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Confluence vs SharePoint

By Taylor Knoth

Business and Software teams looking to create/share documents and ideas throughout their entire organization need a tool that is seamless, intuitive, and reliable. At Contegix, we turn to Confluence to create those documents and make them available to the rest of the organization to reference. Two commonly used applications for managing content in the market today are Confluence and SharePoint.

Difficulties using SharePoint and Email

SharePoint has been in use in the marketplace for well over 15 years, and though it has evolved, it continues to retain its legacy underpinnings of managing file access, and not a truly collaborative tool for managing content. If you enjoy packing documents inside folders, which are contained inside other folders and then searching through the folders whenever you’d like to access a certain document then SharePoint might be right for you. For most people though, an intuitive user interface and easy-to-read side navigation bar on Confluence works great. This is just one issue SharePoint has against it. Let’s look some other core reasons users tend to shy away from SharePoint:

  • Performance lags as departments expand within a company
  • Combining SharePoint with email notifications can get very overwhelming and become obtrusive to the user
  • Folders within folders within folders of information gets extremely messy and unorganized quickly
  • Constant upkeep and maintenance to keep information and documents in an orderly manner is time consuming and a waste to the company
  • Certain browsers have issues
  • Outdated code
  • Difficult to configure without security concerns

With these core issues listed above, the most common response when users were asked why SharePoint was having issues was: “what do you expect, it’s SharePoint”. This statement clearly shows that these issues continue to be relevant throughout the continued existence of SharePoint.

Where Confluence Wins

So why should someone make the switch to Confluence besides the fact that it isn’t SharePoint? Let’s talk about the three core areas where Confluence excels: Intuitiveness, Seamless integration with other Atlassian tools (Primarily Jira), and Customization. With these in mind let’s talk about features within Confluence that support this:

  • With numerous included macros and thousands of more marketplace add-ons, anything you could ever need out of a wiki is available
  • Confluence is a great collaborative editor (Multiple users can be editing the same document at the same time)
  • Revision control allows users to revert back to any version of the document desired
  • Online @ mentioning as well as document comments make for reviewing a document simple
  • “Spaces” within Confluence allow organizations to split Confluence up so that teams within the organization only need to see what is relevant to them but can access other teams work if necessary.
  • Extremely easy on-boarding for new customers (If someone has used any type of wiki before, they will quickly start using Confluence)
  • Importing/exporting documents in and out of Confluence is simple and configurable (Export to Word, as a Pdf, etc.)
  • Extensibility with Jira allows issue tracking directly on product requirement documents in real time. Reporting can also be done within those documents as well with live updates from Jira.
  • Pre-made document templates created specifically with business teams as well as software teams in mind make it simple to create documents starting day 1.
  • Granular permission controls allow teams to control what certain people see whether they are within the organization or an external customer.
  • Search within Confluence is extremely powerful (Search a specific keyword or phrase and Confluence quickly sorts and delivers expected results)

We clearly have strong opinions about Confluence vs SharePoint and in the end we recommend Confluence due to its flexible nature, collaborative environment and wiki-style UI approach. Contegix would love to help you if you make the decision to migrate to confluence. Contact us today to learn about our end-to-end Atlassian solutions.