Need a Confluence expert!

Hello,

My company wants to use Confluence for our intranet, in connection with Sharepoint 2010. We have a long list of specific needs and I am not finding all the answers of the website. Can someone help me ?

Here is my (long) list of needs. Can they be meet by Confluence (just a yes/no answer is enough) :

- Integrate the microsoft ecosystem (outlook, etc.), and Outlook calendar in particular

- Integration with Microsoft project to allow real-time project timelines and collaboration

- Easy to manage and understand user rights

- Advanced version management (support parallel editing of documents, diffs between files)

- Manage permissions to restrict access to sensitive content

- Be able to bring non company employees in a session

- Shared editing of document (any type)

- Work together on one document at the same time

- Ask a question, receive an answer from others, see who is available to answer a question, ability to connect via instant messaging

- Support workflows for approval, status reporting, organization membership renewals, standards contribution reviews

- Support creation of specific workflows

- Maintain various groups of colleagues who have indicated to be stakeholder of a certain topic, activity, etc. Includes social groups.

- Create a group, discover other groups

- Owner of a group can decide if they want to limit membership to the group (social and/or professional criteria)

- Search groups by topic, people, etc.

- Search people per skills, location, project

- Relevancy tuning

Thank you very very much !

Isabelle

9 answers

Have you emailed Atlassian sales? sales@atlassian.com

Here are some answers, to the best of my knowledge, for out-of-the box Confluence:

- Integrate the microsoft ecosystem (outlook, etc.), and Outlook calendar in particular

NO

- Integration with Microsoft project to allow real-time project timelines and collaboration

NO

- Easy to manage and understand user rights

YES

- Advanced version management (support parallel editing of documents, diffs between files)

Not a true parallel editing capability, but interlocking editing is handled. Other features of version management are there - simple forms.

- Manage permissions to restrict access to sensitive content

YES

- Be able to bring non company employees in a session

YES

- Shared editing of document (any type)

YES

- Work together on one document at the same time

MAYBE - Well, not best tool for that.

- Ask a question, receive an answer from others, see who is available to answer a question, ability to connect via instant messaging

YES - but probably not as elaborate as you are thinking

- Support workflows for approval, status reporting, organization membership renewals, standards contribution reviews

NO - Need Atlassian JIRA for this.

- Support creation of specific workflows

JIRA

- Maintain various groups of colleagues who have indicated to be stakeholder of a certain topic, activity, etc. Includes social groups.

You can subscribe to pages with email notification upon changes.

- Create a group, discover other groups

Not really.

- Owner of a group can decide if they want to limit membership to the group (social and/or professional criteria)

Not really.

- Search groups by topic, people, etc.

No

- Search people per skills, location, project

No

- Relevancy tuning

No.

Thank you very much Kevin.

It appears that for the workflow related questions, it might work with the Ad Hoc Workflow plugin... ? As for the working groups, the Adaptavist plugin seems to do the trick.

Yes, there are a lot of plug-ins that can do lots of things. If it isn't developed already, a plug-in to satisfy your needs can be developed with some Java (or other) programming. The effort does go up the further you extend Confluence. So, be aware that it could take some time to have Confluence in a position to satisfy all your needs.

0 vote

Many of these bullets are subjective, and nearly all this information is available through googling.

They maybe available via googling but I suspect that they don't know what they need to look for, hence the reason they are asking for an "expert".

0 vote

Hrm, it's not that hard, eg point 1 google for "confluence outlook integration". But if they want to pay for a partner to do the googling then fair enough.

0 vote
Colin Goudie Community Champion Aug 30, 2011

I suggest looking for an Atlassian Partner that is close to you

http://www.atlassian.com/about/partners/

Of course I googled all the questions (I spent all morning doing that) but the answers are never really clear when you don't know Confluence at all. You often get a "yes but no but it bugs but maybe there is a plugin that is not supported...". That's why I asked for help here, cause I figured the questions would be simple to answer for people using Confluence.

Thanks anyway !

0 vote

That's a fair point but honestly the answer to a lot of these is not yes or no, rather "yes but no but it should do it but can't because of a bug but there is a plugin but it doesn't really work or it doesn't work for the latest 6 versions". From the gist of your questions it sounds like Sharepoint might be more suitable.

Hello Isabelle,

We have actually just recently set up a test environment for SharePoint 2010 and MS Project Server 2010 to work with our Confluence environment. This is the conclusions that we have come to at this time:

The best way to integrate SharePoint/MS Project Server and Confluence is actually to keep them separate. Use Confluence as a web interface and knowledge respository while using SharePoint as a document workflow and approval tool and MS Project as a project based task managing system.

Utilize Confluence's ability to search SharePoint and to display/edit lists and their documents from SharePoint inside of Confluence.

Right now I don't believe there is any type of connector for Confluence and MS Project. I am sure that will change in the future though as it becomes more popular, or you could program one yourself.

Hi Richard, I notice your setup is in 2011. Are you still using the same setup?  We are currently looking at a Confluence/SharePoint/MS Project Server environment.

Isabelle,

There are a lot of requirements on your list, I agree with some of the coments below, I think a combination of Sharepoint + Confluence with some plugins will help to reach your goal. As you can see Confluence is really powerful for collaboration and content development. The other approach will require some changes on your organization, like creating content on wiki environment and then if Office Word is needed for delivery use Scroll Office (k15t.com products).

Ad hoc workflow is a great plugin too. As I said there is a ton of pro and cons, I think the analysis will help you balancing which application is a better fit and also which changes you will need to do in your organization (processess changes) to develop yoiur content.

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