What is the MEF Wiki?
The MEF Wiki is based on Confluence, a software product produced by a company called Atlassian. The product is in the category of 'enterprise wikis'. Think of it as an enterprise version of Wikipedia - but without the content, which the enterprise itself provides.
Why do enterprises use enterprise wikis? Many people in the enterprise in different locations need to develop, review, edit, comment upon and publish content for their organizations in a collaborative framework irrespective of their location, access platform (PC, mobile), operating system, time zone etc. The established free availability of web browsers (e.g. Firefox, IE, Chrome, Safari) and the underlying HTML technology means everyone can access enterprise wikis because they are based on ubiquitous Internet access and HTML. Other solutions like Microsoft Sharepoint achieve similar things but licensing costs are very high and they are oriented to Microsoft operating systems and environments.
The MEF has many members and staff dispersed in different locations and time zones, all collaborating to develop 'content' that must be reviewed, edited, commented upon and published. 'Content' can mean messaging, articles, technical specifications, press releases, certification policies, service operations workflows, quarterly meeting agendas etc. etc. Confluence provides a very cost effective, scalable solution for this requirement.
What is the difference between the MEF Wiki and Confluence? Confluence is the name of the product. MEF Wiki is the brand name for the way the product is used by the MEF. Also, Confluence is only the base product. There are many third party plug-ins or add-ons that we are integrating into the MEF Wiki. The MEF Wiki is therefore the description of the overall collaborative solution including Confluence and third party plug-ins. Therefore, when talking to the MEF members, we talk about the more inclusive MEF Wiki, rather than Confluence