Confluence and SharePoint are both collaboration platforms. Confluence is part of the Atlassian workplace productivity suite of products and SharePoint is part of Microsoft’s suite of Office products. They both have an on-premise version but more and more organizations are moving to their cloud-based versions.
Sites and Spaces
SharePoint sites and Confluence spaces are the web-based containers users will spend most of their time to work and share content, information and data on anything from organizations and departments to projects and documents.
Confluence biggest strength is in it’s easy and intuitive interface. Users can add and edit content via wiki-like pages. The team calendars can be integrated into your favorite calendar clients such as Outlook, Google and Apple. Jira, the issue and project management platform, also part of Atlassian, can be easily integrated. Confluence as a growing marketplace of add-ons to add more functionality and enhance productivity.
Confluence doesn’t have the same advanced features of SharePoint out-of-the-box and adding them through plug-ins and custom development will get expensive.
SharePoint has been a dominant player in the collaboration space since 2000. Advanced features out-of-the-box are enterprise level search, term store for metadata, business connectivity services for integration and MS Office integration for real-time collaboration. The on-premise platform offers hybrid could integration.
SharePoint is a large platform and it takes a lot of effort to install and maintain it on-premise and most organizations are moving to SharePoint online. SharePoint Online is more expensive than Confluence cloud out of the gate but you get much more because of the Office integration. Since there are so many moving parts in SharePoint learning and training is difficult.
Confluence is a Java based platform and SharePoint is .Net. Both offer REST api’s to extend and customize the platforms.
Confluence is great if you need a lightweight collaboration solution that is easy for people to use. Go with SharePoint if you have more advanced collaboration, workflow and automation needs.