Documentation Options


#1

We all know Lawrence Systems uses mediaWiki for the documentaion of things.
But what are other people using, and how do you manage / secure it with SSL, vpn etc.

Would be nice to have a general topic on this with the things people/companies use. And to see whats out there.

For starters, we now have a locked down WordPress site with a Knowledgebase Theme and a Markdown editor.

The thing we are really missing in MediaWiki is the sidebar/navigation options, thats why we went with WP for the moment.

Also looked at Confluence its well known, self hosted. But did not uet figure out the SSL integration/proxy without Nginx or Other proxy in front of it. If someone has a tutorial or pointers let us know. And also since its JAVA based it very resource intensive.

But love to see how others document there knowledge / client info etc.


#2

The big commercial options are https://www.siportal.com/ & https://itglue.com/ but I have not really used either of them. Our method is to search for the client or data we are looking for in the WIki. What is the sidebar part that you are looking for? What options would it have?


#3

When I saw the MediaWiki video Tom did, I thought it was brilliant. I made one at home first to test it out. Then I deployed it at work where it’s been a great success.


#4

We don’t like ITGlue you read some good and bad things about it.
Still the bad thing with it (think many will agree) its hosted. And the support / decisions they make are not always the best. Also the “Starting Fee” is pretty high, no trial what so ever.

For the rest Confluence is a good option but like I wrote its not that easy to setup (With SSL Secure etc.) and also resource hungry.

You also have bookstack etc. but Nah… Its just not that right feeling.

Also SI Portal it can be run self hosted, but we could not really find our way in the product.
Hope that make some big changes to that soon.


#5

IT Glue used to give a 30 day money back guarantee, not sure if they still offer it. We’ve been on the platform since last May and have found good value for what we are paying. We’re on the Enterprise version.


#6

What is a big deal breaker for us is that we do not have control over the data that goes in there. Since there are urls, hostnames, usernames, passwords etc. In it if you want to have a complete solution.

I really believe that its a good platform, but no selfhosted options :frowning:


#7

I have been trying to use SharePoint as a place for things to be documented for a couple years and I can see why people have left the platform in search of others. SharePoint can be a hit or miss from my own experience. I was very excited when I saw Tom post about mediaWiki, it answered a lot of questions I ask my staff on the regular.
The one thing that is nice about SharePoint, that I have seen at least is that we can access the site outside of our building when techs are onsite and enforce the use 2FA to access the O365 platform as a whole.

IT Glue looked interesting from a far view, being that it would make hand off of a client “easier” or help provide a “book of documentation” to clients if the request ever came up. I would love if they would let you have your data on your own server now that they are owned by kaseya if you are hosting your own vsa. It just would make it better in terms of owning your own data on prem. I don’t like the idea of it being in the hands of others.


#8

But you trust your data to Microsoft :slight_smile:
That would be my very last choise :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


#9

Yes, very true! Even that’s limited as it is. :grinning:


#10

We have MediaWiki setup with 2FA and it works quite well. My only issue with MediaWiki has been when there are updates to the visual editor system. There always seems to be some minor issues when the parsoid systems gets an update. But as these are feature, not security updates that can be planned and scheduled easier.


#11

I’m having one issue with the thumb nailing of pdf’s when uploaded [on MediaWiki]. It throws some error and looks all messed up on the page. I haven’t quite figured it out yet.


#12

I use OneDrive with a folder for each customer. This will probably always work fine as long as it’s just me. I don’t want an outward facing documentation if I can prevent it at all.


#13

I was debating between IT Glue and SI Portal. Even though I like the look and feel of IT Glue, not being able to run it on-premise is a non-starter. Coming from a security background throwing all the eggs in a basket that you really don’t have a clue about doesn’t sit well with me. I went Si Portal and even though I’m an MSSP/MSP of one, I purchased 5 licenses so I could run it on-premise. Having the ability to control the hardened server it runs on, granular firewall rules, and in-house…yeah, that’s for me. Oh yeah, 2FA and ACLs.

SI Portal is 25% off right now so I took advantage of that to sign up.

I HATE writing documentation but LOVE having it. Focusing on a single client and getting them fully documented has actually been a relief. I no longer have to remember every single thing, find the page in my notebook, Word docs, or rely on muscle memory.

The software might not be as polished as IT Glue (they say a new GUI is going to be released in 2019) but if you give it some energy and read the docs when stumped…you may find it’s worth the time and $.

Long time subscriber, really like the open source knowledge sharing. Thank you Tom!


#14

We only document our own stuff and not for third parties. We use Confluence as an intranet platform and Royal TS(X) for passwords and connecting to hosts.


#15

We also use Royal TS(X)
Thing that keeps us away form Remote Desktop manager is de Dynamic Tunnel option.

We have a tunnel connection for each client’s router / firewall to get access to Switches or Computers etc. So that we don’t need to make a VPN to all clients. That we are working on at that time. And its still pretty secure because all traffic goes over the tunnel.

Remote Desktop Manager has the feature but you need to manually set ports etc. and Royal TS(X) Does it for you.

But that aside we don’t use it for all our passwords, ofcourse for the connection passwords but all other passwords are in 1Password.

Documentation, played with Confluence but getting it to work on HTTPS without a Proxy… A pain in the ass.

Also very resource intensive as its based on Java…
Its not an issue plenty of resources here but, its a bummer.


#16

For personal information i want to store like scripts or reminders i use a open source program called Zim (http://zim-wiki.org/) works grate, i store the database on dropbox so i can open it where i want. it basically create a library of note documents with some editing possibility and search etc… but it is not safe for password and sensitive customer information.
in that case we use, also a non safe way of excel. not my decision but sometimes you can try to change but in the time use the tools you are given by your boss. when i started there was no documentation what so ever exept all the history of the customer in 10 cm thick paper folders. impossible to find anything.


#17

we use mediawiki and keeweb for documentation and password storage.


#18

I prefer Confluence. Setting up nginx/caddy/apache/whatever as a reverse proxy in front of Confluence is relatively easy. You set up one reverse proxy and you’ve basically set up them all. I used to work in the Atlassian software hosting world so take my comment with a grain of salt. Hands down Confluence is my favorite wiki to use other than vim and far too many text files.


#19

We use Dokuwiki. It’s nice because it’s super easy to set up, backup and restore. Uses flat files with no database to worry about.


#20

What OS do you use for Confluence Debian / Ubuntu / CentOS?