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Software tip: 8 software tools to make your company wiki a great success

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What software for creating a company wiki is available on the market, what are its advantages and when should you use which solution? A comparison:

With a company wiki you can manage the knowledge in your company. To build such a database successfully you need tools – because building a company wiki by hand and source code is virtually impossible for non-programmers or people who don’t want to spend their entire working time with it.

That is why there exist solutions. A variety of software providers allow the creation and maintenance of a company wiki. They enable team collaboration and knowledge exchange. To help you in your choice, we have created an overview for you of different software providers for company wikis.

Which is the right software for your company wiki?

… this varies according to your needs, use case and target group. In any case, it is the task of the software to make knowledge management as easy as possible for you. In general, the following aspects have to be taken into account when using software:

  • Reliability and long-term orientation: Is the software established on the market?
  • Development: Are there regular updates?
  • Adaptability/Individuality: Is the company wiki adaptable to your corporate identity?
  • Compatibility with existing systems/software solutions in the company: Technical requirements – which technology is used?
  • Security: Are there access restrictions and user administration?
  • Functionality: What can the software be used for? What does it need to be used for?
  • Usability / User experience:
    • On the one hand: For the creators of the wiki (time expenditure, possibilities to integrate files, links, variety of formats (videos, images, …) statistics, mapping of workflows, simplicity)
    • On the other hand: For the users of the wiki (clarity, search function, comments/forum, mobile, design
  • Support: What support options are available? To what extend?
  • Language: Are multiple languages supported?
  • Costs: One-time costs, monthly costs or open source software?

8 tools for your wiki

1. The data manager: Microsoft Sharepoint

MS Sharepoint is not a classic wiki tool, but it works very well in document management for the central storage and processing of data. Especially if Microsoft functions are already being used extensively in the company, the use of Sharepoint for a wiki can make sense. Sharepoint is Microsoft’s web application for creating web pages, as well as for storing, structuring, releasing and retrieving information. These pages can therefore also contain wiki entries. Sharepoint is a very comprehensive tool and also serves as a social network, it is possible to create groups and departments. The program can be installed locally or used in the cloud, additionally there is an app. The latest version is Sharepoint 2019, for which there is also comprehensive support.

According to Microsoft, more than 200,000 companies already use the tool. Also some of our customers use Sharepoint for their company wiki – and have built a clever connection to FlowShare: For example, Bauvista loads Flowshare instructions in HTML format directly into the Sharepoint wiki. In this way, employees no longer have to create complex wiki entries. Instead, entire click sequences are uploaded online within seconds.

Microsoft Sharepoint is available from 5 $ per user and month, but with limited functionality. You can get more information here.

2. The Wikipedia classic: Mediawiki and Bluespice

Mediawiki is a widely used open source software, which is also the basis for Wikipedia. It is free, multilingual and individually customizable – more information can be downloaded here.

BlueSpice is the enterprise development of MediaWiki and is used by companies like HAVI Logistics, TenneT or Asis. The tool offers structured document management, search and navigation, personalization, export in different formats and is optimized for mobile use. There are two versions of BlueSpice: A free version, which is intended for beginners, as well as for associations and private individuals. The pro version offers an extended range of features, including the central administration of categories or the saving of templates. It has no user limit and is available from 3500 € per year. The Pro-Version can be tested for 30 days free of charge. You can find more information about BlueSpice here.

3. The market leader: Confluence

Atlassian’s Confluence is considered the market leader among corporate wikis and describes itself as “an open and shared workspace”. The tool includes among other things the hierarchical creation of content, a well-structured search and comment function, templates, flexible usage rights and the integration of various formats such as videos, images or GIFs. Confluence can be hosted either in the cloud or in the company’s own infrastructure, and other tools such as Trello or Jira can be integrated into Confluence.

All in all, the software offers very extensive possibilities, is customizable on demand and can be extended with additional add-ons. On the other hand, due to this scope it might take a little bit more time in implementation. Confluence is available from $5 per month and can be tested for 7 days for free. You can find more information here.

4. The platform: Tiki Wiki

Tiki Wiki is an open source wiki software and platform. Among other things, it offers the possibility of creating image galleries, blogs, FAQs, live support, newsletters or surveys.

