Atlassian Confluence Review

Enables us to filter information on different organizational groupings. Acts as a support for different development areas.

What is most valuable?

When we compared it to other wiki engines, we found the space concept and the hierarchical page.

  • Space concept: The space concept was of interest to us since we have the need to filter information by means of authorization on different organizational groupings. For example, when working with loans, we can give access only to those working with loans.
  • Hierarchical page: On another axis, there are documentation spaces. This could be a space for Java developers, for example. In this space, only those people working with framework are allowed to make updates. There is also another Java developer space where you “only” need to be a Java programmer to have authorization to update.

How has it helped my organization?

We use this tool in the following ways:

  • Internally: In IT development, it acts as a support for different development areas with the documentation of tools, manuals, internal handbooks, and best practices.
  • Externally: In business areas, it acts a place for the documentation of systems and FAQs.

We also exploit the SOAP API to make automated updates of specific wiki pages, such as z/OS. This is automated by means of a scheduler that triggers when some interesting event has occurred. I can also be trigged by Windows, which is a manual invocation.

The improvement is that this type of information is now found in one place instead of being found “here and there”.

What needs improvement?

I don't see the need for any large improvements. There are a number of minor improvements that are documented by Atlassian and also some problems waiting to be solved. For us, there are no items that we are sleepless waiting for.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Confluence since early 2007.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There are no stability issues to my knowledge.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There are no scalability issues to my knowledge. As of now, we run one instance in production and another instance in a test environment.

How are customer service and technical support?

We had some issues regarding release upgrades, but they were sorted out as fast as could be expected.

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

We used an intranet based on another product before this solution, and we still use it. However, we never had a wiki engine before Confluence.

How was the initial setup?

The initial installation was on UNIX with Oracle for data storage. I did not have any personal involvement with that installation. As a user, I can say that it worked OK.

As of now, we run it on Linux under Apache Tomcat and with Oracle. The move, which was done at the same time as a release upgrade, did not introduce any problems.

My personal installation experience was a private workstation test installation. It was done without any problems.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at some other wiki engines like MediaWiki. However, the Confluence concept of spaces and hierarchy was the main reason why we chose it.

What other advice do I have?

The product is easy to install and set up. It is also easy to work with as a user, an editor, or as a reader.

Some thought should go into the allocation of spaces and the usage. There are different “types” of spaces, such as documentation team. There is also the possibility to define our own types, which we haven't exploited yet.

In summary, define your use and read the documentation to see what needs to be defined in order to meet your demands.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

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