Each week, Marketplace Monday profiles one (or more!) great add-ons available in the Atlassian Marketplace–where you can try and buy more than a thousand add-ons for Atlassian products.
Every time we approve a new add-on on the Atlassian Marketplace, the Ecosystem team celebrates. We launched the Marketpalce with 59 add-ons available in the Marketplace, so when we approved our 100th add-on in September, we were particularly excited because the developer was someone who has been around the Atlassian ecosystem as long as anyone: Bob Swift.
Atlassian customers around the world, and Atlassian itself, have benefitted from the work Bob has done developing add-ons for JIRA, Confluence, FishEye, Crucible, and Bamboo. The numerous add-ons available in the Marketplace from Bob Swift Software run the gamut from a command line interface for FishEye to advanced tables in Confluence to issue cloning in JIRA.
When I spoke at AtlasCamp 2012 in September, I congratulated Bob on all of his contributions to the Marketplace. Nick Wade, group manager for the Marketplace, presented Bob with a limited edition Atlassian Marketplace “100 Add-ons” t-shirt to celebrate the achievement. When we gave Bob his prize, he had contributed 11 commercial add-ons to the Atlassian Marketplace, and since then he’s made even more available. The Marketplace has allowed Bob to work full time at Bob Swift Software, developing and supporting his suite of add-ons.
From a deep roster of great add-ons, allow me to present the starting five. The Bob Swift all-star team, if you will.
Table Plugin for Confluence
The Table Plugin for Confluence is a pair of macros that enhance Confluence’s built in table capabilities. The CSV macro allows users to automatically convert comma separated values into a Confluence table. It supports both pasting CSV data directly into the macro body or referring to an attachment to the page, space, or a file on the server. It’s perfect for quickly adding data or tables to a page to take advantage of Confluence’s built in formatting capabilities or pulling data automatically from a remote location.
The Table Plugin pairs the CSV macro with the Table-plus macro, which adds more formatting capabilities to Confluence. These features include auto-totals, multiple header rows, and all manner of custom styling like font and cell background colors, table borders, and more.
SQL Plugin for Confluence
The SQL Plugin for Confluence is a must-have for organizations using Confluence to report data held in internal business databases. It allows you to define a SQL query within a macro and run that query on any JDBC-supported database (i.e. MSSQL, Oracle, DB2, PostgreSQL, mySQL). The resulting output is formatted as a Confluence table that can be easily customized with many of the parameters available in the Table Plugin.
Here’s an example:
You can then embed the SQL macro inside of Confluence’s chart macro, allowing you to easily create dynamic charts of data fed from your organization’s databases. It’s perfect for building simple dashboards for sales and marketing, human resources, finance, or any other team that commonly stores its data in structured databases. Finally, the SQL plugin can secured for trusted users by Bob Swift’s Macro Security Plugin, and has built-in parameters to prevent XSS injections and other security vulnerabilities.
HTML Plugin for Confluence
Frequently, users will want to embed HTML content on Confluence pages. While Confluence supports many types of embedded HTML (like YouTube videos, Slideshare presentations, or Twitter feeds) natively with the Widget Connector, there are many other use cases for embedded HTML that need a secure macro for Confluence.
The HTML Plugin for Confluence renders HTML content on a Confluence page, either from inline HTML within the macro body or from an HTML file attached to the page. You can also refer to external style sheets or add CSS inline. It comes bundled with Bob Swift’s XSLT macro also, which will render XML inside of Confluence with an XSLT style sheet.
Finally, the HTML Plugin can be secured with Bob Swift’s Macro Security Plugin, so that only trusted users can add HTML content to Confluence pages.
Run Plugin for Confluence
At Atlassian, we’re huge fans of the Run Plugin for Confluence, which allows page creators to set variables within the macro body which page users can then define. What does this look like in practice? When used in conjunction with the SQL Plugin, it allows page users to pull data from a database without editing the underlying SQL query.
It supports a huge variety of different input field types–text, radio buttons, checkboxes, integers, floats, dates, and more. Page creaters can simply define variables within the macro body, such as in the WHERE statement of a SQL query. When page users fill out the fields and click submit, the page will asynchronously render the contents of the macro with the variables replaced with the user’s selctions.
In addition to working with the SQL Plugin, the Run Plugin is also great for running BeanShell scripts for Java. The macro is highly customizable, all within the macro body itself. Check out the plugin documentation for a host of examples.
Graphviz Plugin for Confluence
The last highly useful add-on from Bob Swift we’re featuring today is the Graphviz Plugin for Confluence. The Graphviz Plugin uses the open source Graphviz Visualization Software to automatically render diagrams based on their DOT language. Once your server is running the Graphviz software, you can automatically create diagrams right inside of the macro body.
It’s a powerful way to easily express ideas through visualization without the overhead of more complex WYSIWYG diagramming tools. Moreover, the plugin supports regular Confluence tables as well as tables gneerated from the SQL and CSV plugins.
The X Factor
Many of the most popular add-ons from Bob Swift are secured by his Macro Security for Confluence add-on. The macro security add-on allows administrators to restrict use of macro or certain macro parameters to trusted users or administrators. It can also define space specific restrictions and supports Confluence user groups for easy administration.
Since last time…
Check these posts each week to see if there’s something new that will work for your organization, then get an evaluation version from the Marketplace or straight from the Universal Plugin Manager in JIRA, Confluence, or our developer tools. And make sure you’re subscribed to the “Special Offers” list on My.Atlassian.com so you receive the upcoming November edition of the Atlassian Marketplace Newsletter!