Confluence - bringing organization and documentation to an unorganized/undocumented group
August 05, 2016

Confluence - bringing organization and documentation to an unorganized/undocumented group

Paul Chauvet | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Atlassian Confluence

Confluence is primarily used for our Information Technology staff, along with non-IT users that are heavily involved in our programming, development, and design processes. We use it for a few major categories:
  • Internal IT documentation and notes
  • Project/meeting notes, agendas
  • Collaboration between IT and many non-IT areas
A number of staff use the "Personal Space" feature for their less formalized notes, plans, etc.

We use it instead of Sharepoint or some other technologies we have access to as it provides a great and easy to use place to collaborate, keep notes, and keep organized.

Note: we did not use or attempt to use any integrations with Outlook, Google Hangouts, Gotomeeting/webex/etc., so any questions I answer saying Confluence does not have them isn't necessarily accurate (there is just no option on Trust Radius to say "don't know").
  • Confluence is incredibly easy to use - and is simple for both technical and non-technical staff to use. It is easy to create content, and edit existing content.
  • The template system makes it easy for people to keep to a consistent format for some tasks, and creating new templates is pretty easy.
  • The system is easy to update and administer. It requires very little time and resources, especially since the 4.x/5.x versions.
  • It integrates well with our multifactor authentication system (Duo).
  • It is still very annoying that Atlassian does not support MariaDB, the default MySQL database that is used by all major Linux distributions now. This is even more of an annoyance since there has been a case open since 2013 that they have given little or no response to:
  • The mobile site, at least on android isn't that great. Our staff uses it to get info while away from their computers, but never to edit/update content.
  • Some users have issues with navigating the system, primarily when they are more used to a lack of organization (i.e. files dumped in a single network share directory). A tutorial about how to organize content couldn't hurt - though it isn't a major issue.
  • Some functionality which should be (in my opinion) part of the core application is supplied by third-party commercial plugins (like Creately).
  • Confluence has greatly improved our internal processes for projects and planning. We used to be a culture that emailed word docs back and forth, or just stored them in a common network area before Confluence (the stone age I know!). We're more efficient due to this now.
  • We've used Confluence to create more of an importance on detailed documentation and notes on our environment (servers, applications, etc.). The amount of valuable documentation that we have is orders of magnitude more than we had pre-Confluence.
Confluence really makes organization of content far better and easier than in either Sharepoint (which is a chaotic mess) or in Google Drive. It has far easier access controls, especially at the admin or space admin than in Google Drive, and in an easier way that Sharepoint.

Though it is hosted in-house (as opposed to our Office 365/Sharepoint instance) it is very easy to maintain, administer, and update - requiring minimal staff time to do so.
There really needs to be someone with a good sense for how content should be laid out and named working in each space. Without an initial content organizer of sorts, things get a bit chaotic.

It isn't just a replacement for a traditional network drive or Dropbox though - and users seeking something like that may have issues shifting culture in that direction.

Confluence Feature Ratings

Task Management
Gantt Charts
Mobile Access
Visual planning tools
Internal knowledgebase
Integrates with GoToMeeting
Not Rated
Integrates with Gmail and Google Hangouts
Not Rated
Integrates with Outlook
Not Rated
Video files
Not Rated
Audio files
Not Rated
Document collaboration
Access control