In this post, I’ll review all of the apps that help both teams and individuals create and manage knowledge bases without leaving Microsoft Teams. By the end of this post, you will have all of the information necessary to make a decision and select the best wiki app for your team or company.
Apps I will be reviewing:
I tried to cover all of the available solutions. However, if I missed something valuable please let me know. Default wiki is not a great solution for most scenarios which is why it’s not included in the list.
I hope you find this post useful and it helps you select the best knowledge base management system for your team/company. For your convenience, at the end of this post, I’ll provide a summary table with a pros and cons list of each wiki solution.
I want to make this review objective and useful for a large group of readers. That’s why I decided to test each solution using predefined sample data. Numerous studies have proven that people tend to work better if they like what they’re doing and WHO they are doing it with. So for sample data, I created several wiki pages describing some fictional teammates. I stored the sample data in Microsoft Word. Each file represents a wiki page.
For each tested wiki app I tried to answer the following questions:
I think the approach described above offers a thorough test of each wiki app and will reveal each of their pros and cons. Let’s begin!
Back in the days when Microsoft Teams was not so popular, the only good alternative to the default wiki was Microsoft OneNote. Every Microsoft MVP was suggesting to use OneNote instead of the default wiki. That’s why I decided to include it in this review.
It’s a Microsoft product so it’s pre-bundled into Microsoft Teams. You can install it in one-click. After the installation is done you need to create a new notebook for the team. Microsoft OneNote has a single sign-on with your Microsoft Account so you don’t need to worry about separate accounts for all of your teammates.
Unfortunately, you can’t import your data from the default wiki or other files. The only way to get your data into OneNote is to copy and paste it. Luckily, it preserves the formatting.
You have only one option to get your data back. Use the Print menu option. There is no way to export all of your data at once into some commonly used open format.
Pretty easy! You can search through all the pages in a given section or search through a single page. The search results are highlighted.
Yes, it has a mobile version. By default, it tries to open a OneNote mobile app, but you can also force it to open a notebook in a web browser. As you can see in the screenshot below, proper scaling isn’t supported.
Nope, it’s not possible. You can’t lock the OneNote notebook from being edited, neither can you set the access rights for specific users. Currently, it’s one of the most significant issues in OneNote. Otherwise, it could be the perfect solution for a small team.
Data is stored somewhere in your Office 365 account. You can find the OneNote notebook file under the “Files” tab for your team, but you can’t download it.
One Note is included in your Office365 subscription, so it’s free to use.
If you’re managing a small team and you’re looking for a good free knowledge base solution, then OneNote is probably the best choice for you—or at least an app that you should try before reviewing all other paid solutions.
For me, the OneNote editor seems a bit clumsy. You will not find any sophisticated wiki features like mentions, versioning, templates, etc. I think OneNote is doing a good job at being a notebook for personal data, but it’s not a solid wiki app.
Tettra is a well-known leader in the Slack community. Recently Tettra developed Microsoft Teams integration, so I decided to give it a try.
You can install it from the Microsoft Teams App Store. But when you try to log in, it’ll ask you for the API keys which aren't available in the free plan. That's why I can't do a full review of Tettra ;(
Tettra has a free plan, but you can’t use it with Microsoft Teams. So pricing for a small team of 10 users will cost you $99/mo. For more details, check out their pricing page: https://tettra.com/pricing/
It seems like Tettra didn’t pay a lot of attention to Microsoft Teams users. They have a free version for Slack, but their integration with Microsoft Teams is available only on paid plans.
Nevertheless, I gave the web version of Tettra a try and found more drawbacks for Microsoft Teams users.
First of all, you’ll need to have separate Tettra accounts to access the Tettra web interface, because you can’t sign on with a Microsoft Account (email, google, or slack are the only available options).
Secondly, Tettra’s integration with Microsoft Teams doesn’t allow you to edit wiki content, you can only search through wiki pages or ask the Tettra bot questions.
As of now, Tettra is not a feasible option for new users. If you already have a paid Tettra account and you’re migrating from Slack to Microsoft Teams then you can give it a try.
For a long time Confluence was the default wiki app for large enterprise companies. It has a ton of features.
Recently Atlassian released a Microsoft Teams integration for Confluence Cloud. Atlassian positions Confluence as a separate product with its own ecosystem and plugins, so it’s naive to expect that Microsoft Teams is a top priority for Atlassian. Nevertheless, let’s review it.
Frankly, the installation process is complicated. First of all, you need to sign up for Atlassian Confluence and install the “Microsoft Teams for Confluence Cloud'' plugin. After that, you need to install “Confluence Cloud” into Microsoft Teams and answer a few questions about your Confluence account. When the installation process is complete, you can add the Confluence tab to any channel.
