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Notifications for Confluence : Improves the Confluence watch utility

Automated mechanisms that enable you to watch wiki content and send you an email when changes are made are an essential part of a wiki. The key feature needed to make these notifications useful is the ability to configure the watched content effectively in order to target them properly. Confluence provides excellent support to watch pages and entire spaces but there is a need for an intermediate level of granularity on which to place watches and the ability to set up circulation lists in some key use cases.

It is to these functional gaps to which the Notifications for Confluence plugin is addressed.

Watch at the right level of granularity

With vanilla Confluence you have the choice of watching page or a space. Where you only need to watch few pages the page watch utility is ideal but when when you have responsibility for a significant number of pages this becomes unmanageable. What do you do with new pages? What do you do when a child page is created? How do you keep track of the pages you watch? The only real way to deal with this in vanilla Confluence is to watch the whole space, but then you are swamped by too many emails.

The Notifications for Confluence plugin solves many of these problems by allowing you to scope your watch to any page hierarchy within that space so that you can focus your watch effectively. It also allows you extend the watch facility to watch the children of a page as well.

When circulation matters

This plugin also allows notifications to be sent to a circulation list in two particular situations.

When a News Item is Released or Changed Within A Space

This ensures that when news items are posted, the target audience knows about them before they are out of date.

When Any Space Changes Are Made

Normally space wide watches send out too many emails so the idea of sending these emails to a circulation list may be counter-intuitive, but there are some use cases, particularly for spaces with stable content, when this is critical. e.g. A space with documentation for a sold product. In such a case it is necessary to inform the support group and indeed possibly the customers themselves when the content changes.


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Descendant watches
  • Watch an hierarchy of pages
  • Apply a descendant watch to a page using the tools menu.
  • You are then emailed every time that page or one of its descendants changes. 
  • This includes pages added to that hierarchy after the watch is applied.
The watchlink macro
  • Renders links that can be used to create watches on other pages when they are clicked.
  • Can be used to create descendant or normal watches.
Optional enhancement of the standard watch.
  • When you apply a standard watch to a page, you also receive an email when modifications to child pages are made.
  • This feature can be switched on/off by individual users.
Group watches 
  • Managed by a space tools group watchers tab by a space administrator.
  • Groups to which emails are sent when page in the space changes and/or.a news item is published or modified.
A manage watchers tab  
  • On your profile page to provide intuitive management and reporting of all the above.


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User Utilities

Descendant watches

It is often critical to know when a part of a Confluence space has changed. In such cases:

  • A watch on the whole space results in unnecessary "spam".
  • Placing a watch on all the individual pages is impractical and does not detect new pages.

Descendant watches allow you to monitor all changes within a page hierarchy by applying a descendant watch to a single page at the top of that hierarchy. When new pages are added to that hierarchy they are included in that watch. As a result, when there are any new pages or page deletions within that hierarchy, when there are any modifications or comments to pages within that hierarchy you will receive an email.

    • To set a dependant watch:
      • Use "Tools Menu->Watch Descendants".
    • To unset a dependant watch:
      • Go to the page on which the watch was set and use "Tools Menu->Unwatch Descendants" OR
      • Open the descendant watches profile tab and remove the watch there (see Managing Descendant Watches).


N.B. If your space administrator uses the group watch feature to email you when any pages in the space change, you will not be able to set descendant watches in that space. This is because any use of descendant watches would be redundant.


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The watchlink macro

Creates a link, that when clicked will set a watch on another page. This can be particularly useful in setting up centralised pages with links pointing to other pages/spaces that staff may consider watching.

spaceYesThe key of the space that contains the page to be watched.
pageYesThe title of the page to be watched.

Whether to watch just the specified page (false), or to watch all of it’s descendants too (true).

Defaults to true.

classNoAllows you to specify a class attribute on the generated link markup, to allow custom styling in CSS.



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Optional enhancement to the standard watch facility

The standard watch facility only allows you to watch an individual page. By default this plugin extends the watch feature so that when a watch is placed on a page, emails are also sent when child pages are:

  • Edited.
  • Created.
  • Deleted.

Open the descendant watches profile tab and switch this feature off/on from there (see Managing Descendant Notifications below).



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Managing Descendant Watches

The "Descendant Watches" Tab

Descendant watches are managed through the descendant watches tab on your profile page. You can get to this tab by

  • Using "Tools Menu->Manage Descendant Watches" from the page on which a descendant watch was set and or a page below it.
  • Using "User Menu->Manage Descendant Watches".

With this this tab you have the following options

  • Remove a descendant watch by clicking on the icon
  • Switch off/on the optional enhancement to the standard watch facility by selection of the checkbox "Notify Child Page Updates" at the base of the page and then clicking on the "Submit" button.
  • View the spaces for which you have a 
    • Space news watch (set up by the space administrator - see Group Watches)
    • Space group watch (set up by the space administrator - see Group Watches)




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Space Administrator Utilities

Group Watchers

With standard Confluence you can request notification when any pages are changed within a space. With the descendant notifications plugin a space administrator can set up:

  • Space group news watchers - groups of people to whom emails are sent when any new blog item is posted or updated.
  • Space group watchers - groups of people to whom emails are sent when any page or blog item within a space changes.


Space administrator navigates to the group watchers tab on the space tools page.

  • Uses the "Space Group News Watcher" widgets to add/remove groups to the list of space group news watchers.
  • Uses the "Space Group Watchers" widgets to add/remove groups to the list of space group watchers.

Enter the groups you wish to be notified in the text field or use the group picker to ease selection. A group can be removed from the notification by clicking ‘Remove’ to the right of the group name.




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