INTRODUCTION

    The Simple Announcements Addon gives you the ability to display announcements in your Confluence Cloud instance. These banners can be shown on any Confluence page.

    If you're asking yourself why you would want to use this addon, the answer is simple:

    Atlassian doesn't provide a good way of showing announcements in Confluence cloud, making it cumbersome to use the existing Confluence 'header' feature.

    With this plugin, you can easily create rich announcements, schedule them, and decide whether they should be shown to logged in users, or public users.

    PREREQUISITES

    Simple Announcements doesn't have any special pre-requisisted besides having a Confluence Cloud instance.

    KNOWN LIMITATIONS

    The addon currently has a few limitations you should be aware of:

    - We are currently not supporting announcements for specific spaces or user groups.
    As such, all announcements are global, and automatically shown on ALL pages.

    NOTE: sometime in Q1 2019 we will add new functionality to limit announcements to a specific spage, or user group.

    USING SIMPLE ANNOUNCEMENTS

    Setting up the Dashboard Gadget

    You actually don't have to do anything :)

    After installation, the addon automatically adds a new "Gadget" to the Confluence dashboard.
    More specifically, we show an "Announcements" section on the Activity screen, in the right sidebar



    What functionality does the Dashboard Gadget provide?

    This gadget is responsible for showing a list of currently active announcements.

    As you can see in the screenshot, we can see the title for each announcement, along with a read status.
    Any announcements already seen and acknowledged are marked with a checkmark, while unread announcements have a view icon. This makes it easy for users to see which announcements are currently active, and revisit them if needed.

    Confluence administrators will see a "Manage" button, which allows navigating to the Manage Announcements screen. Non-administrators will not see this button.

    Creating an Announcement

    Announcements can be created from the "Manage Announcements" screen. As an administrator, simply click on "Manage Announcements" in the main Confluence navigation sidebar.

    manage announcements link in jira sidebar

    Or alternatively, use the "Manage" button from the Dashboard widget

    manage button on dashboard widget



    From the Manage Announcements screen, click on the "New Announcement" button to launch the creation screen.

    New Announcements are split into multiple settings.

    Announcement Type

    The announcement type determines the 'scope' of the announcement. This determines where the announcement will show up, and doesn't necessarily have anything to do with visuals. Read the Announcement Types section for a more detailed overview of the various types


    Announcement Style

    The Announcement style determines how the Announcement will look.

    A 'Banner' will show as a large, wide dialog with a solid background.

    A 'Dialog' will show a medium sides dialog with a white background and colored accents


    Announcement Color and Icon

    The color determines either the background color for Banner style announcements, or the accent color (icon color, button color, etc) for Dialog style announcements.

    The icon determines which icon you would like to show to the left of the announcement title.


    Title

    This is the title of the announcement and will always show as the first line, and separated from the announcement message with a horizontal rule


    Message

    This is the main content body of the announcement. It supports rich text editing. Find more details in the Rich Content section.


    Scheduling

    The start and end date allow you to schedule an announcement to start in the future, and/or end at some specific point in time. Read the Scheduling section for more details.


    As you fill out the various parts of the creation screen, you can always Preview your announcement to see how the choices you made impact the visuals and final result of your announcement.

    Once you're satisfied, save the announcement, and it will become effective immediately. Once saved, the announcement type, and visiblility settings of the announcement become locked in, and cannot be changed when editing. Only styling and content can be changed when editing an announcement.

    NOTE:

    For performance reasons, and to provide a better user experience, our addon uses caching quite extensively. As such, it can take a minute or three before your announcement is visible to users.

    Different Types of Announcements

    The announcement type has little to do with how the announcement looks, and more specifically determines the 'scope' of the announcement. By which we mean 'who' can see the announcement.

    Type Description
    Global Global Announcements are shown to all authenticated Confluence users on all Confluence pages.

    Anonymous users, not authenticated to your Confluence instance will not see Global announcements.
    Public Public Announcements are only shown to anonymous users that have not authenticated to your Confluence instance. This type is also shown on all Confluence pages.

    Logged in users will not see this type of announcement.

    Announcement Styling

    Announcement styling and visuals allows you to change the look and feel of your announcement.

    The style determines the shape and visual template of the announcement, while the color and icon are accents within each style.

    Banner

    Banner announcement are still dialogs, but they are wider, and have a solid background.
    This would be the result of a red banner with a warning icon:

    Dialog

    Dialog announcement are more subtle dialogs with a white background and colored accents.
    This would be the result of a green dialog with a globe icon:

    Style, color, and icon can always be changed, even after a banner has been created.