You can import your data from Word documents or copy and paste it from Microsoft Word and formatting will be preserved. You can’t import documents in bulk, neither can you import data from the default built-in wiki. If you start from scratch you can use a large, high-quality collection of predefined templates.
One large drawback is that Confluence doesn’t have proper integration with Microsoft Teams. You can’t import or add your data right from Microsoft Teams. The only option is to use its web interface from the browser.
After you’ve imported your data via the web interface, you can add a tab with the content of the page to any Microsoft Teams channel.
You can print or export any page to a word or pdf format or you can export all pages at once. There is no vendor lock. But again, none of these actions can be done right from the Microsoft Teams interface.
Integration of Confluence with Microsoft Teams has a very limited search functionality. You can call the search dialog from the button below the message box, but it won’t search through the page content neither it will highlight the search results. Surprisingly, it finds a document when I type “Bill Gate” (w/o “s”) and doesn't find anything when I type “Bill Gates”.
Even if you find a needed page it’ll be opened in the browser window and not in the Microsoft Teams interface.
Yes, you can open a page on a mobile device right from Microsoft Teams mobile app. The mobile version of the Confluence wiki page is read-only. If you want to edit your wiki pages you need to install their mobile app or open the Confluence web app on a desktop. Furthermore, on mobile, you can’t switch between wiki pages, you can open only one page pinned to the Microsoft Teams tab. Sadly scaling is not available.
All wiki pages appear in Microsoft Teams as read-only. To edit the page you need to go to the Confluence web interface via a desktop browser.
Quote from Atlassian Confluence official website:"Jira and Confluence Cloud are hosted in multiple AWS regions, using the AWS infrastructure as a service (IaaS) offering (specifically US-East, US-West, Ireland, Frankfurt, Singapore and Sydney, with plans to expand to other regions as necessary). Jira and Confluence Cloud both use logically separate relational databases for each product instance, while attachments stored in Jira or Confluence Cloud are stored in our document storage platform (“Media Platform”), which is ultimately stored in Amazon S3."
Another quote about data encryption:"All data is encrypted in transit using TLS 1.2+ with perfect forward secrecy. Servers holding user data will use full disk, industry-standard AES 256 encryption."
It appears you can get most of the needed features for free for a small team of up to 10 users. The next plan is $5 / per user / per month. Full pricing details are available on the official site.
To summarize, if you are ok with having separate logins for all of your teammates to Atlassian Confluence and you don’t need proper integration with Microsoft Teams, then you should try it. Otherwise, I would not recommend it.
Let me introduce you to PerfectWiki. This app was developed by me. It was born when I realized there are no good wiki apps specially developed for Microsoft Teams. PerfectWiki is a simple but powerful solution, with a limited number of carefully crafted features.
PerfectWiki will never have the enormous number of features that Confluence has, but the goal of PerfectWiki is to be as simple as possible while being useful and solid.
Installation is done in one click. Just add a new tab with PerfectWiki to the desired channel in your team and you're done.
You have several options to import your data into PerfectWiki.
First, you can import data from your existing Microsoft Word or HTML documents, which is very useful if you are migrating from some other wiki software, for example, “WIKI Plus” (which was a popular solution for SharePoint back in the day).
The second option is to import your data right from the built-in wiki, a process described in detail in this blog post: "Two options to export your content from Microsoft Teams built-in Wiki".
Lastly, the PerfectWiki editor supports copy-and-paste from Microsoft Office apps and Google Docs. And of course, it preserves formatting.
You can get an archive with your data at any point in time, even if your subscription has expired. The data will be in an HTML format.
Also, you can export any page in a PDF format on demand or provide a link to the HTML version of the page for colleagues outside of Microsoft Teams.
PerfectWiki has a “Quick Find” feature that performs a full-text search on all wiki pages within the team. This search is done using both the content and titles of the pages. The results are highlighted.
Furthermore, PerfectWiki has a page search that allows you to quickly locate the exact position of the text.
Recently, PerfectWiki developed a mobile version. It can be opened from the Microsoft Teams applications on both Android and Apple devices. Mobile versions are limited to read-only access.
Yep, with PerfectWiki you can set up user permissions. For each team, you can specify a list of editors who can add/edit content. All other users will automatically have read-only access. During the 14-day free trial, every user has full access to every wiki page.
The data is stored in an encrypted way on Microsoft Azure CosmoDB. Quote from the official site:
“All user content is stored within the US and EU regions of Microsoft Azure. All data is encrypted in transit using TLS 1.2+ with perfect forward secrecy. Servers holding user data will use full disk, industry-standard AES 256 encryption.
