Versatile, powerfull, easy to use
As with other Atlassien products Confluence is just a charm to use. It is a great Wiki and it continues to be the gift that keeps on giving the more atlassian products you combine with it. I would absolutely chose Confluence again in the past and in the future. If you manage it smart (by setting up well conceptualized wiki spaces and making people patreons of certain areas in order to avoid cluttering) I could not imagine any solution better suited to Knowledge management and business documentation than Confluence.
We use Confluence for serval years now, together with Jira (Ticket Management) and Bamboo (Build Server). It has proven its value time and again for us and provided us with clear, easy to navigate and edit business documentation for almost all areas of business. The Editor is esy to use, there are Plugins for all imaginable use cases (for example specific PDF exports) and a great FAQ and very helpful community. The Editor for content is fantastically in terms of ease of use and results to be generated. Also all Articles are stored versioned, so you can easyly go back a version, or check what has been changed in case you have to get back up to speed on a topic you left checking a while ago. You can follow authors, topics or wiki Spaces so Confluence keeps you in the loop about what is happening. In case you work on confidential material the user access management is just a dream to use, simple, powerful and without any ruged edges. Additional Features are added and when they are they are well thought through and perfectly conceptualized. I never have found a feature which did not deliver what it promised and more. Some are not for me but the ones that were introduced and sounded interesting generally were. This is THE tool for anyone who wants to document all kinds ok business knowledge from simple things like HowTo or FAQ Article to complex branches of deccsion documentations connected to development progress (by Jira ticket integration).
Confluence has a lot of great features. The main Issue with Wiki Systems often is they work great in teh beginning and later become bogged down with badly maintained content or just forgotten structures. The search for the wiki still is not perfect. It has improved and is fine to use but I have seen better. There are also not a lot of features that support administrators in decluttering a large or huge Wiki and sometimes we had issues for complex, nested user rights. Also as always the case when you have an ecosystem of plugins, you have to make sure anything is compatible with a new version before you update, especially if it is a third party extension. Don't get me wrong, there is not much to complain here, you have to really look hard in order to find anything bad about Confluence.
The Collaboration Platform You've Waited For
We document everything in Confluence. I run a digital marketing team of around 20 people and have a total of 40 users in the tool (a few other teams besides mine use it). It's been a fantastic tool to get everyone on the same page and keep track of our how-tos, meeting notes, plans, goals, features/specs, etc.
Real-time simultaneous editing
Ease of finding and organizing what I've written
Constantly adding new features
Integration with Jira and Trello is great, but also works as lightweight project management by itself
Honestly, they've fixed my biggest cons, like storage space (now you can buy a bigger plan) and they keep adding more things.
I think my colleagues would say there's still a learning curve, which is understandable, and I think Confluence has been changing the interface with more tips and features for new users (which is sometimes confusing for long-time users like me, LOL)
One big con is still the limited integration with MS Office. Confluence fully replaces the need for Word in most cases, so that's not a big deal, but I wish the Excel integration and/or the table functionality was better.
Also, printing is pretty tough when you have tables.
A well-organized documentation graveyard
Overall Confluence is a good platform to store your documentation and make it searchable for later usage. Although it doesn't solve the issue that most companies have, which is that often you'll find outdated pages or incomplete ones. This doesn't mean it's a Confluence issue, but it will definitely not help in solving this.
Confluence is a very good documentation platform, with its easy to use GUI and markup syntax ( although not compatible with Markdown, unless a plugin is installed ), will offer you a good way to organize your documentation based on projects and Page trees. You can also tag those pages and have a full search that will help you finding what you're searching for. Last but least, the platform offers extensibility through a plugin system which will get you covered.
When it comes to documentation, no software is doing their best. Often you will find out that creating pages, tagging them and giving them nice titles, will definitely not help you in finding what you search for. Although Confluence tries to help a lot in this, definitely is not a bulletproof solution. So if you suffer from documentation graveyard, unfortunately Confluence will not help your situation to make it better.
Also, although Plugins are available, as Jira they are very expensive even for super simple features ( like Markdown integration ).
The best documentation platform
This is amazing software with close to zero disadvantages. It corresponds with Jira which is great, also provides documentation, you can create pages, see notes related to a specific theme, besides pages you can create tables, images, etc. I would recommend this software to anyone who needs a program that creates documentation. Also, they are looking to improve their software by making a lot of updates.
