My company has invested greatly in SharePoint which provides great Document Versioning (e.g. Word and Excel documents can be checked in and managed with Minor and Major Version numbers) and we build our own mechanism in SharePoint perform Records Management (e.g. Any Major version or non-draft version of a document) that is checked into the system AND has specific meta data identifying it as "Final" document is automatically copied to a special Records Management repository for 10 years). If Confluence could address these two requirements, we could replace SharePoint and go with Confluence. Are these feature available out of the box or by plug-in????
I agree with Nic.. it is a wiki
There are some file handling plugins for checkin/out
... BUT ....
I cringe when I hear anyone talking about document version numbering. This usually relies on humans doing something and then finding the right version later on.
THE advantages of Confluence and its automatic versioning are twofold.
First as a wiki editing tool, it is FAR easier to manage document drafting and editing directly on screen rather than downloading/uploading documents - every User is then ALWAYS looking at and working on the latest version of the text.
Secondly if you do have to use file attachments, let Confluence archive the old versions - you can still access them via the Attachment page, but again, even having a link on the main page will ALWAYS point to the latest version of the attachment. The trick here is to stop humans doing things such as changing the file name with some adhoc user-made-up suffix. Leave the file name EXACTLY as it was and Confluence will just archive the old version when a new version is uploaded.
So you can forget about this cumbersome manual "final" metadata thing with your Sharepoint processes - it is not automatic and it relies on being correctly assigned .. and what is a revision of a final referred to ???. Bound to happen over its 10-year life!!
The check in/out process is open to two people checking out the same document and uploading two different versions.
But still, both versions are saved so you can re-merge them if you have to. Alternatively the first User locks the page for editing using Page Restrictions to just themselves so that it prevents other Users uploading. They could also lock it as View Restricted so other Users can't even download it whilst the first User is working on it. No real need for a plugin.
Thank You for your feedback and candid responses. I appreciate that my current usage of SharePoint and it rigidity surrounding versions and records management make many of you cringe. The reality of my company's environment is that we operate in a regulated environment where our employees or customers can take legal action against us and will cite references to documents that were exposed to them at points in time. We use SharePoint today to collaborate with draft/minor versions of documents (e.g. employee handbook). When a version is ready to publish (a major version) this is what is exposed to the employees. We need to keep 10 years of these final/major versions. It sounds like confluence is great for the collaboration portion, but lacks on the published/major/final versions and the retention of those published/major/final versions for 10 years. Also, our company has an internal goal to have only one system of record for the documents we create and everyone points to that instance. So we would not want to draft in Confluence and publish through SharePoint as this would be two systems of record and one is likely to get out of sync. Does not sound like that Confluence will serve all my company needs given our regulatory requirements and desire for one system of record point in time version for 10 years.
Now that we know more about your use case, I'd strongly suggest checking these two add-ons that may make Confluence to fit your use case better:
(Always remember to check add-ons when looking for solutions. In the Atlassian world, add-ons are extremely powerful.)
we cringe at the mention of Sharepoint for good reason
The very simple ways to deal with such a use case in Confluence is to have either multiple Spaces and/or use Page Restrictions.
You could create one Space for your drafting environment and other Space(s) for what you want to release to the different groups of staff or clients etc - just grant access to each Space to the different groups of people. If someone has not been granted access to the "Drafting Space" they won't even know the Space exists, and cannot see any of its content! It is DEAD EASY to either copy or move a page from one Space to another when you are ready to "release".
Within a Space, set a page with Restricted Viewers to just your drafting team (by individual name or Permissions Group) so only they can see the page - all the Child pages to that page automatically inherit the same View Restriction. The other Users of the Space will never know that page exists, even though they have access to the Space. Then again it is DEAD EASY to copy or move the page to somewhere else in the Space's page structure, or another Space, where those View Restrictions don't apply,
You can set Page Edit Restrictions so that
a) if there are no View Restrictions set, all Space Users can see the page, but only the nominated Users in the Edit Restrictions list can edit the page
b) If there are View Restrictions, then you can set a SUBSET of those Users to be included in the Edit Restriction (to Edit you must be able to View)
.. and all that without any plugins
"Sharepoint" ... I am still shivering!!!!
Steve's problem is a common one. For regulatory compliance the document needs to be thoroughly locked down and any change completely prevented to a particular version of the document.
The description of view restriction and edit restrictions kind of misses the point. Once versioned and archived, that version of the document should never be editable. By anyone. Under any circumstances. Period. It should just be viewable by whoever needs to see it.
To be fair, this is what a document management system is for. And it's obvious from this segment of this thread that Confluence simply isn't (and cannot be used) as a solid document management system. From the description above, it's just a wiki with some nice bells and whistles. Use for Steve's use case is like trying to use a paint brush as a hammer.
Thank you for your contribution to the community. You are right that Confluence does not have the native capabilities to ensure and evidence regulatory compliance. Having said that, this is where the Atlassian Marketplace can extend your experience with Confluence. The Atlassian Marketplace has some really cool tools to help fill the gap to achieve regulatory compliance your Confluence Documentation. Comala Document Management or Comala Document Control are examples of apps that available on the Marketplace and you can try them for free for 30 days either for Confluence Server or Confluence Cloud.
For examples of how different industries use our apps, you can check out these blog posts:
All the best
Senior Product Manager @ Comalatech
Thanks for the links - I'll take a look later today.
Yes, indeed. I took a look at a couple of Marketplace products and Comala stood out as being a good candidate for regulatory compliance. And certainly the best of the Marketplace products that I looked at. We're currently looking at it as a possible solution that possibly integrates very well with the way that we're using Confluence and as a viable alternative to the way we currently use a separate CMS for this purpose.
Since I had the same questions I have a question and a suggestion based on a very similar problem I have with engineering sensitive documents.
Do you need the server to be related to your company and not Atlassian's Cloud based one?
If no then
Get a plugging to hook your confluence to your sharepoint and sort information that can be stored at Confluence Tree Level (pages) and for the sensitive one at Sharepoint Tree Level.
In my case I am not that lucky because company and legislation requires servers to be local based (even for cloud services)
PS: check out an idea for the connector / plugging https://marketplace.atlassian.com/apps/1218247/sharepoint-connector-for-confluence?hosting=cloud&tab=overview
Hi, David here, Co-Head of Products at Communardo, the Company behind the mentioned SharePoint Connector. Thanks @Rodrigo Fernandez-Suarez for bringing our app into the discussion. Without hijacking this thread I just wanted to further clarify the our app does indeed work in the following scenrios:
So no matter if you're all in for Cloud or completely self hosted it's just work. or any hybrid scenario as well.
If you have further questions or need a demo, just send me a message here or at email@example.com
All the best, David
Hi @Steve Z,
For the Confluence Cloud, we have introduced a revision number feature with the QC Documents for Confluence Cloud plugin .
The plugin is available for the Confluence Cloud.
This plug in enables you to create a matrix to link the 'revision number' (major number) with 'Confluence version numbers'
More information is available here .
It's not a document management system, it's a wiki at its heart.
It does keep a full history of page versions though (unless you choose to remove it), and has meta data functions, and you can easily add stuff to do things like automated copying.
Hi, Confluence collaborators! As part of #Confluence-Collaboratory month, we’ve created a very special Mythsbusters segment, where we're dive into an interesting myth and uncover the truth behind i...
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