    Embedding Rich Content

    Announcements use a rich text editor, and provide the ability to embed rich content like sub-headings, colored text, lists, tables, and links.

    At the moment, announcements don't support images and user mentions yet, but this is functionality we are evaluating for a future iteration along with other rich content and templates.

    Scheduling Announcements for specific dates

    All announcements can be scheduled to start and/or end on specific dates. On the announcement create/edit screen, you will see a Scheduling section that allows setting the start and end date:

    Using the start date allows you to set when an announcement should begin showing to users, while using the end date allows you to set when an announcement should stop being shown to users.

    Both date fields are optional. This allows you to create announcements that start on a specific date, but are open ended, or to create announcements that start right away, but end on a specific date.

    The scheduled date of announcements can be changed when editing an announcement, and the schedule will be adjusted immediately. Do note that due to caching, it can take a minute or three for the changes to take effect.

    Announcements with a schedule date in the future have a status of "Scheduled", and will only be visible to Admin users on the Manage Announcements screen. Regular users will not see these announcements.

    Once the schedule for an announcement dictates that it should be shown to users, we transition the announcement to an 'active' state, at which point users will see it.

    Similarly, when an announcements schedule dictates that it should no longer be shown to users, we transition it to an 'inactive' state, at which point regular users won't see it anymore, and only admin users can see it.

    Dismissing Announcements & Read Receipts

    Confluence users will be presented with Announcement dialogs on any page they visit.

    Each announcement has a "dismiss" button. This allows the user to acknowledge an announcement and mark it as read. Behind the scenes, we note the fact that this user marked an announcement as read, and in the future, don't show this same announcement anymore.

    It is possible for users to hit the Escape key on their keyboard to exit out of an announcement. This, however, does not mark the announcement as read, and the user will be presented with the same announcement again when the next screen loads.

    NOTE:

    Users can always view active announcements from the Dashboard gadget, even if they have already marked them as read.

    QUESTION: CAN I SEE WHICH USER HAS SEEN AN ANNOUNCEMENT?

    The short answer: not yet.

    While we are currently tracking which user has seen an announcement, there is no way for an admin to see this data yet. It is something we are planning on adding in Q1 of 2019 however.

    Editing an Announcement

    To edit an announcement, simply navigate to the Manage Announcements screen, and either click the edit button for the announcement, or view the details of an announcement and click the edit button from the details screen.

    This will bring up the announcement edit screen

    You might notice that the Announcement Type only shows a single option. This is intentional. Announcement Type can only be changed when an announcement is created, after that those settings cannot be changed.

    The rest of an announcement can be changed at any time.

    When editing an existing announcement, we automatically reset all of the existing read receipts, so any user that has already seen this announcement will see it again with the changes you made.

    Activating/Deactivating Announcements

    Announcements can either be active, scheduled, or inactive.

    Active announcements are the ones currently being shown to users, while inactive announcements typically have an expired scheduling date.

    To move a scheduled announcement to be active, simply change or remove the schedule.

    To make an inactive announcement active again, either remove the schedule, or change it to fall into the current date.

    To deactivate an announcement, use the "deactivate" action from the menu dropdown.

    Deleting an Announcement

    Deleting an announcement can be done from the Manage Announcement screen.
    Simply click on the delete button, and confirm the deletion.

    Once deleted, we remove the announcement from our system, and clear all read receipts.

    IMPORTANT:

    There is no undo functionality. Once confirmed, a deleted announcement is irrevocably removed and cannot be recovered anymore.

    ADVANCED FUNCTIONALITY

    Multiple Active Announcements

    Simple Announcements makes it possible to have multiple announcements active at a time.
    Either intentionally, by creating multiples, or by scheduling announcements with an overlap.

    When this happens, the user is presented with 1 announcement at a time, and once a user dismisses the currently showing announcement, we show the next one, until there are none left to be acknowledged.

    NOTE:

    It is possible for users to hit the Escape key on their keyboard and dismiss the announcement dialogs. Due to technical limitations in Jira cloud, sometimes all of the announcements will be dismissed at once.

    These announcements are not marked as read, and only hidden from the current view. When the user reloads the screen, or visits another screen, all of the open (unread) announcements are displayed again.

    Showing Announcement to Public Users

    To create a public announcement simply follows the steps for creating an announcement, and select the "Public" type announcement type.

    Public announcements are only shown to anonymous (unauthenticated users). Logged in Jira users will not see a public announcement.