The platform has a modular structure and, according to the website, has over 20,000 registered users. These users can store information in a database and then manage individual usage rights. The platform supports many different languages, but is not always easy to use. All in all, this makes it a classic among wikis, but it is only of limited use for the company wiki. You can find more about Tiki Wiki here.

5. The file storage I: Google Docs / Sites (G Suite)

It probably does not need to be explained in detail, since it is already known: Google Docs (as well as -sheets, -slides and -forms) is Google’s all-round online office for creating and sharing text documents, tables and presentations. These can be edited online, and – as well as other document types – be uploaded and shared. The content is classically divided into folders and subdirectories, and users can then be given either reading or access permissions.

All this is probably not necessarily new to you – but you can also use these functions for your company wiki. You should pay attention to a clear structure and the separation between non-wiki documents and your wiki articles in the G Suite. The advantage of Google Docs is its universal applicability: probably everyone can use it without a long introduction. However, the service is not specialized in wiki creation, but includes the complete package, including calendar, mails, chat, … etc.

The costs for the G Suite start at 6 $ per user per month, read more here.

6. The file storage II: Dropbox Paper

Dropbox is another classic cloud storage service, but can also be used for the company’s own wiki. For this purpose, Dropbox has created the new document type Dropbox Paper, which is intended to provide a “flexible workspace”. The whole thing reminds a little bit of Google Docs, files are also stored online in the cloud, reading or editing access is possible from different devices and different media such as images, audio or video files can be integrated into the documents.

Dropbox offers translations in numerous languages and allows comments and discussions. All in all, it is a solid tool for a wiki that does not need many additional features but can be used relatively intuitively. Paper documents, however, can only be viewed online. The price of the software depends on factors like team members and number of features, and starts at 9.99 € per user and month. The classic cloud services are then of course included. Dropbox can be tested free of charge for two weeks, read more here.

7. The community tool: DokuWiki

Dokuwiki, like Tiki Wiki, is an open source software, which means that everyone is invited to contribute and improve the software. Tiki Wiki is a basic tool to create a wiki quickly and easily. It supports more than 50 languages and allows individualization through different layouts, as well as the regulation of access rights to existing wiki entries.

The open source feature allows professionals to customize the tool to their individual needs. There are also templates and add-ons for extending the basic functions. Nevertheless, the software is probably rather something for IT experts and development teams than for beginners – but those can then really live it up with DokuWiki.

You can download Dokuwiki for free here.

8. The SME software: DrupalWiki

DrupalWiki is a comprehensive wiki software, which is particularly suitable for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The software was awarded as a suitable solution for SMEs in Germany and is used by companies like WDR, TÜV-Süd or Frosta.

DrupalWiki also offers numerous features: Starting with a clear category management and import from Office including formatting, continuing with customization options of the wiki according to the corporate identity and including a good search function and discussion options in blogs or forums. Additional functions such as usage statistics or an integration of Office are optional, individualized extensions can be purchased.

DrupalWiki can be tested free of charge for 30 days and costs 75€ for 25 users per month. As a second option, the software can also be purchased from 100 users in the unlimited license and then costs 2100€. You can read more about this here.

Conclusion:

These eight software solutions are just a few of a wide variety of tools. Many other tools also work well and can help you to manage the knowledge in your company more effectively. Ultimately, you need to find a wiki that the creators and users of wiki entries can work well with – everything else is secondary.

The important thing to remember is that you first need to understand

  • Which requirements your wiki must meet and which of them are most important.

and then

  • Which software meets these requirements best .

Especially if you already use tools like G Suite, Sharepoint or Dropbox, often no additional software is necessary. Instead, the focus is then on distributing clear tasks in order to use the existing tool effectively for a company wiki. Who is responsible for the wiki, and how does one create wiki entries? Is there any documentation or reflection on how helpful the wiki is? Is it used? Very helpful are also internal links in the wiki to refer to related inquiries and to build a “self-help net”.

Now we are interested in your opinion: Do you know other software for creating company wikis? Or have you made experiences that you would like to share?

We are looking forward to your comments and further ideas! If you want to know what features a good company wiki has to offer, please read our blog post “Capturing knowledge: Knowledge management with the company wiki” – and if you have already found your wiki software, but are still looking for a good documentation tool, try FlowShare. This might help you to manage your wiki even faster and more comfortable.

FlowShare helps IT departments to create step-by-step guides quickly and easily.

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