Leading enterprise software provider Atlassian announced this morning the launch of Confluence 3.0, an upgrade to the wiki platform that we named one of the top 10 enterprise products of 2008. The new release significantly enhances the social networking side of Confluence, adding activity streams and Twitter-like status updates.

Atlassian has simultaneously debuted the Plugin Exchange, allowing users to download, rate, and review hundreds of 3rd party plugins, including the popular GreenHopper plugin for JIRA that it just acquired. All three announcements are part of the lineup for the company’s sold-out user conference, the Atlassian Summit.

A few of the incremental changes to Confluence include an improved PDF export, which could come in handy when used in concert with the Office and SharePoint Connector included since 2.9, and a macro browser which allows for page management through a point-and-click graphical interface. Users should also see a noticeable uptick in performance due to improved database queries and caching.

But the features that mark Confluence 3.0 as a significant move forward for Atlassian are the social networking components.

Case in point? The new Confluence incorporates status updates of 140 characters. Users will be able to not only selectively follow coworker’s status updates but subscribe to entire activity streams, both through the web interface and RSS.

While personal profiles might be nothing new in world of social software, and Twitter-like status updates follow in the footsteps of


‘s own 3.0 release from last September, adding them makes Confluence a serious contender in more than just the enterprise wiki space, and moves it towards being a comprehensive, content-centered platform for enterprise collaboration.

As for the Plugin Exchange, it takes the more than 300 plugins already available for Atlassian products and showcases them in a centralized site. By adding features such as user reviews, the Exchange is the beginning of a more community-driven marketplace for Confluence plugin developers. As the perfect accompaniment to the launch of the site, Atlassian acquired GreenHopper, an agile project management plugin for its JIRA issue tracking software.

Though a beta of Confluence 3.0 was out on May 18th, today marks the first day a stable version intended for production environments is available, and both license holders and users of the hosted Confluence should see an automatic upgrade in the coming weeks.

Disclosure: SocialText is an RWW sponsor.