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Backstory: We are looking at the posibility to migrate existing documentasion from a windows folder tree ( containing word and excel mostly) to a internal web site ( this is IT dokumentation, if the first go).

Because this is internal use, i was personaly considering using drupal to host site, but its my understanding this is what sharepoint does aswell.

What we need are:

  • Restrict access ( IE login )
  • Ability to search the documentation

What would be a pluss

  • Version control
  • Get access rights from AD
  • Ability to import existing word / excel sheets into the site ( either bulk or 1 at the time, main problem here might be that our word docs contain pictures)
  • Low cost ( Why i was thinking drupal )

anyone have personal experience with doing this ? And got recommendations on what software to use and so on

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4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I installed Mediawiki for my employer and am currently part way through importing existing documentation, mostly in Word or on scraps of paper. With the huge number of extensions available there is very little that it can't do, at least not in the wiki sense. There are several extensions for authenticating against AD. Those can be combined with a number of extensions providing various degrees of access control, allowing you to have it as open or closed as you desire.

There is no direct translation from Word or Excel to Mediawiki but there are Word macros that make the conversion process from that format very easy. The macros even handle images. I don't know if such macros exist for Excel but in that case it wouldn't take too much effort to write a converter in Perl, thanks to the excellent Perl modules available for reading and writing Excel format.

Mediawiki is free. It keeps a full history of all changes and allows you to go back to any earlier revision on an article, thus meeting your version control requirements.

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Since you already mentioned it just to expand. SharePoint will be able to do:

  • Restrict Access based on Active Directory User
  • Index documentation for searching via SharePoint and Enterprise Search
  • Version control
  • Open files and save directly to Library
  • WSS 3.0 with the above feature set is free and part of Server 2008.

For your needs the full SharePoint 2007 will be an overkill. Unless your not a Microsoft house it does meet all your requirements. SharePoint 2010 will also offer full Office 2010 Web integration.

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If you trust google, google docs can be used for this purpose. You can import word / excel files and control access. Version control is there so you can see old revisions. Many people can edit files at same time. Low cost as it is free. I think it google supports searching in google docs, not sure, but makes sense.

Minus point: Access rights from active directory.

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Did not think about google docs, its a posible solution. On a side note, we got hardware to run any software we might need internaly –  EKS Jul 16 '09 at 10:15

We use confluence, it's a commercial wiki, but does the tie-ins very well.

It has a word plugin that's been able to take even fairly complex documents nicely, I've not tested Excel sheets.

Also you want a wiki, not a CMS, your aim should be easy to edit to reduce excuses for not updating documentation.

Finally, remember to keep paper copies of critical DR docs, eg contact details with ISP, support numbers for hardware, etc.

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