Differences between draw.io for Confluence Cloud and Data Center/Server

diagrams.net 30 Jul 2021


There are very few differences between the Cloud and Data Center/Server versions of draw.io for Atlassian’s Confluence. If you know how to create diagrams in draw.io on one, you know how to use it on the other!

In both Confluence Cloud and Confluence Data Center/Server, the security and privacy of your data is critical. When you create and edit a diagram, the data stays in your browser and is stored in your Confluence instance. Save/load operations are direct to Confluence’s server, we don’t even see the data in transit.

The diagram editor interface is the same in both Cloud and Data Center/Server.

The draw.io editor works in the same way on Confluence Cloud and Data Center/Server

Many additional Confluence-specific features work in the same way on both applications.

  • Embed diagrams into multiple pages in both Confluence Cloud and Data Center/Server instances.
    See below for how to embed files into Data Center/Server from Google Drive and Microsoft One Drive. This feature is available by default in Cloud.
  • Search for diagrams using the Confluence search with both draw.io for Cloud and Data Center/Server - the search includes both the name of the attached diagrams and the text in the diagram.
  • Comment on draw.io diagrams on Confluence Cloud and on Data Center/Server.
  • Diagram in teams with collaborative editing on both versions of Confluence, although you’ll be prompted to merge simultaneous changes to diagrams on Data Center Server.
  • Mass import and convert all of your Gliffy diagrams to draw.io with just a few clicks, both on Confluence Server and Confluence Cloud.
    Log of the Gliffy mass import to draw.io in Confluence Cloud

Add a new diagram to a page either by adding a macro via the Confluence page editing toolbar, or simply start typing on the page and select the macro from the context menu.

  • Confluence Cloud: /draw.io
  • Data Center/Server: {draw.io

Customise the draw.io app to set your corporate style by default, provide access to custom libraries and diagram templates. There are slight differences to which options are available when customising the draw.io interface, default styles, plugins, and so on.
JSON code for a custom style palette and custom default preset colours in the colour dialog in draw.io for Confluence Cloud

Custom templates are managed in different locations:

See all of the draw.io configuration and customisation options

There are a few other differences in functionality, detailed below.

draw.io for Confluence Cloud

draw.io for Confluence Cloud has a few additional features based on Atlassian’s Cloud-only functionality.

Set data regions or lockdown data transmission with configuration options. Similar to Atlassian’s data residency options in Cloud, you can set your dataGovernance region to EU or NA in the draw.io configuration for the features that use the diagrams.net servers (listed below). If you want to prevent all data traffic apart from between the your browser and your Atlassian instance server, set lockdown in the draw.io configuraton.

Access all draw.io diagrams in your instance via the contents list on the left. You need to publish the diagram to the page, and publish the page once for the diagram to appear in this list.
See all of the draw.io diagrams in the instance on one page in Confluence Cloud

Update draw.io automatically - no need to do anything. Like all Marketplace apps in Confluence Cloud, your draw.io app will automatically apply updates as they are released.

Change the size of a diagram on a page by changing it’s zoom percentage. As Atlassian hasn’t implemented a similar macro-resize function, you can only resize the draw.io diagram on a Confluence Cloud page.

Enter mathematical equations in LaTeX or AsciiMath and draw.io for Cloud will use MathJax to render your equation when you enable Extras > Mathematical Typesetting in the draw.io editor.

Insert PlantUML and Graphiz DOT code to add an image of your diagram via Arrange > Insert > Advanced > PlantUML.

draw.io for Data Center / Server

Enable converstion/embed features as Data Center/Server is a on-premise installation and you have your own servers. By default, the connection to the diagrams.net servers is disabled, which limits access to the non-essential features described in the next section.

Allow access to the diagrams.net server functionaltiy and enable the settings below in the draw.io app configuration in your Confluence instance administration area, as key=value pairs in a JSON script.

  • Open and convert vsd, vss, vdx and vsdx files (enable the vsdurl option).
  • Import vsd and vsdx diagrams that have EMF images embedded in them (enable the emf2png option).
  • Generate PDF versions of diagrams with the correct fonts.
  • Search for third-party shapes (enable the externaliconsearch option).

Enable Google Drive and OneDrive integration to embed diagrams stored in Google Drive and Microsoft One Drive into Confluence Data Center/Server pages.

  1. Go to the Confluence administration, select Configuration under the draw.io add-on section, then select the Google Drive/OneDrive Integration tab.
  2. Select either Simple integration to communicate with these platforms, or Full integration if you have created an app within these cloud platforms and want all communication to go through your servers.

Now your Confluence users can embed diagram files from various file storage locations.

Embedded diagrams in draw.io for Confluence Data Center and Server

Follow us on GitHub, Twitter, Facebook.