Wednesday, 25 February 2009

ScrewTurn Wiki

Documenting a software application is often something that is put off until the last minute, and sometimes forgotten/avoided altogether. Traditionally you’d probably produce one or more Word documents to describe the system, architecture, class diagrams and other bits and pieces.

More recently I’ve seen how useful a more collaborative tool like a Wiki can be in allowing all the participants in a project to easily add and update documentation. I don’t think this is an isolated trend – quite a lot of free and commercial software now provide a wiki as part of their support offering or documentation.

To that end we’ve been making do with the Wiki feature of SharePoint 2007. It’s better than nothing, but that’s about all you can say about it.

I think Atlassian Confluence is about the best wiki software around, but we wanted something cheap/free and because it would have to run on existing infrastructure, so it needs to be relatively lightweight.

WikiMatrix is a useful site to compare wiki features and requirements. There’s a nice wizard that lets you narrow down your options.

ScrewTurn Wiki ended up on the top of the list. It doesn’t (yet) have WYSIWYG editing, but uses ASP.NET, can use SQL Server to store content and can leverage Active Directory for authentication. The plugin list is not endless, but there are a few that we’ve found useful.

So far we’ve found it does the job quite nicely, except that the Admin pages are quite slow to load (fortunately you don’t use them very much)


Sarah said...

Hey David,

Check out MindTouch Deki ( MindTouch continues to be a leader and major player in the collaboration space by providing integration with social tools, Web 2.0 apps, web services and Enterprise systems like SugarCRM, Salesforce, Microsoft Access, SQL Server, Microsoft Dynamics, ERP systems and much, much more. And of course, has WYSIWYG editing :)


Donald James Parker said...

I came to the same conclusion in my search - after choosing DocuWiki initially. My parameters changed when I was told that we wanted an ASP.NET version.
Deki appears to be the Cadillac of the Wiki's, but if you want something that runs natively under IIS, then Screwturn appears to be the best choice.
Donald James Parker
Author of All the Voices of the Wind