Category Archives: Reviews

AppFusions is Fired Up for IBM Connect 2013 – Bring.It.On.AGAIN

It’s been a great last week, as AppFusions has been closing down on many preparations for the imminent IBM Connect 2013 conference in Orlando, Florida from Jan 27 – Jan 31. We are sponsoring an exhibitors booth at the event, and can’t wait – it’s going to be a great event.

Further, last Wednesday we received a mail notifying us that we’d made the cut for a stage demo at the 2nd annual “App Throwdown” event – an open demo/contest for OpenSocial application integrations into IBM platforms.

Here’s a video of last years, where we were sitting in the audience. Now, maybe we’re app integration geeks or something, not sure — but anyways, for us this event got us into quite a bit of an excited tizzy! It screamed “APPFUSIONS!”

After the session we all mutually agreed: “WE need to be on that stage next year!”

And now we will be! Yay!


In the last week, our development team has continued working hard at putting in many last minute polishes to show off IBM and Atlassian software, together, for the following integrations:

  • IBM Sametime in Atlassian JIRA, Confluence, Stash, Fisheye, and Bamboo
  • Atlassian JIRA, Confluence, and Stash in IBM Connections

Here’s a preview!

For the IBM Sametime integrations, Atlassian customers running JIRA, Confluence, Stash, FishEye, Bamboo can natively work with an embedded Sametime client available to them in context inside their Atlassian tools.

Wherever a user’s name shows up in the interfaces, presence indicators tell you whether your colleague is available to chat. If green (available), right click on the presence indicator and start a chat on the fly.

Bring in other colleagues for group chat, or if your IBM Sametime subscription allows for video conferences, go ahead — launch into those too — all from right inside your Atlassian tools!

As for the IBM Connections integrations, of course these are a bit different – but also super convenient to bring together platforms, and more, workflows.

Feature highlights include:
  • From IBM Connections, launch the sharebox and log a JIRA issue straight-away from IBM Connections.
  • Atlassian JIRA, Confluence, Stash (and Bamboo, coming) activity is pushed continually in real-time into IBM Connections, with:
    • live contextual / actionable links back to your Atlassian systems – or,
    • you can launch a JIRA embedded experience for commenting or status dispositioning, from IBM Connections.
  • Atlassian Confluence is integrated into IBM Connections as the “wiki of choice”. (From the Apps menu, find Atlassian Confluence wiki at your fingertips.)
Finally, if you are one of those mobile types (aren’t we all?!) — we’ve got you covered there too. Directly within IBM Connections’ mobile application, find native JIRA and Confluence application nodes!

As great as all this is – it’s only the beginning!

AppFusions will be continuing to feature develop these integrations throughout 2013.

We can’t wait to see how they evolve, with the help and great ideas of IBM and Atlassian customers who in our experience, like AppFusions, simply want to “bring it together!”

(Keep in touch, if you would like more info!)

So come visit us at the show. We’ll be at booth B57, right on the way into (or out of) the keynotes!

You won’t be able to miss us — we’ll be the ones with the gigantic Atlassian Experts sign, and bright colored AppFusions sign like the one below!

Note: AppFusions’ Bill Ives will also be covering the event daily on this blog beginning Jan. 28. Hope to see you there!

Get excited – 5 days left!

Look out for our new banner !!

Gliffy Brings Visualizations to Atlassian Confluence, JIRA and the Web

Visualizations are key to clear communication in many business situations. Gliffy makes it easy to create, share, and collaborate visually. Gliffy’s online version was launched in 2006 to bring simple to use visualization capabilities to the Web and a few months later, it added plug-ins for Altassian Confluence and JIRA. Now Gliffy is one of the most popular plugins in the Atlassian ecosystem.

Chris Kohlhardt
Chris Kohlhardt, CEO, Gliffy

I recently spoke with Chris Kohlhardt, Gliffy co-founder, to learn more about it and its capabilities.

Chris first related the company’s origins. He and his co-founder, Clint Dickson, were working with Web tools eight years ago before HTML5 and even Ajax. They used Open Lazlo and Chris even worked for Lazlo a year prior.

Chris and Clint decided to bring visualization capabilities to the Web. There were visualization tools around, but these tools were desktop based and tied to particular operating systems.  Going to the Web not only allowed those working on Macs and PCs to use the same tool, it made content sharing much easier in general.

Gliffy for Atlassian Confluence
Gliffy for Atlassian Confluence

Chris related how they got started with Atlassian.

In 2006, they released their first version of the online tool as a free app after a year of development. They then looked to generate revenue.

They felt that wikis would benefit from visualization tools. At first they approached some US-based wiki vendors, but these companies were absorbed in their own product development.

They heard about Atlassian and sent them an email.

Within a few days, Chris heard back from the co-CEO, Mike Cannon-Brookes. He was going to be in San Francisco and wanted to meet him. So they got together at the Atlassian San Francisco office.

Gliffy for Atlassian Confluence EditorWithin a few months, their Gliffy for Confluence plug-in was ready, thanks to Atlassian also helping them with some of the development.

Chris said that Open Lazlo complies to Flash byte code. As these tools are not used as widely now, Gliffy has now converted its product to HTML5 to comply with Open Standards.  Gliffy also did this because HTML5 has better developer support, increased support by modern web browsers, and support of mobile devices.

They have created visualizations to help software developers such as: BPMN, UML, Venn diagrams, user interface icons, and entity relationships.

With these out-of-the-box tools you can quickly mock things up, even if you are not good at creating visualizations. Gliffy has done most of the work for you.  You can see a sample editor screen below with many of the pre-defined shape sin the left column.

Gliffy Online version - EditorThe Gliffy plug-ins for Confluence and JIRA are not cloud-based, but they operate within Atlassian’s cloud-based platform OR  in a secure on-premise version.

Chris said that many Atlassian customers prefer to host their own apps for security reasons — even those customers that start with Atlassian’s OnDemand, who migrate to behind the firewall when their wiki becomes increasingly business critical.  However, Gliffy online will integrate with other cloud tools such as Google Docs and WordPress.

To the right is a sample Gliffy – JIRA plug-in screen.

Gliffy for Atlassian JIRAGliffy certainly can help and be very useful for issue tracking and resolution discussions.

Gliffy was one of the first Atlassian plugins. Now it has grown to become widely used and enabled Gliffy to become a very profitable company.

We think that Gliffy is a killer must-have enhancement to Confluence and JIRA, as well as a very useful online tool.

Try it yourself, for free, and see if you agree!