Confluence has a lot of advantages and here are some of them. Confluence is part of Atlassian Suite which is connected with Jira and you can easily integrate them. This software provides a documentation platform for your projects. You can create links to other pages, see other documents that are related to some specific project, also it provides you with different kind of images and charts to make your document more powerful. This software supports everything starting from images, tables, diagrams, charts, whatever you need Confluence has it. Also, another thing that is worth mentioning is that you can see if anyone has made any change to the document and if it has you will get notified.
There are not so many disadvantages, to be honest, this is great software, maybe a bit hard for some beginners, but not too hard and you will have to spend some time on this software to know how it works. Another thing that I don’t like is that they are changing Confluence non-stop. They are doing updates most of the time and changing the software. I understand that they need to make changes for better but that can sometimes be annoying because you know something where is it and then they change it and add something else and you have to learn again.
Great Resource Library within the JIRA Space
Overall, Confluence has served our company well, as we subscribe to a number of Atlassian products. The immediate integration with these other products makes the Confluence application very desirable for our business model, and offers us a much needed solution without much additional effort or thought. If you are already using Atlassian products, Confluence is a great solution for centralizing and organizing all of your assets. If you have more advances needs and do not already use Atlassian products, you may want to explore alternative options.
Confluence offers my company a unique solution for creating and organizing documentation and assets that need to be share amongst an entire team. In addition, it offers us a means to share some of those same documents and assets with our customers without any additional effort. Its advance permissions schemes allow you to dictate which users have access to which files, and its ease of use allows for quick publication and instant distribution. As we also use JIRA for project management, Confluence is a great complement for linking supplemental, more detailed files to ongoing projects.
Confluence word processing features are a bit rudimentary. While the application itself is easy to use, its feature limitations only allow for a certain level of detail and imagination when creating new documents. While it links seamless into the JIRA project management platform, it does come with an additional cost per user, which quick racks up your monthly Atlassian bill. For more advanced needs, an alternative platform may be a better fit.
We've used this for some time because it just works.
That said administering it has been somewhat frustrating at times due to us not having a developer on staff. Doing anything with the tool other than building spaces and pages will require some time investment and some very strong guidline adherence from your documentation editors and contributors in order to 'work'.
For us, it hasn't been working, we need more structure and will therefore likely leave the product behind soon..
But this tool absolutely has its place for many scenarios.
Confluence makes for a great entry point into getting a Knowledge Base or even an environment of communication in your business.
Creating pages is simple and with lots of features its easy to get them looking very presentable.
Some built in templates help get you thinking like you need to in creating an organized environment that is easy to surf and find what you need.
An advanced back-end makes it so you can develop if that's your thing.
Not to mention the ability to host yourself with the myriad bonus' that that comes with.
Time: If you need advanced layout and/or don't have the first clue in how to structure your environment this tool may not be for you.
Confluence takes your Company to the next level
We really value this product and are continuing to grow with it.
We love the easy collaboration between departments. There is less emailing of documents and trying to find the "latest" version. This software has made our Company much more efficient.
There are still some things we work around like Search for our Client's that are not licensed users.
good tool to manage all your Docs, Notes, Guides, Spike or any thing that you write
overall its a good software to have one must try it before judging it.
this tool is good to manage all your organization's documents. you can create spaces just like folders and structures in windows to organize your work.it provides good tools to create a documents and style its contents. one can create really cool and attractive document if he is good at it. you can also easily search for documents using a search bar. your can link other documents in a document. you can attach files into the document. you can even link JIRA tickets in the document or link the document to the JIRA ticket because it easily configured and integrated with the JIRA. its a good tool to have.
the only cron i found was that it misses some editing features, and its sometimes hard to style a document if you are new to it. you need to discover alot and learn how to create cool documents. you can style it like a web page but it will require dedication. but once you are used to it. its gets better and better and easier
Documenting UX Progress
Confluence is great for documentation, saving files, and collaborating with teammates.
I like using Confluence to document my UX projects. It is accessible and editable by my team, so they can add their project contributes to the template/outline I've created. Confluence also keeps track of edit history.
It is moderately difficult to customize Confluence. You have to know a bit of coding to fully customize your page. Alternately, you can find other confluence pages, edit, and copy/paste/edit their widgets.
