Enterprise Wiki vs Team Site in Sharepoint 2010

What is an Enterprise Wiki

An Enterprise Wiki is a publishing site for sharing and updating large volumes of information across an enterprise. If an organization needs a large, centralized knowledge repository that is designed to both store and share information on an enterprise scale, consider using an Enterprise Wiki. Organizations can create a company-wide Enterprise Wiki where employees can find and contribute the latest, most comprehensive information about corporate activities, benefits, and services. The Enterprise Wiki enables employees to use social tags and notes to help other employees find content.

Why to use it

Enterprise wikis help organizations collect, organize, and distribute information. Enterprise wikis often become repositories for an organization’s unstated knowledge, which otherwise might not be stored anywhere. Enterprise wikis can encourage informal learning and sharing tips with other users, which can reduce the need for formal training or continuous IT support.

How does an Enterprise Wiki differ from a Team Site

The Team Site template provides a flexible way to create content. This template includes a cross-browser Rich Text editor and in-line auto-completion. The Team Site template enables collaboration across teams within an organization or across organizations. Team Sites address two key concerns for anyone responsible for ensuring the integrity of an organization’s content.

  • Editorial control   Administrators of a Team Site, or anyone with Full Control permissions on a Team Site, can allow a subset of users to edit entries and allow all users to read the entries.
  • Version control    Users can view previous versions of an entry and see when and by whom changes were made. If the changes were incorrect or inappropriate, the entry could be rolled back to an earlier version.

In SharePoint Server 2010, the Team Site template home page is a wiki page. The Enterprise Wiki template uses the publishing features of SharePoint Server 2010 to add page ratings, managed metadata, and customization capabilities. Integration with Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010 makes it easy to modify the display of content by changing page layouts and implement consistent branding by changing master pages

The following table compares the features of an Enterprise Wiki with those of a Team Site.


If you want to:


Use this site template:

Encourage one-to-many communication Team Site
Encourage many-t0-many communication Enterprise Wiki
Offer a structured way to exchange information Team Site
Enable a collaborative exchange of information Enterprise Wiki
Allow the use of social tags and notes Enterprise Wiki
Control versions of documents Team Site or Enterprise Wiki
Retain editorial control Team Site or Enterprise Wiki
Allow pages to be rated Enterprise wiki
Include site content in search results Team Site or Enterprise Wiki
Mark pages for easier reference by tagging them with enterprise keywords Enterprise Wiki
Use page layouts to provide structured page types Enterprise Wiki

Enterprise Wiki pages cannot be converted or migrated to pages on a Team Site without using custom code. Because Enterprise Wikis are used with the publishing feature in SharePoint Server 2010, there are significant differences between an Enterprise Wiki site and a Team Site.

When to use an Enterprise Wiki

An Enterprise Wiki is a good solution when a business need requires multiple users to contribute to a knowledge repository. However, if you need a way to set up one-to-many communication about a project or area of interest, you should use a Team Site. Consider the following questions while deciding to use an Enterprise Wiki :

Q1. What purpose will the Enterprise Wiki serve?   

Example 1: It might address a specific business goal or it might be a centralized body of knowledge about a specific topic, process, or business problem. The goal is to provide a space where members of a virtual community can create, change, or remove content, which might include content that previous authors created.
Example 2: You might want to use an Enterprise Wiki to enable employees to contribute content to Tips and Tricks pages about the business applications that an organization uses.

However, if you determine that that you must have a more structured way to exchange knowledge, and that most communication will be one-to-many instead of the more free-form wiki behavior, you should consider using either a team site with Web Edit or a blog.

Q2. How many users should be allowed to contribute?   

Example 1: Will you be able to support increasing growth and a need for increased network and server capacity?
Example 2: Should you determine key contributors from each business area who will become the primary contributors?
Example 3: Are there legal considerations about who can contribute?

Q3. How can we control who has access to the Enterprise Wiki?

In theory, all members of an organization can be granted access to contribute, edit, and update content in an Enterprise Wiki for the organization.

If you have to separate information by group, consider using either a team site with Web Edit or a blog.

Q4. How much control should be implemented over the content?

Unlike blogs, which are designed for a more structured knowledge exchange, a wiki encourages informal contributions. However, an organization might have guidelines or requirements for handling specific kinds of content or content about a specific subject. You should also consider how to address inappropriate or inaccurate entries.

Where to host an Enterprise Wiki

Because an Enterprise wiki can generate a high level of network traffic, you might find it necessary to configure a single site collection and a single, dedicated Microsoft SQL Server database. If the Microsoft SQL Server database is shared, users might experience slower performance. Because Enterprise Wikis can grow quickly, the location that you select for hosting must be able to handle increased performance and capacity requirements. For example, although an Enterprise Wiki generally contains pages with low storage requirements, it is typically edited by a greater percentage of users than is common for Team Sites.


37 thoughts on “Enterprise Wiki vs Team Site in Sharepoint 2010”

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