Plugin Requests and Evaluations

A major reason that the Confluence Wiki software was chosen for use by Harvard was that it could be customized through the use of macros and plugins. Macros and plugins both add to the basic features and functionality of the Confluence Wikis and are supported by a vibrant developer community focused on their creation and maintenance. 

Users can request an evaluation of a macro or plugin by submitting this form

Macros or plugins must be compatible with our currently installed version, and those that are at least one of the following are preferred:

We will evaluate each request to ensure its installation will not adversely affect the Wiki’s performance, security, or the application's upgrade path. 

Plugins Evaluated 

Plugin NameDate EvaluatedInstalled?Why or Why not?
Breadcrumbs Navigation12/2013NoWhile this plugin is compatible with Harvard's current version of Confluence (5.1), it was produced by a single individual and does not have an update history since its release in early 2013. Before making the plugin available, the iCommons team needs to ensure that this is a plugin that will be kept up to date as Confluence continues to roll out new versions.
ViewTracker12/2013NoOn large installations of Confluence (such as Harvard's), the queries associated with the ViewTracker Plugin could possibly slow down the application, as per the vendor's documentation here. The iCommons team is investigating a custom stats solution that will allow the queries to be run and will also contain additional statistics useful to specific use cases at Harvard.
Survey12/2013NoQualtrics can be used in combination with the iframe macro in order to allow for surveys within the Wiki page. If a lightweight, native solution is needed, the Vote Macro and Survey Macro is available.
Diagramly10/2013YesThis free solution allows for many of the common features of drawing programs. Additionally, the files are stored on Harvard's servers as wiki page attachments and the files created can be accessed if the plugin is disabled at a later date.
SQL10/2013NoThe main concerns were related to the effort to maintain a separate database for querying, the cost of licensing the plugin, and security and privacy concerns of allowing users to query Wiki data.
Community Bubbles10/2013NoThis plugin was declined because the addition of the "communities" feature would conflict with the current groups configuration of the Wiki by adding another layer of permissions. Also, there would be involvement from iCommons whenever a new permission scheme or community was defined, which is currently handled through the user interface by the groups feature already available in the Harvard Wiki.
Confluence Multivote10/2013NoTwo other options were available that use current Harvard tools and Confluence macros. First, it was recommended that Qualtrics could be used in combination with the iframe macro in order to allow polling within the Wiki page. Additionally, the Vote Macro and Survey Macros were re-enabled in order to allow users to run quick polls and voting via an existing macro.
Macro Security10/2013NoThis was not a macro request, but it was evaluated at the same time as the SQL Plugin and the Scaffolding Plugin. The Macro Security plugin needed to accompany the two plugins in order to restrict querying access to a list of specific users (for the SQL Plugin) and to access Scaffolds (Scaffolding Plugin) When the accompanying plugins were declined, the review of this was no longer needed.
Create Page7/2013YesThis plugin allows users to initiate page creation from within a Confluence page while setting variables like page name, template, and other useful settings.
Scaffolding7/2013NoThe scaffolding plugin allows the creation of content guided by specific "scaffolds," similar to a template. Additional customization and an additional plugin (macro security) would need to be completed in order to use the plugin on a specific space. In place of features provided by this plugin, the iCommons team is investigating several custom macros that will allow users to create content using existing templates and Blueprints.
Tracking7/2013NoOn large installations of Confluence (such as Harvard's), the queries associated with the Tracking Plugin could possibly slow down the application. The iCommons team is investigating a custom stats solution that will allow the queries to be run and will also contain additional statistics useful to specific use cases at Harvard.
LucidChart7/2013NoSignificant cost (recurring) - $3, per user, per month ($36 a year per user). 
Creately7/2013NoSignificant cost (initial and recurring) - $3,000 initial, $1,500 per year for maintenance.
Gliffy11/2012NoSignificant cost (recurring) - $2,400 per year.
Comala Canvas01/2015NoSignificant cost (initial) - >$1600.
Mobile plugin01/2015NoDoes not improve mobile navigation within a space or navigation directly to desired spaces.