Mediawiki is not for enterprise

UPDATE [Sept ’07]: I am the Infrastructure Architect for a 9000+ organisation and although we’ve toyed with Wikis we haven’t adopted them at all. Many issues around Knowledge Management have hindered adoption. For the last year all my blogging has been internal, but I’ve recently started putting some thoughts back out into the public arena. If your struggle reflects mine you might find my new blog of interest.

Although I have done quite a bit of work with Mediawiki, having had one of our teams utilising it for the best part of 4 months to document their processes, I’ve gone rather cold on the product. Firstly the lack of a GUI editor presents a huge barrier to adoption. I haven’t tried the FCKEditor but it doesn’t thrill me. Secondly the single wiki approach is fine for small organisations, or teams, but something more flexible, probably of the self-serving genre, is required for a large enterprise.

So I’ve been looking around and it seems the two players that get the most press in this space are SocialText and Atlassian’s Confluence. I’ve worked on a SocialText blog before (not version 2) and thought it an appalling wiki. I also am unimpressed with its highly restrictive infrastructure requirements. Confluence, on the other hand, looks fantastic. It strikes me as having everything you could possibly want in a wiki, with the concept of workspaces, security, not to mention the broad range of options available as supporting infrastructure.

There are a couple of other names that drop into the frame. Blogtronix has an interesting blog offering, but the wiki (at least when I saw it about 2 months ago) was appallingly weak, not to mention the fact that it seemed to want be a bit of everything else as well, it’s spreading itself too thinly. Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server, released as part of Office 2007, has some interesting contributions to this space. I’ve only seen demos of their wiki, but heard good things. Again, this product tramples over so many other parts of an enterprise service offering that it’s hard to integrate.

With the momentum fairly well built up behind RSS and blogging (see my many previous posts on the work that I had to do to get these on the agenda), I’m beginning to look more seriously at wikis. I’ll report back whatever findings I think are appropriate to share externally.

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3 responses to “Mediawiki is not for enterprise

  1. Carst van den Bosch

    Do you have any thoughts on the Telligent Community Server regarding the concept of knowledge and knowledge management for organizations?

  2. Ross is right. That Sharepoint wiki is awful. HTML comments pasted into the wiki input field are destroyed upon save. I think thats reason enough to avoid the Sharepoint implementation.

    Aside from that, are you trying to use a Wiki for something in which it was not intended? Wiki != CMS != Blog.

    To summarily state that MediaWiki isn’t ready for enterprise (hello. wikipedia) simply based on the current look and feel of the editor is subjective at best.
    I prefer brunettes, but I wouldn’t pass on a nice girl simply because shes blonde.

  3. @Carst: Last I looked (some time now) Telligent doesn’t have a wiki component, just blogs/forum/photo gallery. Therefore, for KM I’d say No. Actually, my rouge blog that I set up inside my company uses Community Server. The official ones run on Notes Domino.

    @random ape: Before embarking any further check the date of the post. I stand by my conclusion, which is founded firstly on the fact that the VAST MAJORITY of people in an enterprise will not be able to use wiki markup; and secondly that a large organisation will require a self-service ability to create new ‘spaces’.

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