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Differences administering Confluence Data Center and Cloud

This page outlines the differences you can expect as a Confluence Data Center or Server administrator when moving to Confluence Cloud. Some of the capabilities listed below apply to more than one product.

If you want to explore how Cloud is different for your users, check out the Cloud adoption toolkit.

Administrator roles


Administrator global permissions

Works differently in Cloud.

What’s different

In Confluence Data Center and Server, there were two levels of global administrator permissions, ‘Confluence administrator’, and ‘System administrator’. In Cloud, you assign roles to people and groups. Roles include User, Product admin (which is equivalent to the ‘Confluence administrator’ global permission), and Organization admin, which is similar to the ‘System administrator’ global permission but has rights to manage user directories, security settings, billing details, and other configurations for all the products in your organization, not just Confluence.

How it works in Cloud

Give users admin permissions

Who it affects

Organization admin, Product admin
Confluence


Apps and integrations


Install apps from a file

Works differently in Cloud.

What’s different

You can only install apps from the Atlassian Marketplace. You can’t install an app by uploading a file. This includes apps you’ve built yourself or those designed for Server or Data Center. If you want to develop your own app, you can use the Forge or Connect platforms to build the app. You can list the app publicly, so others can use it, or use a secret token to list it privately.

How it works in Cloud

Getting started with Forge

Getting started with Connect

Who it affects

Organization admin
Confluence, Jira Software, Jira Service Management


Team Calendars

Available in Cloud, on selected plans.

What’s different

Team Calendars was available as a paid app for Confluence Server, and bundled with Confluence Data Center. In Cloud, Team Calendars is included with Confluence Premium and Enterprise plans. Calendar data is not included when you migrate your Confluence content. You will need to export any calendars you want to keep to .ics format and re-import them.  

How it works in Cloud

Use Team Calendars for Confluence

Who it affects

Organization admin
Confluence


Auditing and governance


Audit logs

Works differently in Cloud, and may require an additional subscription.

What’s different

An audit log is available with all paid Confluence plans, and is similar to the audit log provided with Confluence Server. However, the Cloud audit log doesn’t provide the ability to configure granular coverage areas and levels as in Confluence Data Center. An additional audit log for user management and organization-level events is available with an Enterprise plan or Atlassian Access subscription.

How it works in Cloud

View the audit log

Who it affects

Organization admin
Confluence


People directory

Works differently in Cloud.

What’s different

The people directory lists all the people in your organization, and allows people to be grouped into teams for the purpose of sharing or mentioning people. You can’t hide or restrict access to the people directory in Cloud.

How it works in Cloud

Search for people and teams

Who it affects

Organization admin, Product admin
Confluence, Jira Software, Jira Service Management


Email and mail servers


Outgoing mail server

Works differently in Cloud.

What’s different

In Confluence Data Center and Server, you connected your own mail server. Your Cloud application includes an internal SMTP server configured to send notifications. The internal SMTP server is not configurable.

How it works in Cloud

N/A

Who it affects

Organization admin, Product admin
Confluence


General administration


Attachment storage

Works differently in Cloud.

What’s different

The maximum file size for attached files defaults to 100 MB. This limit can be configured. Storage limits may apply, depending on your plan.

How it works in Cloud

Configure attachment size

Who it affects

Organization admin
Confluence


Backups

Works differently in Cloud.

What’s different

Backups are managed for you in Cloud. You can still create XML exports of your data if you require them.

How it works in Cloud

Track storage and move data across products

Who it affects

Organization admin, Product admin
Confluence, Jira Software, Jira Service Management


Base URL

Works differently in Cloud.

What’s different

Your Cloud site will be accessible at example.atlassian.net, where example is a unique identifier that you specify when signing up. If you’re on a paid plan, you can change this identifier, but you can’t change the atlassian.net domain.

How it works in Cloud

Update a product URL to a new URL

Who it affects

Organization admin, Product admin
Confluence, Jira Software, Jira Service Management


Content index administration

Not necessary in Cloud.

What’s different

Indexing works differently in Cloud, and there should be no need to administer your index manually. If you do notice a problem with search results, Atlassian Support can investigate, and if necessary, reindex your site.

How it works in Cloud

N/A

Who it affects

Organization admin, Product admin
Confluence


External user directories

Available in Cloud, but may require an additional subscription.

What’s different

You can't use another Cloud or Server / Data Center instance for user management. There are a wide range of options for managing your users, including provisioning users from an identity provider or LDAP directory, or connecting with a service like G Suite. Some of these capabilities may require an Enterprise plan or Atlassian Access subscription.  

How it works in Cloud

Configure user provisioning

Understand Atlassian Access

Who it affects

Organization admin
Bitbucket, Confluence, Jira Software, Jira Service Management


Mobile apps and app management

Works differently in Cloud.

What’s different

You can’t use a server app to connect to a Cloud product. Users will need to install the Cloud-specific mobile app. The functionality available in the app will be similar to the Server and Data Center apps. Mobile App Management (MAM) and Mobile Device Management (MDM) integrations are available but may require an Enterprise plan or Atlassian Access subscription.

How it works in Cloud

Mobile App Management (MAM) for Atlassian mobile apps

Mobile Device Management (MDM) for Atlassian mobile apps

Who it affects

Organization admin, Product admin, Users
Confluence, Jira Software, Jira Service Management


Read-only mode

Not necessary in Cloud.

