WikiMatrix

#1 2007-05-18 17:19:01

bssedc
Member
Registered: 2007-05-18
Posts: 3

SharePoint 2007 Wiki Evaluation?

Gentlemen:

I have been looking at function and feature comparisons of different commercial and open source wiki packages for the purposes of selecting a candidate for a corporate wiki. I cannot claim familiarity with wikis from a user perspective; I have found many technical comparisons, but it is the user perspective that interests me, particularly usability, ease of administration, etc.

I am impressed with Atlassian's Confluence 2 product. I cannot find, however, any real information on the wiki implementation within Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. I know that this is Microsoft's first stab at a wiki, therefore it would be reasonable to assume that it would be less polished - and perhaps take much more effort to set up - than a mature product like Confluence or TWiki.

I would appreciate any advice or a pointer to a resource which could help me establish some rigorous evaluation user-focused criteria for evaluating wikis for corporate implementation, and any experience you may have with the SharePoint 2007 wiki.

Thanks in advance,

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#2 2007-05-18 19:17:36

atlassian
Member
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: 2005-11-28
Posts: 27
Website

Re: SharePoint 2007 Wiki Evaluation?

I've seen information scattered all over the place of comparisons with Sharepoint to other wikis (including Confluence). My understanding without having actually used the new Sharepoint, is that it's still Sharepoint to the core: that is, a system for managing Office files with some collaboration around it. Wikis are treated as a feature add-on, not as a core competency. Here are a few other links:

http://fastforwardblog.com/2007/02/06/w … harepoint/
http://discuss.joelonsoftware.com/defau … .3.66103.7
http://weblogs.asp.net/miked/archive/20 … point.aspx

The blogs I read all conclude that it's difficult to compare the two technologies because they approach collaboration differently. Sorry I couldn't be of more help!

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#3 2007-05-18 20:11:16

bssedc
Member
Registered: 2007-05-18
Posts: 3

Re: SharePoint 2007 Wiki Evaluation?

atlassian wrote:

I've seen information scattered all over the place of comparisons with Sharepoint to other wikis (including Confluence). My understanding without having actually used the new Sharepoint, is that it's still Sharepoint to the core: that is, a system for managing Office files with some collaboration around it. Wikis are treated as a feature add-on, not as a core competency.

The blogs I read all conclude that it's difficult to compare the two technologies because they approach collaboration differently. Sorry I couldn't be of more help!

Thank you for the response. I have a strong suspicion that you're correct in stating that the SharePoint 2007 wiki implementation is indeed a feature add-on, and not a core component. That appears to be key to deciding whether to include the SharePoint 2007 wiki implementation as a viable alternative to something like TWiki or Perspective. I believe that even Microsoft has admitted this, because the intent behind SharePoint Server is not primarily to provide a wiki.

My concern is that the effort required to shoehorn a SharePoint 2007 wiki into the equivalent behavior of a more targeted and full-featured product like Confluence would require considerable development effort. Would the effort be worth it? How long would it take? How much would it cost?

Thanks again,

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#4 2007-05-18 20:56:37

PeterThoeny
Member
From: San Jose, CA
Registered: 2005-12-14
Posts: 265
Website

Re: SharePoint 2007 Wiki Evaluation?

I have not tried the SharePoint wiki personally, so I can't give an authoritative answer. I think that a wiki system with document management features is much more usable than a system that does the reverse. People typically start with a project in an unstructured way (the wiki way), and add structure over time. So, you have linked pages, and you attach files as needed. This is more intuitive and collaborative than a file tree where you store documents and add meta data to documents (comments etc.)

I have seen that some large companies have an official policy to use SharePoint, but the employees push for a wiki and prefer to work in the wiki. Some companies settle on a policy where the wiki is used to create a document, and once it is "done" it is stored in SharePoint. This makes the IT folks and the users happy.

TWiki:Codev/SharePointVsTWiki has some discussion on the SharePointWiki and TWiki. As a key distinction, the SharePoint wiki is not a Wikipedia:Structured_wiki. That is, users are stuck with the basic whiteboard feature of the wiki. They cannot create custom wiki applications to automate their work.

-- Peter AT StructuredWikis DOT com - http://www.structuredwikis.com/ - http://twiki.org/

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#5 2007-05-18 21:33:07

bssedc
Member
Registered: 2007-05-18
Posts: 3

Re: SharePoint 2007 Wiki Evaluation?

PeterThoeny wrote:

I have seen that some large companies have an official policy to use SharePoint, but the employees push for a wiki and prefer to work in the wiki. Some companies settle on a policy where the wiki is used to create a document, and once it is "done" it is stored in SharePoint. This makes the IT folks and the users happy.

Peter:

Your observation is an interesting one--and something that I admit I hadn't thought of. My client does have a plain vanilla SharePoint Team Workspace implementation, but the majority of users avoid it like the plague; it hasn't been a success. The major complaint is that it is cumbersome to use and is missing some critical usability features.

I'm intrigued by the simplicity and organic nature of plain wikis, primarily as a means to "get people talking". Over time, as people get used to the idea, and perhaps as corporate wikis become more sophisticated, a structured wiki would make more sense for the organization.

Appreciate your comments and the links. Thanks much!

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#6 2008-11-21 16:19:19

youngb2
Member
Registered: 2008-11-21
Posts: 2

Re: SharePoint 2007 Wiki Evaluation?

I just blogged on the topic of MOSS Wiki. Check it out and let me know if you have any questions:

http://collaborationtech.blogspot.com/2 … falls.html

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