SharePoint vs Confluence

In this modern world, software has become one of the key factors that can decide your team’s success or failure. The right software can greatly enhance both individual and collective productivity of your team, whereas the wrong software will probably become a hindrance rather than a help. Here, we are going to discuss the comparisons between SharePoint and Confluence, two major team collaboration software products. At first, they may seem similar. However, there are actually distinctive differences that make them suitable for different needs and purposes. So, what are those differences?

SharePoint’s Pros and Cons
SharePoint is a web-based collaboration platform made by Microsoft. Therefore, you probably have expected that it integrates with Microsoft Office. And, yes, it does. Although SharePoint is sold as a document management and storage system, it is very configurable. Its usage varies substantially from organization to organization. Nevertheless, it works best on Windows; using a non-Windows platform has several limitations.

Since it is primarily a document management and storage system, its strong point is unsurprisingly its ability to handle various files and documents of different formats. Its integration with Microsoft Office is definitely a plus point for people working with the said software suite. It has a more complex permission and access control, which can be beneficial for enterprise organizations with multiple permission and access levels. However, as a collaboration platform, it is lacking some features such as task management, team calendar, and version control.

The cloud service is great because it allows enterprise organizations to choose between SharePoint Online on the cloud and SharePoint Server. There are various plug-ins and add-ons available on its store. However, it does not have an API, so making an integration manually will be very difficult.

Confluence’s Pros and Cons
On the other hand, Confluence is a team collaboration software developed and marketed by Atlassian. It is written in Java and is able to work on various platforms. That is a great thing if you work with a non-Windows platform.

Confluence is superior when it comes to active collaboration. It even allows multiple users to collaborate in real time by using the concurrent editing feature. It has a version control feature that enables users to access previous versions of content. As a living knowledge base, Confluence promotes transparency and openness, but the permission and access control is not as advanced as SharePoint’s.

Confluence can actually be hosted in the cloud, but organizations with more than ten thousand users are restricted to Confluence’s server version. The marketplace is also rich of add-ons and plug-ins, though not as rich as SharePoint’s. There is a flexible programmable API that allows expansion.

- Works best on Windows, limited features on other platforms- Fully cross-platform
- Limited active collaboration features- Great collaboration features, most notably the concurrent editing
- More complex permission and access control capabilities- The permission/access control is not as advanced
- Integration with Microsoft Office, rich store- Flexible programmable API, quite rich store

As you can see, SharePoint and Confluence offer different advantages. SharePoint is great if you are a Windows user and can benefit from the integration with Microsoft Office, advanced permission and access control, and the cloud service. Meanwhile, Confluence is better if you need the cross-platform compatibility, advanced collaboration features, and flexible API.

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