PerfectWiki’s production environment is hosted on a Google Cloud platform. User content can also be found in PerfectWiki backups, stored in Microsoft Azure file storage. We do not offer customers the option of hosting PerfectWiki on a private server or to otherwise use PerfectWiki on a separate infrastructure.
PerfectWiki maintains a list of Authorized Personnel with access to the production environment. These members undergo criminal background checks and are approved by Engineering management.”
PerfectWiki has a free 14-day trial, no credit card required, no registration needed. If 14 days is not long enough, your trial can be extended.
Perfect Wiki subscription price is $35/month per team in Microsoft Team, no matter how many users in the team or documents you have. To clarify, if you have only one team in your company and you add a Perfect Wiki tab to it you will be charged $35/month no other fees. If your company has separate teams in Microsoft Teams for HR, Finance, IT, etc. and you add a Perfect Wiki tab to each team then you’ll be charged $35/month per team.
PerfectWiki has a lot of other features that are worth mentioning.
First, you can build a hierarchy of pages with subpages and move and order them as you like.
Secondly, you can suggest edits to the page right from the Microsoft Teams interface. Thirdly, PerfectWiki automatically generates a table of contents for your wiki pages.
Thirdly, Perfect Wiki has built-in version control system. You can browse through page revision history and restore to earlier versions.
Last but not least, PerfectWiki has a sophisticated editor, which supports code highlighting, markdown syntax, to-do lists, page mentions and much more.
There are a one thing that PerfectWiki lacks right now - templates, but this feature will be implemented in the near future.
I will end with a quote from one of our customers:
“Very happy about how it works and how easily we can now avoid people from unintentionally edit wikis, and also keep information much more prominent and easy to search/find. This is a really good addition to MSFT Teams for Wikis, something quite incredible MSFT did not do themselves but thankfully someone did.”
IntelliWiki is a newer solution. It appeared on the Microsoft Teams marketplace only about 3 months ago (~ Sep 2020). Based on the information from the official site, the main goal of the app is to provide users with outstanding collaborative editing features.
IntelliWiki can be installed from the Microsoft Teams marketplace in one click. But after you add the IntelliWiki tab to your team or channel and launch it for the first time, the app will ask you to grant permissions several times.
First, it’ll ask to access your basic profile data. Then, it’ll ask you to grant administrative access so it can read your team data. Lastly, it’ll ask you to grant access to Microsoft Graph if you decide to use mentions. Frankly, it’s a bit boring. Also, every user of IntelliWIki should grant access, otherwise, it won’t work.
You can import your data from the Microsoft Teams built-in wiki—it’s really cool. Unfortunately, due to the limitations of the free plan, I wasn't able to test this feature. Another option to bring your data in is to copy and paste it. Formatting is only partially preserved. For example, it misses headings when I paste from Microsoft Word. Sadly, there is no way to import your data from Microsoft Word files.
I didn’t find a way to export or print data from this app. It seems like your data will be locked.
Intelliwiki has a full-text search. It works as expected but search results aren’t highlighted. Also, you can’t perform an on-page search.
Nope, there is no mobile version.
Yes, but you can’t specify permissions for each user. You can lock wiki content for everyone except yourself, or you can allow everyone to edit everything, those are your only two options.
The data is stored somewhere in the Microsoft Azure SQL database and is encrypted in transit and at rest. No other details are provided.
IntelliWiki has a very limited free version. For example, you can have only 1 wiki per team and only 2 pages per wiki. This is not enough for any team, it’s not even enough for testing purposes. The paid plan starts at $2/mo/user. So, if you have a team of 10 users, you will pay $20/mo. For more pricing information check out the official site: https://intellitect.com/intellitect-products/intelliwiki/.
At first glance, IntelliWiki looks promising. It has sophisticated features like mentions, versions history, trash bin, and full-text search. After all, IntelliWiki is nicely integrated into Microsoft Teams.
But when you start to use the app, you will find that it’s very raw. For example, I got several crashes in 30 minutes of testing and very long loadings. It’s also not clear how to get data back from IntelliWiki.
Another weird things that I found:
To summarize, IntelliWiki has the potential to be a good solution for some teams, but let’s give it a year or so until it becomes more mature.
It’s up to you which wiki will be the best fit for your company. In this review, I analyzed the pros and cons of each popular wiki solution available for Microsoft Teams. To help you make a decision, I created a summary table with the pros and cons of each solution.
I hope you found this post useful. Help your colleagues and teammates select the best wiki app for their team by sharing this post.