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We use Confluence mainly for documentation and want to make an step forward moving all the files (pdfs, etc) to Confluence but we want to determine if it's the best option.

As far as I know Confluence is a wiki and Sharepoint is not. How compare confluence and Sharepoint as file containers? Which benefits have Sharepoint over Confluence and vice-versa? Pros and Cons? Any experience on this?

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Sharepoint includes wiki functionality - in fact that's part of the problem, it does a lot of things ok rather than one or two things really well. – RobM Jan 4 '11 at 10:05
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I've had a number of people ask me this question, my answer is based on implementing Confluence at two different companies and working with both Confluence and SharePoint for several years now. I'm also a Confluence administrator, so I am biased towards it as a solution.

As a pure documentation/collaboration platform, Confluence is a much better solution than SharePoint: It's relatively easy to set up and understand. The user interface is easy to grasp for most users. It is also very extensible (plugins) and reliable (particularly the 3.x releases). However, I caution you against using it as a file share (sharing PDFs, etc.), Confluence is not built to be a file server. If you want to share documents with Confluence, write them in wiki format from the beginning and everyone will be much happier in the long run.

SharePoint, on the other hand, tries to be many things to many people. I think this is it's biggest strength and it's biggest weakness. It's a file share, it's a web site, version control system, it integrates with Microsoft Office, it has (a pretty weak) wiki function. SharePoint's feature list is huge, yet all it's features don't appear to add up to anything terribly useful out of the box. You can make it do anything, but you have to be willing to invest the time and money to figure out what you want and implement it. Do not expect to install SharePoint and have it be useful immediately.

The other major flaw in SharePoint is its user interface. The out-of-box interface is just maddeningly confusing in my opinion. Again, expect to invest some time up front to make the interface work the way you need it to.

So, in summary, I think Confluence is a faster, easier solution for document collaboration and co-authoring. SharePoint is a very capable platform for file sharing, version control and tight integration with Microsoft Office, however you must have a clear implementation plan for SharePoint in order for it to be a useful, successful tool for your organization.

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Good answer - I am another Confluence implementer and have had great glee in replace Sharepoint and my company also. – Mark Gibaud Jan 18 '11 at 10:55

There's a decent comparison found here.

The basic gist though is that while they're similar, they're designed to meet 2 different needs. Confluence is primarily a collaboration tool for small to medium size enterprises. SharePoint is an enterprise portal that includes collaboration but also dozens of other portal features.

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SharePoint can be a wiki - I don't know how good it is as one, but there are add-ons to do that.

SharePoint pretty much is only a file-container, out of the box.

Dunno anything about Confluence.

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This isn't really useful as an answer to the question: the OP was asking for a comparison between SharePoint and Confluence, so just posting a couple of facts about Confluence doesn't help make that comparison. This might have been an OK comment, but I have to vote it down as an answer. – brendan Jan 25 at 4:26

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