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My team has a need to publish documentation internally. At the moment, it's spread all over the place and this means we often have to search everywhere to find something.

We'd like to publish everything in one place. The main thing that stops us is access control - the wikis in place don't belong to us and we can't do it.

What is the best tool for publishing docs, ideally fitting these requirements:

  • web front end - readers access docs using browser
  • single place to put docs
  • access control by individual doc or by sets of docs (folders, branch of 'site', ...)
  • if you don't have access to a doc, you don't see the link to that page/doc/folder.
  • either built-in editor or something my users are familiar with (e.g. Word)
  • built-in version control would be nice

Also, can you think of other criteria I should've specified?

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5 Answers

Probably best to say what platform you're using, but if it's Windows Server then Windows Sharepoint Services will do nearly all of the above. It's also free as a download from Microsoft.

There is a full paid version (Microsft Office Sharepoint Services) but we're using WSS here and it fulfils all our needs, and we have a scenario very similar to the one you detail above including versioning (with full check out/check in functionality if you're using MS Office), fairly granular control over permissions and a decent Wiki. I think the only area it wouldn't work for you is the 'if you don't have access to a doc, you don't see the link to that page/doc/folder'.

You can download it from Microsoft here.

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It used to have a free version I am not sure if it still does (under the name opengoo):
http://www.fengoffice.com/web/index.php
I think it provides everything you want.

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I use http://www.dokuwiki.org/ because it is easy to set up, has a lot of features (my favourite is "Downloadable Code Blocks"), allows the use of ACLs and uses .txt files which don't depend on any Office/Office Version and are easy to back up.

It has everything you asked for except "if you don't have access to a doc, you don't see the link to that page/doc/folder"

If you are using single .doc(x) files at the moment, I would say it is totally worth the extra effort to move to dokuwiki.

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+1 for dokuwiki its simple, fast, doesn't need a database and has built in revision control. it can also be installed from a git repository so keeping it up to to date is a simple git pull –  seanl Mar 26 '10 at 11:28
    
thumbs up for dokuwiki. dokuwiki.org/plugin:data comes handy for tracking dependencies between thing [ eg services ] - it allows to generate reports and reduce redundancy [ it is enough to note that a depends on b, thanks to dataplugin on b's page there will be information that a depends on it ]. –  pQd Mar 26 '10 at 20:25
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We use Jive SBS (previously named clearspace) for all of our documenation needs. I believe it matches every one of your bullet points. Permissioning being very strong within it. If you don't have access to something it won't show up in searches, feeds, or anywhere.

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Have a look at Alfresco Share.

  • It has access control by individual doc or by sets of docs, for users or groups.
  • If you don't have access to a doc, you don't see the link to that page/doc/folder.
  • It has a built-in editor for HTML
  • It has version control
  • You can see an online preview of documents, no need to download. This saves a lot of time over opening a PDF reader or an office software.
  • Other collaboration features that can be easily enabled/disabled: wikis, calendars, issue trackers, data lists, blogs, forums.
  • Your dashboard allows you to see all recent activity, for instance who recently uploaded what.

Alfresco Share

It is free and open source (download).
If you want support, you can subscribe as an Enterprise customer.

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