If you want an excellent description of what is entailed in making Mediawiki into an enterprise wiki, David Strom reports useful, practical information for anyone evaluating enterprise wikis. Harvard Business School professor Andrew McAfee’s orignial blog on Avenue A/Razorfish’s wiki was an interesting case study, but it didn’t reveal these important points that Dave Strom surfaced:
- Razorfish has one full-time intern and two part-time developers that maintain their code.
- Razorfish put in place some code that pulls information from their Active Directory servers (that) enables single sign-on.
- Security matters a lot.
- Part of the custom code they wrote was to enable search across all wiki and blog content.
It strikes me that if Razorfish invested all this effort and money, then the question needs to be asked: Is Mediawiki an enterprise wiki? Certainly not out of the box.
One full-time intern and two part-time developers is at least $50-100K for one year! Probably the latter number. Mediawiki in this instance became an enterprise wiki but only after considerable work.
Although this case study exemplifies how companies can fulfill the promise of open source, this is not fulfilling the promise of Enterprise 2.0 software which should be: lightweight software suitable for enterprises for dramatically less money.
This case study points out about as well as I can imagine the difference between the open source option for wikis and the commercially sold enterprise wiki such as Socialtext, Brainkeeper, or our Atlassian Confluence.