Great Way To Organize All Org Content In One Place
Confluence is a great hub where organizations are able to organize all the information for their company in one place. Each department can have their own "space" or section where they house content. The struggle we've had internally is that not all departments keep their sections up to date so sometimes it is difficult to know what is and is not accurate. It also is a great place to track conversations so that others can see dialogue about certain documents.
If you are going to implement this- it's really important to get everyone on board. It's a culture shift for sure- everyone needs to be bought in and committed to using it as the sole database for all content, and keeping it up to date. It can be a great tool, but it all depends on your commitment to adopting it.
As a user it's really helpful to have one place I know to go to access content. For example we have a legal page which houses everything I would need to know when it comes to closing deals, or if a contact ever asks me to share our W9 or other documents. It's much more organized than using something like Google Drive for example.
I really only use the product to access content I don't ever have to upload things to it, so I can't comment on any potential challenges with that process. I really don't have any complaints about how the actual product works, my only gripe with is is how our organization uses it. Some departments are better about keeping things up to date than others so sometimes it's hard to know what is current. But like I said, that's more of a problem of our usage, rather than the actual tech.
Finest Documentation platform
Confluence gave better documentation compared tot he old text files so that more readable format. The integration of images and diagrams make the documentation more user friendly.
Confluence gives best documentation platform for your projects. We can categorize based on different projects and sub projects. we can create links to another pages which is very useful to route to another document without searching for it. we can see all the documents related one project in one section. It gives you wide range of features to include images and diagrams to make the documentation more useful. We can also subscribe to the pages so that anyone make any changes we get notified.
Confluence needs more integration with the CICD tools available in the market to make more automated documentation. confluence needs to provide to create diagrams for documentation so that users dont need to go for external software for that.
Great documentation platform for both intranets and customer-facing hubs
The experience I had the last 9-10 years that me and my colleagues worked with Confluence is excellent.
The document editor works smoothly even from the mobile app that is offered.
There are many article templates to choose from when you start creating an article, from decision making documents to marketing strategy forms and solution focused how-to pages.
Confluence supports a lot of media types in the pages, so it's easy to create helpful articles with video, audio, images and many more like attention panels, embedded spreadsheets, etc. You can even embed the contents of one section of a page to another page, so that if you change that it reflects the change in all the pages that the section was included. Which is great for customer support and of course technical documentation.
Did I mention that you can create as many different wikis as you like? Confluence calls those "spaces" and it's a great way to keep things separated. I use different wiki spaces for my employees handbook, customer support, app manuals, design documents per project, etc. The possibilities are endless and having them separately helps with security between different roles in the company and outside of it.
Confluence, especially the new cloud version, is one of the best tools to use for documenting your knowledge-base. The best parts for me are:
- The ability to connect my articles with to-do tasks from project management (Jira from Atlassian, same company, so they work like a charm together).
- The articles I can contain any media types, from spreadsheets that I can edit in-line to videos. There are also a lot of native panels to help anybody create very stylish articles with usability.
- In-line and footer comment sections help my team discuss and develop documents all together, without losing any of the discussion history.
- The ability to also keep an internal blog. I use that to inform my colleagues for the day-to-day developments, and keep everybody on track with high ideas and management efforts.
- All of the above can be also used as a customer-facing knowledge-base, to serve your customers with documents, operation manuals and help articles. Very handy if you use it together with the service desk solution from the same company, but can also be used stand-alone too.
In general it's one of the best choices that I made when I was searching for a documentation solution for my company and my clients, back in 2010. Almost a decade passed and Confluence is still growing better and better by the time. Atlassian the company behind Confluence is now huge and offers many solutions that integrate with Confluence, making it an even better choice if you use other tools from them.
I can't find any cons to Confluence. After all there is no perfect solution, only elegant ones depending on the problem one tries to solve.
Atlassian is offering a trial period so anybody can see if Confluence is good for their company's documentation needs.
From my experience, it would be bad to start a trial before you hove some really motivated people in your team and some content to put in there. Because it would be better to test Confluence with something that you would use in your company, so that you see first hand the pros and cons while your team works with Confluence with material that is close to the true material that you would put in there.
If I was to change one thing it would be the way it recognizes internally any of the pages I create, so that Confluence doesn't have any issues with pages with same titles. That would be a nice time saver and space saver in the outline of any wiki one creates.
Best documentation tool I ever used
I use this almos daily and I think it is a great tool for team performance. It allows to create and view all the info in no time and pretty well structured.
