioned herein, and more.

AppFusions' Atlassian technologies' expertise is some of the most technically capable in the industry. Their portfolio of products and active engagement in the community exemplifies this high level of expertise. AppFusions' customers overlap with their technology partners' customers – from SMB to Fortune 100s, worldwide. AppFusions works in U.S., Australia, and Europe. Learn more at http://appfusions.com.

Companies and products mentioned may be trademarks of their respective owners.CONTACT: Media & Business Inquiries:
Ellen Feaheny
CEO, co-founder
831/247-9417
ellen@appfusions.com

AppFusions Receives IBM Technical Validation of IBM Integrations

AppFusions has been a business partner with IBM officially for almost 7 months, and more actively 6 months. The first month we planned our working steps with each other, lining up plans to make it happen.


The Labyrinth Called IBM

One of the best things to receive in email -- or life -- is "You're approved!"

When it comes to working with IBM, that especially means alot in the early days as your traverse the labyrinth of IBM processes, not quite sure of what you got yourself into, or which way you are or are not going, or which part of the process is more special than the next.

I mean, you sorta know - but whatever you know is followed by reams that you do not know (you discover) - and the journey continues, seemingly endless. I do know that.

Overall, it's phenomenal to experience and pretty exciting, both what you know and don't know. And regardless, the IBMers have relentlessly guided us in great ways - and things are moving along pretty well it seems. 

In short - IBM is one amazing engine.


One Day The Maze Makes Sense

Happy to say that I think we are finally figuring out the maze a bit, with amazement and appreciation for what all the steps mean (that make no sense at the beginning - but later, start to, more).

Hmmm - life is like that too. So is entrepreneurship!

In time, I think I have grown an appreciation for how they work with partners and customers on the outside, the information that is shared is enormous (can't keep up), and pretty excited about our future efforts working together.


Seek first to understand then to be understood...

Today, we reached a first step of being understood by IBM, with an official technical validation email:

Congratulations! You have successfully completed the qualification process for the Ready for IBM Lotus software mark and are now eligible to take advantage of a wide range of attractive benefits.
...

The Ready for IBM Lotus software mark signifies to your customers that your product is production-ready and accepted by IBM as Ready for IBM Lotus software.

As a benefit, by receiving the Ready for IBM Lotus software mark, your solution will be displayed and marketed to customers in the IBM Lotus Business Solutions Catalog and the IBM Global Solutions Directory.


Technical Validation Sessions

We actually knew this before.

Last Friday, David Simpson had a special technical validation review gotomeeting session, where he underwent hands-on technical demos of the new integration applications, as well as their underpinnings.

Usually you are tested one at a time, but IBM development went through the validation process of all three in one go. 


You're Approved!

The following AppFusions solutions were approved/validated, and so now we have this great new badge associated with these solutions!  Thanks IBM!

Now they are REALLY available for customers - and that feels good!

Integration Solution

IBM
Sametime

IBM
Connections

Atlassian
Product

IBM Business Solutions
Catalog

Atlassian Plugin
Exchange

AppFusions
Website

IBM Sametime in JIRA

Sametime 8.5.1

NA

JIRA 5+

Posted here

Posted here

More Info

IBM Sametime in Confluence

Sametime 8.5.1

NA

Confluence 4.X

Posted here

Posted here

More info

JIRA+ Enterprise
Activity in IBM Connections

NA

IBM Connections 
3.0.1 

JIRA 5+

Posted here 

Posted here

More info


Great job!

Great job David! Definitely, you get today's gold star!

The first of many validations to come though!

Wait till they see what's in the hopper ... only gets better!