This is a guest blog by draw.io. draw.io for Confluence is a collaboration between JGraph and SEIBERT MEDIA. JGraph has been licensing web diagramming technology to the world’s largest companies since 2005. SEIBERTMEDIA GmbH is one of Atlassian’s biggest partners worldwide, with over 130 employees across Germany and the USA. Since 2014, SEIBERTMEDIA is the official vendor of draw.io. has been available through the Atlassian Marketplace since 2012.
Diagrams: a valuable work tool
Diagrams in companies are similar to data in tables: neither have a reputation for being sexy, but they are ubiquitous and important work tools. IT teams use them to visualise their infrastructure, HR departments build organisational charts to show the company’s hierarchical structure, administrative employees use diagrams to create room layouts, and development teams build roadmaps. A concise visualisation is understood more easily and quickly than even the most accurate textual description.
Desktop software is still used for diagramming in many organisations – one person creates a static diagram by themselves, which must be then sent by email or printed. This is too slow, especially as companies have increasingly come to rely on fast-paced collaboration between employees and teams.
Today, it’s vital that diagrams live and evolve organically, and not remain static and dead after creation. It is equally important to ensure that user-friendly software enables every employee in a company to work with diagrams.
draw.io for Confluence offers a solution.
Flexibility for all users
draw.io is one of the most feature-rich diagramming tools on the market, and competes with professional desktop solutions like Visio. Hundreds of visual elements and functions in numerous toolbars can be used to create diagrams for all possible applications. Shapes and objects can be freely positioned on the grid, as well as moved, scaled and adjusted as needed, just as you would expect from any mature diagramming tool. draw.io also promises excellent performance on older, less powerful computers and tablets.
Users can customise and organise their interface at any time, enabling them to work effectively and efficiently. Toolbars can be displayed or hidden with a single click at any time. Power users benefit from the full functionality, and casual users can strip back the interface to display basic functions only.
Integrated revision history
A full version history of all digital content is a must in many companies. Organisations and teams want transparency for development of, and collaboration on, their content. They want full traceability of all changes and iterations.
draw.io offers this functionality. When you add a single letter to a Confluence page and save it, a new version of the page is created. When you add a single arrow to a draw.io diagram and save the page, a new version of the diagram is created in the Confluence page history. All changes to a draw.io diagram are tracked — with every save, a new version of the diagram is stored in the Confluence history. Users can compare versions and roll-back changes at any time. No other diagramming tool for Confluence offers this functionality.
Every company and team is different, and has its own specific applications for diagrams. But default elements and objects in diagramming tools are often not appropriate or not varied enough. That’s where custom libraries come in: draw.io allows you to create and share customised libraries with your own elements. Teams can create their own graphics and components then save them as shapes to custom libraries in draw.io, and they will always be available to use in future diagrams. Uploaded libraries are displayed in the left panel, just like the default libraries, and can be treated as native objects.
Gliffy mass import
Naturally, draw.io is not the only diagramming tool for Confluence on the market. The most powerful competitor is Gliffy. The mass import tool supports parallel usage of Gliffy and draw.io in one Confluence instance, and allows users to migrate quickly and easily from Gliffy to draw.io. With just one click, all existing Gliffy diagrams in a Confluence instance are converted to native draw.io diagrams. The original Gliffy diagrams remain accessible as page attachments.
You can also import MS Visio diagrams.
Teams that like to tailor their software to meet their specific needs have the option to highly customise draw.io. Teams can tailor the add-on at any time and in many ways, including the user interface, design and even the drawing tools themselves. No other diagramming add-on offers such deep customisation options.
Fast and continuous development
draw.io can do much more, too — from diagrams containing multiple pages, live indexing and searching of text within diagrams through to Google Drive integration draw.io is intensively and consistently developed, with updates containing new features released every few weeks. The development team naturally keeps on top of customer requests for new features and fixes.
Unlike many competing solutions, draw.io allows for the commercial use of diagrams, and thereby offers legal security for teams, for example which deliver software documentation containing diagrams to customers.
draw.io has been the most highly rated add-on in the Atlassian Marketplace since 2013. When it comes to professional, versioned diagrams in Confluence, you can’t miss the chance to objectively test drive draw.io.