The main advantage about Confluence is that is part of the Atlassian Suite which involves Jira and Bitbucket among others. This makes pretty easy to integrate them and add quick references to a jira issue with just write the reference number.
The text editor in Confluence is pretty complete, allowing to create really decent pages for any kind of documentation desired. The possibility of create nested pages makes really easy to organize the information in "chapters" "sub-chapters" and so on, giving your documentation a really neat look.
This feature also allows to segregate the information, so you can have your product's documentation on one place, perfectly organized and set another "Chapter" for your team info, where you could store info about code conventions, timetables about overtime or availability, and so on.
Confluence is also useful in order to create software designs, since it allows to create pages where you can paste your diagrams and so on and allows to discuss on them by adding comments or remarks.
And the Watch utility keep you posted via e-mail whenever a page you're watching is modified in any way so you can keep track of a discussion or whatever.
So far didn't find any big issue with confluence. Maybe for beginners it has a bit of learning curve and some option like the page nesting and so on is a bit difficult to learn. Besides that, I think is a pretty complete software.
Something I miss is the possibility of "downloading" a page with all nested ones into a pdf. That would be a great feature in order to generate documentation files.
Powerful wiki software
Confluence has become the place for us to collect information, across our business. We use it document our processes and policies (the access controls prove useful there), and our development teams use it on a daily basis to record the outcomes of discussions and to share knowledge.
Confluence does a good job as a tool for writing, organising and viewing all kinds of documentation.
It's fairly wiki-esque, but with a more intuitive editor for pages that should make it easier to pick up for new users that might be more familiar with, say, Microsoft Word.
As an Atlassian product, you can expect a full set of tools for managing access to different pages and areas across your organisation, making it more appropriate for enterprises than more basic wiki software that doesn't always provide the same level of control.
Another advantage is the high level of integration. 'Macros' allow users to include a variety of rich content, and are customisable. Examples of integrations include JIRA, Trello, Microsoft Office, G Suite, and more. The 'Atlassian Marketplace' can be used to find and install more macros.
Although the editor is easier to use than the markdown used by a lot of other wiki software, it can occasionally be frustrating to work with. Not all macros and formatting settings behave exactly the same, so while you'd be able to fix these issues directly in markdown, you can end up trying out a bunch of different tools before you find the one you need to achieve your goal.
As with all collections of articles, organising pages can become difficult. The software itself provides basic tools that allow you to define a structure for your pages, and these work well, but it still requires considerable discipline as your use of the software scales up.
Wiki Engine on Steroids
We are using Confluence as our internal documentation storage system. It allows us to easily create documentation and share it among our various teams while controlling access to the teams. It is better than a document storage system for this purpose, as it allows us to create the documents on the fly, cutting a step out of the process and making documents easier to manage. We host it on site, so it is more secure than a solution like Google Docs as it's not on the web.
We use Confluence on a daily basis to document various aspects of our organization. There is a large variety of built-in templates for a variety of sorts of documents. We heavily utilize the how-to articles to record procedures. Although it does link with other Altassian products, like Jira, we don't use that functionality currently as we run Confluence on-site and Jira in the cloud. The upgrade to version 6 greatly increased the usefulness of the product, as it brought in concurrent editing, ala Google Docs, which was functionality we needed when developing procedures for an event as a group. The search and indexing capabilities make it easy to find a document if its location is not obvious.
Search and indexing can lose usefulness in the event you have many similar documents, like say a checklist that is executed often. I would like a function to be able to click a check box to "ignore results like this." The initial setup of Confluence was not completely straightforward, however, we were installing on an older version, version 5. (The upgrade to version 6 went much smoother.) I would prefer an omnibus install package if it doesn't currently have that rather than having to install PostgreSQL and the application. The LDAP integration could have been a little bit smoother than it was, although it is in line with the other Atlassian products I have integrated.
An excellent documentation service that has saved me on many occasions
My coworker and I use confluence extensively to document all of the work that we perform. As IT staff many issues that we come across will be repeated ad-infinitum. As such to simply be able to look up the fix from any location with internet access increases efficiency many times over. The notification ability helps all users to see what has been changed, when, and by whom providing an excellent level of accountability.
It is extremely easy to create a large number of documents, it is possible to reference other documents within them to facilitate ease of research, and documents can all be put into sub-folders to contain them within separate trees to aid with organisation.
