I am just days away from purchasing MadCap Flare for our documentation department. I thought my decision was final... that is until I learned about Confluence. I was only searching Jira to find some help on creating a documentation sign-off workflow. BTW, any help is appreciated. :-)
Anyhow, I am now looking at Confluence because we are already heavily invested in Jira and Confluence, being from the same company might be useful. Besides, it seems that Confluence is 100x less expensive (money is not a top motivator).
Are there any Confluence technical writers out there? Is Confluence comparable to Flare or FrameMaker?
Or... have I simply misunderstood the purpose of Confluence and I am trying to compare apples to oranges?
It's not exactly the same. While both of these products are aimed at technical documentations, e.g. for end users with layout and publishing options for digital or print media, Confluence is really a wiki. In a way comparable to MediaWiki, but a lot more accessible and easier to maintain.
Confluence isn't a semantic layout program, but if your workflow is more of an internal documentation thing than print production for the end user, it's probably better than these island solutions. It comes with many macros that give you status labels, tables, page includes or code highlighting and keeps a history of all changes made to a page. If you want to ask somebody to sign off a specific version, you can tag them with their name and they will be automatically notified within Confluence.
We're doing our internal project documentation in Confluence and for that purpose, it's the nicest solution I've found so far. Many other Wikis force you to learn their particular syntax while Confluence keeps it really simple in terms of interface so that you can focus on your contents.
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