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Using Confluence as single-source CMS strategy?

Roger Weinheimer Apr 05, 2012

Our company hosts branded versions of its CRM product for various customers. For each version, we use Confluence to host Online Help by customer/brand. We started small with two brands, but in one year have grown to five and are expecting that to possibly double again with in a year.

The obvious advantage of using Confluence for help content is to make tech writing a community project. The reality is that the tech writing task falls largely to one person. So far, the tech writer maintains separate spaces for each brand. Since the content is largely similar, this has been sustainable with the small number of brands, but this could get painful as the number increases. As of now, the customers view help content as anonymous users (no login, hence no permissions filtering possible). The content includes the following variables.

  • Minor terminology changes (one customer base uses the term prospect; the other customer base use the term contact).
  • Video and screen shot graphics.
  • Feature-set differences. (one customer base needs help on Foo feature; the other one does not, yet, but might need it in a future release)
  • Look and feel

I can think of two strategies.

  1. Maintain a global library (space) of content which might be selectively included by branded spaces. Users would have to log in, in order to filter content by permissions. The maintainer would manage macros in the global library that filter the content. Product team would need to add transparent login to Confluence and pass space permissions parameter.
  2. Maintain individual content sets in separate spaces by cloning/renaming spaces and then modifying as needed. The product passes a space key so the customer sees their brand of content. (current scheme)

Both methods require separately branded spaces for the rendered content, so no difference there?

Does anyone have experience using Confluence as a single-source CMS like this? Can you offer a different strategy or point me to existing documentation or answer threads on this issue? Will any summit sessions address this? Thanks for your time.

2 answers

0 votes
Steve Hayhurst Sep 19, 2014

Did you ever get an answer to this?  I'm looking at a similar scenario (just starting the project).



0 votes
Dheeraj Gupta Dec 01, 2016

I am also under similar situation. However there is no customer specific branding on the pages, but some features are required to show/hide from the actual documentation. 

Not sure, if this can be achieved by creating "Master" space. Because, if I use "Include Page" Macro, I still cannot control at which level a topic should appear.

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