The mobile app is extremely useful for reading documentation whilst on the go - an example would be that we keep Video Conference details on one page that I have favorited, as such when I set up a VC from any location I am able to rapidly find the correct details to dial.
The search functionality allows for extremely quick location of relevant documents. On many occasions I have not been able to find what I need looking through the lists, only to immediately find it on the first search. Indeed I no longer look through the list as the search is so efficient.
When changes are made to documents it is possible to set it up to notify other members of the team so that they are able to see what has been done.
The only minor issue I have discovered with confluence is that when creating new documents setting the location is not as smooth as I would like.
Specifically I need to begin creating the document, then select "Move" and finally put it into the desired place. This does not really cause issues as it is still a quick process, however a one click setup would be appreciated.
Overall I would recommend using Confluence, but would caution people on how they rollout the new platform to their company. Ensuring that the expectations are communicated clearly for how the platform will be used, by whom and the frequency, are very helpful things to communicate when preparing your team to switch.
The interactive features of Confluence serves as the best feature and function of this platform! Our organization is relatively small (20-30 employees) and is a Foundation that interacts with other nonprofits in the area. As a result we had many touch points in the community through various teams and often time what we were doing would get lost. In an effort to improve our internal communication our organization adopted Confluence as a means of servicing our company. We used the blog feature heavily which proved to be the best method of communication internally and cut down on the amount of emails adding to the clutter in our inboxes. It also allowed discussions to happen seamlessly and served as a point of reference for folks to easily access when needed.
It wasn't always very user friendly. Our organization consists of a variety of ages, so the way that people have engaged with technology is also varied. There are times that adding spaces or pages have proved to be a challenge for those who don't consider themselves as "technologically savvy". There was a bit of a learning curve for me in learning to how to use the software, but the customer support team was helpful in walking me through difficulties. The mobile function also wasn't the best depending on how users have different spaces setup.
Perfect solution for interaction within our dev team and also for interaction between us & customers
I absolutely love the product. It is awesome. When your con list is made up of feature requests, you know the product is intensely used and you are looking for "more" or adjusting how things are done to help enable you to do your task, plus add functionality that would provide value for the product. This product is a 10 of 10 if you are using it right.
The widgets. I love the team calendars, the roadmap functionality for time lines, decision tracking and criteria, tasks/action items and the ease of defining them, status bars, and the flexibility for meeting notes, how to articles, blogs, file lists, product requirements, retrospectives, task reports, and troubleshooting articles from one source. It has really improved our interaction with customers for projects and documentation.
From time to time I see issues with editing pages. It does not make the bold or color changes to changes even though the toolbar indicates it is made, it does not display correctly. I also see this display issue with tasks, where the tool bar indicates a task is inserted, but it is not displaying correctly. And also see this issue with bullets. It will display no bullet, or even worse, it displays additional bullets that I don't want.
I would also love to be able to sync widgets between pages (ie a status bar on one page to a parent of that page for a summary. And also be able to sync components/pieces of a page between two Confluence instances. For an example of the use case, we have a time line that we maintain on an internal instance, and I want to sync parts of that timeline to an external instance that we share with customers. This would allow me to have internal only deliverables mapped, but provide a customer facing doc without maintaining two versions
Confluence for Team collaboration
My overall business experience is great. Earlier team was sharing project content via emails that is a clumsy way to mamage and store the information, but as more and more people are using confluence it has become a repository and one stop shop to put knowledge at one palce which can be referred as and when needed. This is a great tool and a game changer for how we manage our collaboration within team for the project under Agile way
The best part about this software is the close integration with JIRA software. This is in real competition with Sharepoint as far as my understanding goes and I am an admin user for multiple scrum teams in my organization. Confluence in its own way is by far the easiest user-friendly software that I introduced in my team that was new to the agile world and now all our collaboration and communication on the process and tech document standpoint happens on Confluence.
The comment section and different macros that can be added for adding content on a page and tree structure for pages created give this tool the edge and flexibility for teams to create the format that best suits to specific scrum team needs
The technical document and usage of code snippet macro are very useful add-ons that have been given for formatting the content.
from the project management standpoint, the product backlog and release planning can be done simply by adding JIRA tickets and their specific status that automatically is being fetched by confluence every time page is opened.
