Is Confluence 4 the easiest business wiki out there now?
October 3, 2011 8:22 AM   Subscribe

Looking to implement a business wiki with a focus on technical documentation. Is there something other than Confluence 4 that I should be considering? More details inside.

I'm looking to implement a wiki for a small, 25 person manufacturing company. The users are computer novices. I'm the closest thing to IT, so the implementation and maintenance has to be minimal.

All I know is...
1. I want to host it on our intranet
2. I want the WYSIWYG editor to be straight forward and powerful
3. I want different media types to be embedded in-line (photos, video)
4. Modern search ability
5. I want a company that has been around and has good export capabilities
6. I want an actual company to call for tech support

So far, Confluence 4 has come out on top. It appears to be very user-friendly. It allows copying and pasting from external sources without a bunch of button clicks. Are there any other Wiki's I should consider? I've looked at wikimatrix already, but there are so many options!
posted by colecovizion to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I asked a similar question about a month ago, and Confluence was the one that was recommended. After doing some more research, I've come to the same conclusion. So far, so good, and they do have excellent technical support.

I also took a cursory look at Mindtouch, which is what Mozilla uses. They don't really list it on their website, but they do have a self-hosted version available. If you want, MeMail me and I'll give you the contact info of the sales guy I've talked to there who handles the self-hosted product.

Depending on what you're going to use the wiki for, you might also want to look at "knowledgebase" products. I can also send you the spreadsheet I created when looking for knowledgebase software, which has a few of the vendors I found that met my needs.
posted by ralan at 9:45 AM on October 3, 2011

Hi Ralan,

Thanks for your detailed reply. I'll shoot you a post.

I do have some follow up questions:

Were you part of the Confluence implementation? If so, was it easy? Also, was there a steep learning curve for the content creators? Are they happy with it?

posted by colecovizion at 2:41 PM on October 3, 2011

Regarding the Confluence installation - Confluence is a Tomcat based application, but the installer I used installed Tomcat and the JDK for me. I had to install MySQL, and create a database and database user. Once the installer runs, you can log in to the web based setup guide to finish the configuration. I'm running it now on a CentOS 5.5 virtual machine, with 1.5 GB of RAM and 15 GB of disk space. The amount of disk space is a bit overkill at the moment, but I'm keeping an eye on the RAM usage to see if I need to increase or decrease, depending on traffic and load.

I work for a web hosting company that specializes in Linux and Java based applications, so mucking around at the command line is something I'm used to. YMMV.

As for the learning curve - I'm the lone technical writer, so I am the content creator. However, I'm also going to use Confluence to replace an ailing and totally disorganized intranet, so the other staff members will need to get up to speed with the application. The WYSIWYG editor is pretty good, and I really like the built in macros that allow you to add formatting and things like info and warning boxes very easily. You can also create your own macros and templates. I don't expect there to be much of an issue as I open the intranet part of the Confluence install to the rest of the staff.

Overall, I'm quite happy with it. I've taken advantage of the large ecosystem that exists around Confluence to find answers to some configuration questions I've had, and I've also had good luck with getting answers from Atlassian support.
posted by ralan at 3:07 PM on October 3, 2011

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