MediaWiki is one of the oldest knowledge bases in the game. But can it accommodate modern users’ desire for simplicity and integration with remote work apps? In this article, we discuss whether MediaWiki is an accessible solution for MS Teams users and teams that want a user-friendly solution.
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MediaWiki is the software behind our beloved Wikipedia. It is a free, open-source platform for creating large knowledge databases and document libraries. It’s scalable, has a pretty robust set of features and configuration options, and is available in around 350 languages.
Perfect Wiki is an easy-to-use knowledge base system for Microsoft Teams. It has all the defining features of an internal team wiki without the complexity of most high-status knowledge management platforms.
MediaWiki is geared towards organizations that have a developer team. It is not a one-click installation process in the slightest.
To set it up, you need to either have a developer that can manually configure the MediaWiki layout to fit your needs, or you will need to find a hosting service that will package MediaWiki for you (which is not always free). I had to install MediaWiki through a third-party configuration service and it was very time and energy-consuming.
And once you do have MediaWiki up and running, you will have a long road ahead of you. Be prepared to feel like you’re relearning how to walk while figuring out how to do the most basic actions like add content to a page.
Bottom line, MediaWiki is not an intuitive solution for users that want a ready-to-go knowledge base for their team.
If you need an internal knowledge base that takes care of all the set-up for you, try Perfect WIki. The wiki is ready to go in seconds right inside Microsoft Teams, absolutely no set-up or sign-in required. Your whole team will have access to Perfect Wiki from the start using their MS Teams credentials.
No, MediaWiki is a separate web-based tool. Right now there is no option to set up alerts or search through your MediaWiki content inside MS Teams, let alone edit your wiki content. And you and your organization will need to create separate logins and passwords to use MediaWiki.
Despite how quickly the times are changing, MediaWiki is in no rush to adapt to people’s increasing demand for cross-app integration.
Yes, Perfect Wiki was designed for MicrosoftTeams. It integrates perfectly, with all its features available inside your channels. You can add Perfect Wiki to as many channels as you want from the same account, and it uses your MS Teams credentials, so your team won’t need to sign in every time they use it.
You have to add members manually with MediaWiki, and setting up user groups is quite complicated too. I had to consult a few user forums before learning how to get to the “members” menu.
Assigning admin can be done either manually in code using PHP (MediaWiki’s language), or in a separate simplified menu in your workspace if you’re not configuring your wiki from scratch.
All your organization members in Microsoft Teams are automatically added to Perfect Wiki. You do not need to manually invite users. Right from your channel, you can assign admin and regular user roles.
An action as basic as adding a new page should be the first thing you see when you open up a wiki. This is not the case with MediaWiki - after 15 minutes browsing my workspace, I still didn’t find a way to create a new page from scratch. There are a few ways to do it, but I as a user should not have to Google “how to add a new page in MediaWiki” to perform such a simple task.
As far as page sharing goes, it looks like I can download any page as a PDF, or send someone a link to a page to view it.
You can create a page instantly from the main menu - simply hit the “+” on the left sidebar. You can also import existing files from Word or from the MS Teams built-in wiki easily.
Perfect Wiki also has multiple options for sharing your content - you can download any page as a PDF or HTML doc, send links to pages for MS teams users, and share select read-only pages with external users and customers.
In theory, it looks like you can protect separate pages from being edited, as well as assign designated editors who will be allowed to change and add content. Although when I tried to this the “simplified” (a.k.a. no coding required) way, my own profile didn’t even show up as a member or admin.
There are detailed instructions for how to do this for users that are configuring MediaWiki on their own with PHP, but no explanations for the rest of us. So I would have to get help from a system administrator to learn how to, again, perform a pretty standard wiki action.
Yes, all your pages are in “view-only” mode unless you have been assigned an “admin” role in Perfect Wiki. You can also capitalize on the collaborative aspect of knowledge management by leaving all your pages open to anyone to edit.
If you are hosting your MediaWiki server (a.k.a. you are doing all the coding and configuration yourself), your data will be stored on your servers. If you choose to use a pre-packaged hosting service to launch MediaWiki, then each hosting tool will have a different storage location (usually the US and Europe).
All user content is encrypted in transit using TLS 1.2+ with perfect forward secrecy and full GDPR compliance. Our servers are located in the US and EU (Ireland and Germany) and use full disk, industry-standard AES 256 encryption.
Customers who wish to have their data processed within the EU will have the option to specify it as their data region of choice.
In the end, MediaWiki may be a free knowledge base solution, but the funds and effort you will spend hiring someone to configure the wiki for you invalidates that advantage.
With so many user-friendly solutions out there, you should not have to have software development skills to do something as simple as start a team knowledge database.
Perfect Wiki has all the features of the most advanced wiki solutions, simplified so that anyone can create a wiki for their company in mere minutes.
Try Perfect Wiki for Microsoft Teams today, and see what a difference user-friendly design can make for your productivity and peace of mind.
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