The other most important feature is the ability to create JIRA tickets directly from the confluence page just select the text and then Confluence will give an option to create JIRA ticket and gets linked
The reporting macros for JIRA tickets is a good way to track progress of projects
At an enterprise level, there are few web designing that is required to be done so that content that is already there can be structured in a much more web design format like links to confluence pages to be embedded in an image. That option is available but to central Admin and not to the page admin that makes confluence little crunched to admin users within a project. But this negative point is a very small piece in comparison to positives with this application.
It should be taken seriously
As I mentioned before, I use it as a company wide manual where all employees have to leaf through it whenever they have a question on a certain procedure and if they have any changes they'd like to make to any old methods then they are encouraged to make the edits to keep the company knowledge up to speed.
Confluence is great for creating company manuals or documenting company procedures. Think of it as a formal business blog or a wiki where you can keep a record of anything from basic tables outlining company info to company policies which can then be shared with the rest of the employees so that they can in turn, learn and input their own observations and knowledge. It organizes the pages for you and it makes it easy for anyone to search, edit and add new pages to keep the knowledge growing. At my company, we use it as a manual and all new employees have to read through it as part of their training. It allows you to add photos or videos to document special past events or to just simply make the page more interesting. The formatting ribbon looks similar to Microsoft word's so if you have experience with using a Word document then it should be no problem using the different types of formating options and if you have no experience then you'll get the hang of it pretty soon as it's fairly easy to deduce what each button does. I love how it is able to save any edits you make to a page and it doesn't publish it until you are ready so you are able to make new pages and edit old ones at your own pace and once you are done you can click on "publish". It alows you to restrict what other people can and cannot edit, it sends notifications to those who have a user in your account. I would recommend it.
The interface could use more color or some pizzazz as it looks pretty dull and it reminds me of an electric appliance manual: gray and boring to the point that you feel like throwing it away but then you are too afraid to do so because you may never know when you might need it. But then again, I use it as a company manual so I can't do much there, I'm guessing if you want something prettier then go get a blogging account but Confluence gets straight to the point and it should be taken seriously.
One of the greatest tools to collaborate and build project knowledge base
A great collaboration tool where all project documents (from major project plan to reports to release cycle to simple meeting notes) can be organized and shared in one centralized location.
The confluence editor feature makes it easier for me to create documents, review and share feedback and changes can be tracked thru page histories.
Spaces are well organized and structured. There are page shortcuts, page trees, breadcrumb trails that aid users to navigate between pages and information.
It is easy to build links within pages by adding an anchor. You don't need to remember which part of the page you have read a certain information and do page scroll.
I like the gliffy plugin. Whenever I need to embed a workflow diagram, adding gliffy makes it easier to attach flowchart, it's dynamic as changes in the diagram is reflected in the page.
I can highlight people in my reports or meeting notes by tagging them
Documenting a test report is easier with the JIRA integration - JIRA issues highlighted and linked and JIRA issue filters can be embedded and since these two (JIRA and Confluence) work hand in hand, it makes delivering software in agile approach a lot easier.
To beautify your confluence page, you need to know which macros and plugins you need to add but by doing these, one needs to have very basic knowledge in html or programming which could be a learning curve to most people. But lots of how to videos are shared by Atlassian and lots of documented procedures are out there shared by experienced users. One just need to be resourceful. The challenges in embedding spreadsheet with macros and formatting tables are not a challenge anymore if you know what macro or plugin to use.
Another issue is sometimes finding the information you are seeking is not successful and sometimes the information search for spans to multiple pages - but information actually can be managed by adding labels which again boils down to the user having the knowledge that this feature exists.
A robust and feature-rich collaboration/documentation software that sets the standard
The best wiki/collaboration/documentation software I've used professionally.
- Lots of visual tools for organizing information, as well as molding communications: gliffy diagrams, code blocks, cells, spreadsheets.
- Permissions model for segmenting information is greatly useful for organizations that create lots of documents and require some controls on searching and access to documents based on role.
- Web-based interface for administrators of Confluence is convenient for managing content, delegation and authorization work.
- There are many free software solutions in this sector of software, but generally require significant development to provide the value and features offered by confluence out of the box.
- Development and improvements continue to be deployed, Confluence has not been static
- Add-ons available through Atlassian marketplace to allow for further feature-adds for organization needs. I work in an IT environment, and diagrams for networks, software, process flows are invaluable for documentation purposes.
