In this post, I’ll review and compare Microsoft Teams’ built-in wiki and Atlassian Confluence wiki. This post is based on our latest in-depth review of all available wiki solutions for Microsoft Teams - "Best Wiki Apps for Microsoft Teams in 2021"
At the end of the post, I’ll provide you with a handy comparison table that you can share with your colleagues.
Default wiki is not an excellent solution for most scenarios, which is why everyone is looking for its replacement. Nevertheless, the default wiki has several pros. Let’s start by reviewing it.
First of all, the built-in wiki is bundled into Microsoft Teams, which means you don't even need to install it; it’s already here. Everyone in your company automatically has access to it and can read and edit content.
Secondly, the built-in wiki was built by Microsoft, and it means it supports copy-and-paste from Microsoft Office documents and it preserves formatting.
Also, it’s fully integrated into Ms Teams; for example, you can suggest edits to any wiki page, which is quite a unique feature; only one other app has this ability (and it’s PerfectWiki). Besides it, built-in wiki stores all your wiki data inside the Sharepoint folder (hosted on Office365 cloud), while other 3-rd parties apps store your data somewhere in the cloud.
Microsoft Teams wiki has a simple but useful mobile app that is fully integrated into Microsoft Teams application.
Last but not least, it’s free. You don’t need to pay to use it.
That’s it for pros, let’s discuss what’s wrong with the default wiki and why some authors recommend not to use it et al. (see "Don’t use Teams wiki" by Vesa Nopanen )
Three significant points will stop you from using Microsoft Teams built-in wiki:
In summary, there’s a lot of potential in the built-in wiki, but it is not yet production-ready.
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 ecosystem and plugins, so it’s naive to expect that Microsoft Teams is a top priority for Atlassian. Nevertheless, let’s review what Atlassian has for Microsoft Teams users.
Let’s start with the good parts.
First, Confluence has proper versioning or history of every page, so you’ll never lose any change. Second, you can leave your comment or reaction to any wiki page. Third, Confluence has a proper full-text search. Fourth and five, you can import word documents and export any page at any time. Add to it a sophisticated WYSIWYG editor, good permissions management system, and the ability to group pages in any kind of hierarchy, and you’ll get an almost ideal solution for enterprise companies. For small and medium companies, Atlassian Confluence has a very generous free version.
Looks good, ha? But what about bad parts? Unfortunately, everything listed above applies only to the standalone web version of Confluence. Integration between confluence and Microsoft Teams are very primitive and didn’t allow you to use 90% of features. Every user that wants to use Confluence should have a separate login because single sign-on with Microsoft account is not supported. You can’t leave comments from Microsoft Teams interface, neither can you add new pages or export them. Confluence integration developed for Microsoft Teams can show you a read-only version of a wiki page, and that’s it.
Integration has minimal 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 will it 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".
To summarize, Confluence is a good solution as a standalone wiki; if you want proper integration with Microsoft Teams, you should look for other options.
It’s up to you which wiki will be the best fit for your company. To help you decide, I created a summary table with each solution’s pros and cons.
In my own opinion, I think you should not use built-in wiki et al. If you already have Atlassian Confluence full of data, then you should stick to it. In all other cases, I recommend to read our in-depth review "Best Wiki Apps For Microsoft Teams in 2021" and find a better candidate.