What’s different

Read-only mode allowed you to make your Confluence Data Center site read-only, for troubleshooting or when preparing for an upgrade or other maintenance. In Cloud, we perform all required maintenance and upgrades for you during scheduled maintenance windows.

How it works in Cloud

Manage product changes from an Atlassian organization

Who it affects

Organization admin
Confluence


Single sign-on

Available in Cloud, but may require an additional subscription.

What’s different

Single sign-on is available but requires an Enterprise plan or Atlassian Access. The process of connecting your Identity Provider (IdP) will be similar to the process you followed in Data Center.

How it works in Cloud

Configure single sign-on for your organization’s users

Who it affects

Organization admin
Bitbucket, Confluence, Jira Software, Jira Service Management


Spam prevention

Works differently in Cloud.

What’s different

CAPTCHA is disabled by default in Confluence Cloud. If your site is public and you intend to allow anonymous users to comment or create content, Atlassian Support can enable CAPTCHA for you.

How it works in Cloud

Configure Captcha for spam prevention

Who it affects

Organization admin
Confluence


Upgrades

Not necessary in Cloud.

What’s different

We perform all required maintenance and upgrades for you during scheduled maintenance windows. You can choose the release track that best suits your needs, and create a sandbox instance that gets changes before your production instance.

How it works in Cloud

Keep track of maintenance windows

Manage product release tracks

Manage product sandboxes

Who it affects

Organization admin
Confluence, Jira Software, Jira Service Management


Look and feel


Layouts and CSS

Works differently in Cloud.

What’s different

You can’t change the appearance of your site by editing CSS or layout files in the way you might have done in Confluence Server or Data Center. You can install theme apps that allow you to significantly change the appearance of your site, or even develop your own theme app.

How it works in Cloud

Change the look and feel of Confluence Cloud

Who it affects

Organization admin
Confluence


Pages and spaces


Create pages by importing files from disk

Not available in Cloud.

What’s different

In Confluence Data Center and Server, space administrators could create pages from text files stored in the home directory. As you don’t have access to the server in Confluence Cloud, this option is not available. You can still create a page by importing a Word document through the browser.

How it works in Cloud

Import content into Confluence Cloud

Who it affects

Product admin, Space admin
Confluence


User macros

Not available in Cloud.

What’s different

You can’t create user macros in Confluence Cloud. This is because user macros allow HTML and JavaScript to run, which can affect performance and security. If you want to develop your own macros, you can use the Forge or Connect platforms to build an app, then list it on the Marketplace. You can list the app publicly, so others can use it, or use a secret token to list it privately.

How it works in Cloud

Creating a dynamic content macro

Who it affects

Organization admin, Product admin
Confluence


View restricted pages

Works differently in Cloud, and may require an additional subscription.

What’s different

In Confluence Data Center and Server, members of the confluence-administrators super group could view pages and spaces that were restricted. With Confluence Cloud Premium and Enterprise plans, you can use an admin key to request to view restricted content. The author will be notified, and the action logged in the audit log.

How it works in Cloud

Bypass access restrictions on a page with admin key

Who it affects

Product admin
Confluence


User-facing differences

This page is designed to highlight the significant differences that affect administrators. However, there are other differences that affect users, that you may want to factor in when planning the change management and onboarding activities for your team.

For more information about what’s different in Cloud for your end-users and how you can set them up for success, check out the Cloud adoption toolkit.


Editor

Works differently in Cloud.

What’s different

The editor in Confluence Cloud is significantly more modern and user-friendly than the editor in Confluence Data Center and Server, known as the legacy editor. New pages are created using the new editor unless you specifically select the legacy editor template. When you migrate to Confluence Cloud, existing pages will use the legacy editor, and you’ll have the option to convert them to the new editor on a page-by-page basis, to avoid losing any formatting or macro data that isn't available in the new editor.

How it works in Cloud

Create, edit, and publish a page

Confluence Cloud editor roadmap

Who it affects

Users
Confluence


Macros

Works differently in Cloud.

What’s different

The way macros work in Confluence Cloud is significantly more user-friendly than in Confluence Data Center and Server. Macros are added using slash / commands, and many render visually in the editor, rather than as a placeholder. Some macros have been combined, others are not available. Another significant difference is that macros can’t be nested (for example, you can’t put a code macro inside a panel macro). Many of the Confluence Data Center and Server macros are still available in the legacy editor template, and in your migrated content.

How it works in Cloud

What are macros?

Learn which macros are being removed

Who it affects

Users
Confluence


Edit files using Companion

Not available in Cloud.

What’s different

In Confluence Data Center and Server, users could edit an attached file in any compatible application using the Companion app. This is not available in Confluence Cloud. To edit an attached file, you need to download the file, edit it in a compatible application, then manually re-upload it to the page.

How it works in Cloud

N/A

Who it affects

Users
Confluence


Delete page and child pages

Not available in Cloud.

What’s different

In Confluence Server or Data Center, users could delete the current page, or the current page and any child pages. This feature is not available in Confluence Cloud. Users will need to send pages to the trash one-by-one. You can, however, archive a page and all its child pages on particular plans.

How it works in Cloud

Delete, restore, or purge a page

Archive pages

Who it affects

Users
Confluence


Need help choosing?

Still deciding whether cloud or Data Center is right for your organization? Head to our comparison page to explore the benefits of each.

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