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Our team works with a large number of different APIs and services, and we also have our own internal tooling and services we maintain as well. Right now, we do not have a good centrally managed system to list which projects we used a certain API on, or to attach documentation for all of our utilities/apis.

I believe what I am looking for is some type of team wiki, but we weren't impressed with the search capability of the the solution we tried (Sharepoint).

Are wikis the right way to approach centralize documentation? What types of things should I be looking out for when creating a centralized documentation system?

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Have you looked at MediaWiki? It's what Wikipedia uses. – Bernard May 4 '11 at 16:38
Hi Kyle, questions that ask for lists of recommendations are off-topic here; the questions that work well here are ones that ask for direct help with a specific problem. To that end, I've edited your question to ask the more general question of centralizing documentation rather than a request for a list of possible wikis you can try. See our FAQ and Q&A is Hard, Let’s Go Shopping! for more information. – user8 May 4 '11 at 17:03
Sharepoint isn't a Wiki, not even close, it has a very weak feature that Microsoft calls a Wiki so they can check that box off on the feature list, Sharepoint is a dead document repository at best. My favorite right now is MoinMoin because I like Python. – Jarrod Roberson May 4 '11 at 20:35
Thanks for the edit Mark, I will keep that in consideration for the next post. – Kyle B. May 6 '11 at 14:41
Yech - you call Sharepoint a wiki? I call it a heaping pile of ... I can definitely reco Confluence – jkoreska May 20 '13 at 13:46

A wiki is a great approach to centralizing documentation in an organic way.

Of course, "organic" implies flexibility but also the possibility of making a mess. In a developer environment, with a few simple policies in place, it's a perfect place for each developer to contribute rather than having docs sprawled across storage devices or stuffed in a shared folder.

The types of things we were looking out for were:

  1. Integration with existing user authentication
  2. Flexible authorization so we could let clients in and partition dev teams
  3. Compatibility with Office docs to accommodate PMs :(

We ended up using Confluence and love it. Hope that helps!

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Would it be helpful to expand your answer to outline the "few simple policies"? – Dan Pichelman May 20 '13 at 14:52
Good suggestion. I intentionally left it out since it may depend on the environment. A general example may be a policy that each project get its own landing page, possibly from a template and with some defined page structure. – jkoreska May 20 '13 at 15:00
My team used a wiki too, but it didn't really work till we defined a good template/example. After that we loved it. – TimG May 20 '13 at 15:17

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