Enterprise Wikis and Simple Web Publishing

I was in Orlando this week presenting at an internal Microsoft conference. I had an opportunity to meet & talk to different people WW about SharePoint. A couple folks I chatted with had customers who wanted to create Enterprise Wiki solutions. It turned out that what they were looking for was an informal publishing system where users were essentially empowered to manage web content on a specific portal. The line b/w wikis & wcm is a fine one. By using the web publishing feature (a MOSS feature - not available in WSS), customers can enjoy the following benefits above and beyond out-of-the-box wiki functionality:

1. Full control over "wiki" page layouts. By leveraging the Page Layout model, you can create pages with multiple edit regions, different types of controls (text, image, et cetera). Furthermore, you can have multiple layouts.

2. Not just web content, but applications as well. You can add web part zones to allow authors to add web parts.

3. Full branding control. Easier to manage master pages and apply them.

4. Navigation. The navigation out-of-the-box is based on the pages you have.

5. Richer inline editing. The editing experience is richer and WYSWYG.

6. Workflow. If you're looking for informal publishing, you probably want to turn this off.

7. Word content converted to a publishing page. Using the document converter, you can convert a docx file to a web page.

While all this is good, a few things are missing that are in the WSS wiki feature. For example, linking to wiki pages with the [[]] syntax; another is revision history. The WSS wiki feature gives you a visual representation of changes made. With publishing pages, you can view past versions but the differences are not visual.

I just wanted to point out the similarity b/w web publishing & wikis. It's something to think about. :-)