Confluence: Confluence vs SharePoint

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Confluence takes a different approach to Enterprise Content Management than SharePoint does. To take full advantage of Confluence, your documents would be Confluence pages themselves – continually accessible via the browser, while supporting various forms of rich content, dynamic reports, and threaded discussions. Confluence even allows you to import existing Word documents to Confluence wiki pages.

In this way, we have designed Confluence to reduce dependency on desktop applications and attachments (i.e. Microsoft Office files locked in email threads and shared drives).

Few areas of advantage for Confluence include:

  • Easy-to-use tool: Create a whole new space and pages in few minutes.
  • Simple permissions control: restrict content access at three levels - global, space-wide, and per individual page; so individuals and groups can see only what's relevant to them.
  • Rich Text Editor: a uniform, simple-to-navigate WYSIWYG editor that is intuitive and consistent. The editor supports several prepackaged of macros, rich content-embedding, and many keyboard shortcuts for advanced users.
  • Collaboration: Various methods to contribute and share Confluence content:
    • Easy way to provide input on content by page and inline comments. See Introducing a new feedback loop in Confluence 5.7
    • Concurrent editing and merging changes. We are also actively working on collaborative editing (real-time multi-person editing), although as a policy, we cannot share release dates for new features.
    • By Watching pages, spaces, and blogs allow users to get notifications of changes to existing content or new content posted in the spaces they care about.
    • Mention users in any content including page or inline comments to ping them by notification that needs their notice.
    • Users can subscribe to RSS feeds
  • Confluence allows you to keep tasks including task due dates and assign them to specific users. The task report macro also you to view tasks by your preference (by assignee, completed, incomplete, etc.).
  • Import and export your content in various formats, including HTML, XML, PDF, Text and Word alternatives.
  • Flexibility: Hundreds of available extensions and integrations with third-party applications via our Atlassian Marketplace.
  • Management of attachments: They designed SharePoint as a document management system, and managing the life cycle of desktop-based MS Office docs is what it has always done best. However, Confluence has been improving to its attachment management by introducing attachment labeling and the ability to search full content of attachments. Now, Confluence can deliver 80+ file types directly in your browser using HTML 5, file sharing, even easier new version uploads, and file annotations directly in Confluence without ever having to download the file.
  • Automatic attachment and page versioning and easy restore to any previous version are also available for transparency and auditing, like on SharePoint.

We see one area of SharePoint that still present an advantage when considering the out-of-the-box functionality and that is workflow features. SharePoint includes built-in alternatives to carry out processes or formalized steps for drafting, editing, and publishing pages. Although in Confluence, robust workflows are available via a marketplace add-on.


Last modified on Aug 5, 2019

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