Our users already enjoy Read Confirmations in our Comala Document Management Family of Apps. Comalatech itself has been using Read Confirmation internally as we have been implementing SOC 2 practices. The feature has proven so useful that we wanted to bring it to Confluence Cloud as a stand-alone app. Making it accessible for teams of any size that are leveraging cloud in their organizations and ready to be installed through the Atlassian Marketplace.

What it does

Assign team members to read Confluence pages, and keep track of who has read them, with Comala Read Confirmations.

Users confirm reading with a simple click, and you can request new people to read the document at any time. If the content of the page changes, send out a new request for confirmation from the previous assignees.

How we built it

Read Confirmations exists as a feature within our existing apps, but there was plenty of work needed to bring it to the Cloud. When Codegeist 2020 was announced, our team kicked into high gear to deliver this app on both the Forge and Connect platforms. The main reason we built our app on the Connect platform is that we wanted this solution to be available after the hackathon is finished, we know that this will deliver value to teams and individuals that need to assign readers to their content in Confluence.

We used the ActionMenu to enable the entry point for our app and we also discussed having the entry point through the Custom Content API in the Confluence page byline-ui, the app will be invoked through a Macro. We made a simple UI for with ModalDialogs that enable the user to choose the Confluence users through the user API, so we can get their profile information and show it to the user to select the readers for the Confluence page.

It is crucial that users get notifications when they have been assign as a document reader, so we built a simple notification service in the backend that enables notifications to be scheduled using the Confluence REST API.

Challenges we ran into

Even though we have read confirmations built into our server products, it didn't mean it was a snap to bring it to the Cloud. The existing feature was integrated right into our approval workflow engine, so our initial challenge was building it out to function independently.

We had an ambitious roadmap for the Connect app and had to make some compromises a long the way to deliver product value from the app, so expect some interesting features when the hackathon ends.

Connect is a very solid and tried platform, our previous experience developing apps in Cloud helped us get everything ready in just a few days. So nothing new on the tech stack, but it is always a great experience to build a new app from scratch and gave us an opportunity to review the recent changes in ACE.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

That our team could create and launch a Connect app in record breaking time, we had to be pragmatic when choosing the features we wanted to build since Connect has a lot of components and modules ready and accesible to developing teams. We choose the one's that delivered a great user experience and enabled important information to be displayed through the Macro.

What we learned

With a small team you need to focus in getting product goals and feature specs ready from day one, so we used Trello to kickstart the project and found that implementing it as a Kanban board is really easy and enables an easy migration of the project to Jira once we have launched it to the public.

Atlaskit lets you deliver an application with their components making it easy to embed into Confluence Cloud, just by following the Atlassian Guidelines. We did not assign a designer to the project and both of this libraries proved to be valuable assets to deliver our app, also it is important for developers to understand that there are different Jira and Confluence assets.

What's next for Comala Read Confirmations for Confluence Cloud

We're not stopping here with Read Confirmations. We have plans to release additional features for the app, and we've also discussed integrating it with our Comala Document Control app. The future should be exiting for both Confluence Cloud and Comala Read Confirmations!

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