Atlassian Confluence Review

I like that we don't need to wait until a document is 100% ready, we can start with a draft and develop in progress.

What is most valuable?

  • Easy import and creation of new documents
  • Notifications of the updated content
  • Version history changes
  • Cross team changing

How has it helped my organization?

Before using Confluence we have had the documentation spread across multiple shared drives and emails. Confluence gave us a chance to re-arrange the documents into a single repository and group the information logically in home page(s). I have called our home page a one-stop-shop for all team related links. Furthermore, other teams have created their own home pages and we are able to access each other spaces, sharing knowledge and know-how. When we do project work we can share the progress and develop documentation on the go while everyone has access to the latest version in real time. Talking about this, the thing I love about Confluence is that every document becomes a living document and we don't need to wait until it is 100% ready, but start with a draft and develop in progress.

What needs improvement?

Surprisingly enough the text editor is very limited in its functionality and given the fact that so many forum platforms and web sites have mastered this tool I believe Atlassian have no excuse to keep it this way. It lacks basics such as text highlighting, and adjusting the text size and working with tables is a nightmare. Text formatting and working with numbers and bullet points is time consuming. I would like to see more plugins and additional functionality such as embedding of other pages, drop down menus, insert buttons, and page templates.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for over two years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues faced with deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The software has been running as expected. We have faced an issue where the hard disk ran out of space and the application continued working, putting all the changes in the memory. We have identified this fact after a server restart and as a result the changes made in the last few weeks were lost (the current RAM setups are huge enough to store plenty of text based information). I believe a simple space utilisations could be implemented in the app to warn or stop it from working if there is no space. In my opinion, the impact of losing the work is bigger than having the app down until fixed.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

As above plus the available users are based on license.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

I find the customer sevice limited.

Technical Support:

Technically speaking they have just enough resources to confirm bugs and lack of functionality but no people to follow on fixing and improving.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

First of its kind in this environment.

How was the initial setup?

Straightforward install and setup.

What about the implementation team?

Implemented in-house. Quick and painless.

What was our ROI?

Confluence has saved time in finding information, reduced the on-boarding time, improved provisioning of repeatable scripted operational process, provided a central point for knowledge sharing and supplied better retention of Intellectual Property.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Not sure about the initial cost but the application itself needs little computing and some disk space.

What other advice do I have?

Go fast, cheap and dirty when creating new documents and improve in progress - this tool concentrates on the sharing, arranging and collaboration part but doesn't aim too high about how the content looks like. If you are after some serious functionality such as a table of contents, body styles and track changes I would recommend using Word and attach as a doc file. Index your content in home pages and sub-home pages for better logical arrangement of the information and fast navigation. Research additional modules like Confluence Questions. You can use the spaces for team building management like having a section for photos from events, out of work activities or sharing industry related links.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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