With a relationship that was first announced at the O'Reilly Web 2.0 Summit in October last year, it was probably no surprise that Atlassian officially announced their partnership with Microsoft to integrate their Confluence wiki with SharePoint at the Enterprise 2.0 conference this week. Still it's an interesting integration to look closer at. And so we did.Atlassian has over 10,500 customers in 101 countries. They have a number of products -- most with strange names. Confluence is their enterprise wiki.
According to Atlassian, they asked their shared customers what features they wanted to see integrated between Confluence and SharePoint. The answer: bi-directional content embedding and linking, cross-product search and single sign-on, all wrapped up in a neat little package called the SharePoint Connector for Confluence. Embed wiki pages in SharePoint
There's a good amount of documentation on their website that walks you through how to install and work with the Connector and you know how much we love our documentation.
Confluence Within SharePoint
Like other solutions, there are a number of Confluence Web Parts that you drop into SharePoint to provide the integration. You can embed a Confluence wiki or blog page directly in SharePoint which includes the ability to edit that content in SharePoint. There's also a tree view of wiki pages that you can show in SharePoint. Tree View of Confluence Wiki
SharePoint Within Confluence
Not only can you embed Confluence wiki content within SharePoint, you can also link SharePoint content like lists inside a wiki page in Confluence. So you can things like documents, tasks, presentations and calendars inside the unstructured world of the wiki. And just to add to the fun, you can open these documents by clicking on them inside the wiki and the corresponding MS Office application will open as required for editing. Sample SharePoint content in Confluence
Cross Content Searching
The other customer must have is the ability to search across content in both applications. Atlassian provides this within the SharePoint environment or the Confluence environment. Don't fear about permission to view content, document security and permissions are maintained across applications. Cross Application Searching
And of course no connector is complete without cross product security. Both products authenticate to the Active Directory. So if you log into one application, you are automatically logged into the other. This lets you move seamlessly back and forth.
But what if this is an extranet or internet SharePoint implementation that uses Forms Authentication? How does the security work then?
There are so many connectors for SharePoint now it's mind boggling. We have been talking about SharePoint Connectors since late last year starting with a number of Connectors for Search, then scanning and so on. This latest bunch of social networking connectors will likely not be the last. It's just Microsoft's latest interest.
One does have to wonder if one Connector can cause issues for another. How does Microsoft support this type of environment anyway? Or do they?
The SharePoint Connector for Confluence is currently available in Beta for free. It doesn't appear to work with SharePoint Services (WSS), only MOSS. No word on how much you'll need to pay to get it after it comes out of beta. One would expect it would be free for joint customers, but you never know.