- Shortcut commands for savvy power users saves lots of time inserting tools and setting up formatting with ease, once you are aware them.
- Having used confluence for over 6 years, I have seen Confluence become more reliable with every update. At times, when something would go wrong with text formatting (bullet point indentation, for example), a power user could go to a tab of the document page you were working on, and edit the markup language of the page to correct the quirky formatting issue. This feature was removed. To the credit of Confluence, fixing such issues is less and less necessary, but power users like myself still miss it.
- The permissions models can be confusing at times, even for highly technical people supporting the software. I do not think this is an issue with Confluence, but rather, a caution to administrators who approach permissions from different eco-systems.
Documentation is my bread & butter and I have never used a better solution than Confluence. I also use JIRA and JIRA Service Desk, which taken all together amount to a mostly-seamless solution for all of my documentation needs!
With Confluence we have an environment that is very efficient to work in to add new content, very easy to update articles and manage file attachments. The keyboard shortcuts are second to none. It is an absolute pleasure to work in Confluence all day. Setting up spaces for various audiences, including a "personal space" allows me to draft documents privately and then move the document over into a space with an audience. Effectively I can "publish" content to employees with a couple of mouse clicks.
Permissions are very well thought out. The permission scheme is based on spaces, individuals and groups, with flexibility from super-locked-down to wide open on the public internet. It allows control of various actions per person or per group, and affords us maximum utility of the product. People within the business are dreaming up different ways to use it faster than we can implement them.
As with any full-featured system that allows you total control as an administrator, successful use of the product requires that you lay out your business requirements clearly first so that there are no unexpected outcomes. Establishing best practices for content creators within the system is also advisable.
I have used other systems in the past, notably MediaWiki and SharePoint, and while I enjoyed them at the time, Confluence blows everything else out of the water. The control and flexibility is unparalleled and the product has obviously been designed for use in environments where project priorities, staff hierarchies, etc can experience rapid significant change.
I also highly recommend the Atlassian sister product JIRA and add-on JIRA Service Desk for task based work management. It is incredibly useful.
With great power comes great responsibility and great potential to make an absolute mess of things. Deployment of this tool to a large user base would require some serious preparation to establish access schemes, permissions for user groups, best practices for editing and creating new content, and organizing content within the spaces. End user training is critical to cement those rules and establish a culture around using it effectively. I would not recommend deploying this tool in a slapdash hurry (Although, given it's innate flexibility, it would be easier to correct it later with Confluence than some of its competitors!)
Perfect for a knowledge repository
This is a software that serves well it purpose, really easy and quick to use and does the job very well. And the posibility of interaction with Jira and Bitbucket is a real advantage.
Being an Atlassian product it is fully compatible with the rest of the suite, and being used together with Jira and Bitbucket is a real hit.
It allows to link a Jira task/bug/story/whatever by just writing the element reference number; it will automatically create a link to the real stuff on Jira. This makes easy to keep work briefs about epics and stories, so you can easily talk about when or where you fixed something, and just link the task in which you logged the work.
Besides that is really flexible allowing to have multiple sub-level pages to properly organize the information in a much more structured way than a Wiki. This allows to keep software documentation, teams structure and oranization, meetings briefs, and so on in the same application but in a well structured and easy to use way.
Regarding the usability, the text editor is quite complete, and allows to create very neat pages really fast. It supports images, tables, formatted text... everything you would need in a documentation app, is there.
For this software I have not found any serious cons... maybe something I would like to be changed is the placement of the save button. On that location I use to miss it and sometimes I just closed the page without saving because I forgot the button was there; but that is just my problem remembering things.
The quasi standard for organizational wikis
Building an overall wiki base was our main purpose and it worked well. We have been expanding it and documenting progress across a large team.
Confluence is easy to setup, maintain, and to use and allows many team members to contribute. The search function is pretty good and tagging and organizing works well. It's even possible to use it as a document rev system, though that stretches the functionality for larger projects.
Confluence is slow to implement new features that helps to speed up the workflow (i.e. copy and pasting works most of the time, but still has some issues). Formatting and arranging items on a page is sometimes difficult and frustrating and using it for documentation on paper often doesn't work well. Permissions are unfortunately difficult to implement and Atlassian is slow to acknowledge obvious shortcomings.
You're also tied to them for a long time since exporting the knowledge base in an efficient manner is pretty much impossible.