This is not a major release but Atlassian keeps on adding some cool features. Confluence 5.9 continues to keep performance improvement, new dashboard, service desk customer support, more powerful search with CQL and fixes some of the most complained bugs of course.
This is a significant improvement. New layout is more attractive and helps you to find relevant content in your dashboard. Dashboard layout is changed to 3 column layout. Content previously displayed as tabs are now converted to links inside a collapsible side panel. Center panel contains, “Recently worked on” section so you can find your most recent contributions easily. Right hand panel now contains information about your site and what is shown there is up to thenconfluence administrators.
|New Dashboard||Old Dashboard|
You can learn how to set your home page to dashboard from here.
You can now edit a page, without losing your place. Previously clicking on edit was scrolling whole page up to top causing you to lose focus. Now editing starts right in the location you are viewing. This is the top voted feature of this release, CONF-5913. When you copy content from editor and paste it to another page embedded images are automatically attached to new page. Previously this was leaving you with a lot of unknown attachment errors.
Adding a page to your favorites is easier, it is now a top level action:
|New Actions Bar||Old Actions Bar|
Action bar is now displayed immediately when you start to scroll up, you don’t need to scroll all the way up to top of the page.
You can now use CQL for search.
There were significant performance improvements in Confluence 5.8 and even more performance ımprovement is being made in version 5.9. Confluence 5.9 is now 25% faster than Confluence 5.7. Some pages load twice faster where some pages are only slightly faster. Of course any other system, actual performance is significantly effected by the plugins you are using.
For new users there is an onboarding which will allow them to watch popular spaces, update their profile picture after watching a short introduction video.
###Support for Service Desk Customers Service desk customers can now see knowledge based articles without consuming a Confluence license. This setting is turned on from Service Desk and overrides security settings in Confluence. It effectively makes space public to all Confluence users, not only to SD users. Unlicensed users don’t have permission to like, comment, edit, search, space/people directories, dashboard or user profiles. They can only see space content for which SD customer access is enabled.
You can check more details on how to integrate Confluence 5.9 and Service Desk 3.0 here