Fantastic wiki and document management system ConfluenceUnspecified8.2890101
Brian Taylor profile photo
January 12, 2018

Fantastic wiki and document management system

Score 10 out of 101
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Atlassian Confluence

For years, our organization was using a mix of Word documents on a file server and files in SharePoint, none of which were synchronized, most were out of date and nobody knew where to look for any one document. Enter Confluence. We were able to migrate all of our old documentation to Confluence where it's easily managed, searched, and updated. The live-edit feature is especially great as we're building system documentation or pulling together meeting minutes. We started with a pilot program of one department to see how efficiently it works but have since rolled it out the enterprise as our standardized documentation tool. Every department and project can now easily update, review, and publish documentation in a securely, and centrally accessible tool. It's the perfect combination of a document repository and wiki site.
  • Live-editing. This was a key component for us as some of our teams were used to using Google Docs specifically for this feature.
  • Site-wide searching. The search tool is fantastic and does search document contents so it's not just metadata that is being queried.
  • Tie-in with other Atlassian products. We use JIRA for task and project management and being able to link Confluence pages to JIRA tickets or have JIRA Service Desk use Confluence as a Help Desk Knowledge Base for simple Tier 0 support was a key selling point for us.
  • Out-of-the-box templates. While you can definitely define your own templates for pages, the OOTB templates provided are sufficient for 90% of what we need. Meaning that documentation is standardized and simple for our users to create new pages or content.
  • Pricing. As with all Atlassian products, the demo pricing of $10 is great. However, the hop to the next pricing tier can be hard to justify without a strong business case.
  • No folder support. Unlike SharePoint, there are no folders to organize documents under. This is a feature as the hierarchy is meant to be flexible, similar to a wiki site. Migrating from SharePoint or a file server on the other hand is a bit laborious.
  • Consistency across Atlassian Suite. Each Atlassian product has their own version of the system settings, which as an administrator of multiple products, makes it a bit of a headache to remember where Confluence keeps their SMTP settings, versus where JIRA keeps theirs, etc. Thankfully we have a Confluence page to document the differences.
  • OOTB features. Counterintuitive to my pluses, there are some major features that are lacking out-of-the-box. There is a marketplace to find add-ons, and using the RestAPI you can easily build your own if you have the time and expertise in-house, but it would be great if some features, like a reporting dashboard for JIRA, were built-in OOTB.
  • Reduction in SharePoint usage and costs. We were running an internal SharePoint server which required extensive licensing and and maintenance costs, which disappeared after migrating to Confluence.
  • Time. Review times for documents, time searching for documents, meeting minutes preparation, etc. all were reduced by implementing Confluence.
For our needs, Confluence absolutely blew both SharePoint and Google Docs out of the water. We were able to get more granular security than with SharePoint while maintaining the collaborative tool sets found in both SharePoint and Google Docs. Additionally, the integration into tools we already had in place, rather than needing to jerry-rig a solution that would "work", was a critical deciding factor.
As a collaborative, wiki style tool, it excels above most other products I've tried. The live-editing feature, plus the simple page-level security settings, document preview support, and a number of other features really make it an awesome tool for the job. Where it doesn't quite excel is if you need a strict document repository. Due to the licensing and pricing, you'd be better off using SharePoint or another lower-cost-per-user tool. Confluence's strength is with the understanding that these documents and pages are live and regularly updated. Not static documents that are updated once a year or so.

Confluence Feature Ratings

Task Management
Workflow Automation
Mobile Access
Visual planning tools
Internal knowledgebase
Integrates with Outlook
Video files
Audio files
Document collaboration
Access control
Advanced security features
Device sync