Friday, 18 January 2008

Confluence Wiki

Last year Ben spent some time evaluating Wiki software. He quickly came to the conclusion that the SharePoint offering was not that impressive. He also looked at some other versions which were much more capable.

I'd noticed that quite a number of sites globally were using Atlassian's Confluence Wiki software. We managed to purchase a 25-user license to test the waters. Apart from anything else, Atlassian are based in Australia, which is nice.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to install it and get it up and running. I found the process surprisingly straight-forward.

It is written in Java, and requires JDK 1.6, but otherwise it was just a matter of following the instructions step by step (including grabbing these JTDS drivers as we're using SQL Server for the database backend).

It defaults to running on port 8080, but after stopping the default web server in IIS, a quick edit of conf\server.xml swapped to standard port 80.

The database setup went flawlessly. I just pointed Confluence at the server, and ensured the username was in the db_owner role, and it created all the tables it required. I've since removed it from the owner role.

We have our own Active Directory so using LDAP for authentication made sense. This too proved simple to configure. I just followed the instructions again, and used an existing AD account.

About the only thing I haven't got working is configuring the whole thing to run as a service. There's documentation on how to do this, but it doesn't work for me. Hopefully I'll hear back from their support people shortly.

I was quite pleased with the whole process. It isn't quite as nice as just double-clicking on an .MSI file, but it was still relatively painless.

Later on, we can try out the SharePoint Connector that lets you integrate Confluence with a SharePoint site.

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