Wiki.nus transition

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Latest updates

  1. Wiki.nus is now in read-only mode.

    1. You can still export spaces to PDF or HTML as backup.

  2. We will endeavour to keep Wiki.nus accessible in read-only mode until Mon 13 May 2024.

    1. This is the latest we intend to keep Wiki.nus running.

    2. If there are security or other concerns which prevent us from keeping Wiki.nus running, we may have to shut down the service completely before Mon 13 May 2024.

  1. Public wiki spaces active between 1 Jan 2022 to 1 Dec 2023 will be imported to Confluence Cloud.

    1. Active means there have been substantive edits to the wiki space from 1 Jan 2022 to 1 Dec 2023. Active also means that the wiki space is not orphaned i.e. there is at least one wiki space administrator who is a current NUS staff.

  2. Public means the wiki space content can be accessed without logging in to Wiki.nus.

  3. Once the wiki space has been imported to Confluence Cloud, the wiki space admin(s) will be notified.

    1. Your wiki space on Confluence Cloud will initially be accessible to the respective wiki space admins only.

    2. Check your content. Edit content if needed.

    3. The import process requires that private pages be made public. You will have to reassign permissions to pages if they are meant for a smaller group (your wiki editing team).

    4. Note: if your wiki space has a section that is restricted to a smaller audience e.g. NUS staff only or NUS students only, these will have to be hosted elsewhere. (See Alternatives moving forward below.)

    5. Once content has been verified, make the wiki space accessible to public (anonymous) readers.

    6. Update links to your wiki space on Confluence Cloud, wherever you have linked to your old wiki space.

    7. Use the wiki space on Confluence Cloud from then on. Do not update your old wiki space on Wiki.nus.

  4. (Still in progress) Active private wiki spaces between 1 Jan 2022 to 1 Dec 2023 will be imported to Confluence Cloud for safekeeping only.

    1. Active means there have been substantive edits to the wiki space from 1 Jan 2022 to 1 Dec 2023. Active also means that the wiki space is not orphaned i.e. there is at least one wiki space administrator who is a current NUS staff.

    2. Private means the wiki space can only be accessed by authorised users after they log in to Wiki.nus.

    3. Once the wiki space has been imported to Confluence Cloud, the wiki space admin(s) will be notified.

      1. Your wiki space on Confluence Cloud will be accessible to the respective wiki space admins only.

      2. This is an interim measure, allowing you to access your content on Confluence Cloud, if you still have not migrated your content to other services. You may also access your old wiki space on Wiki.nus for as long as the service is running (see On 15 Feb below).

      3. You should not add permissions to the wiki space on Confluence Cloud to allow private viewing by a wider audience e.g. NUS staff only, NUS students only, your department staff only etc.

Dear Wiki.nus users,

Announcement of Wiki.nus (Confluence Server) sunset

It is with deep regret that the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT) announces that Wiki.nus will cease in its current form, on 14 February 2024.

We have used Atlassian Confluence to power Wiki.nus since mid-2008. Confluence is installed on our servers on campus.

When we began using Confluence, the license was affordable. Over the years, this price has increased tremendously, but not to a point of being prohibitive.

Atlassian's move to end its server product in favour of cloud services has pushed the price past this point.

Reasons for transition and issues with Atlassian's alternatives

Atlassian, the company which develops Confluence, will be dropping the Server versions of all their software on 15 February 2024.

While Atlassian is dropping Confluence Server, it offers Confluence Cloud in its place.

Untenable cost increases over current price for replacement services

Moving to Confluence Cloud represents a leap in costs compared to their Server product.

To license Confluence Cloud for all campus users is an approximately 70x increase to a seven-figure digit cost per annum.

On this exorbitant price alone, Confluence becomes untenable.

But there are additional factors compounding the cost issue.

Usage patterns cannot justify the high cost

A review of the most visited wiki spaces shows that most wiki spaces have a small number of editors.

It is the audience size that differs.

The wiki spaces can be broadly classified into three use-cases:

  1. Few authors, public readers: Public-facing wiki spaces which are edited by a small group,

  2. Authors are the readers: Collaborative wiki spaces with restricted access i.e. the editors and readers within the same small group, and

  3. Few authors, restricted readers: Restricted-access wiki spaces which are edited by a small group.

The third use-case is particularly challenging. Overall, Wiki.nus does not have a lot of authors or active users - people who create and edit content - compared to the overall NUS population.

As each user for restricted-access wiki spaces need to be licensed, every person that logs in to Wiki.nus as a reader needs to be paid for. Public readers do not need to log in, so are not counted.

Essentially, we would be paying so that permissions can be granted to readers to access certain wiki spaces rather than active editors.

Alternatives moving forward

CTLT has looked a various competing services. Price is always the sticking point.

The reason is - just like Atlassian's pricing - other services charge for every user that logs in to the service, whether they are actively creating or editing content or just a passive reader accessing information.

Besides price, many of these cloud wiki (or wiki-like) services generally top out at 20,000 or 30,000 users, numbers which cannot support the entire NUS community.

We tried to look for an affordable, almost like-for-like replacement for Confluence but have come up empty.

As such, we suggest alternatives based on the three major use-cases.

(1) Few authors, public readers

(2) Authors are readers

(3) Few authors, restricted readers

(1) Few authors, public readers

(2) Authors are readers

(3) Few authors, restricted readers

e.g. Canvas Instructor Guide (anyone can read without login)

e.g Internal CTLT wiki for collaboration within the department.

e.g. Digital Assessments staff guide (accessible to NUS staff only)

Confluence Cloud

Microsoft SharePoint

Microsoft SharePoint

Blog.nus

Canvas Pages

 

 

Microsoft Loop

 

Confluence Cloud

For public wiki spaces (i.e. readers do not have to log in to read), CTLT intends to subscribe to Confluence Cloud. We are currently in the cloud assessment process for Confluence Cloud.

The cost will be borne by CTLT, and this represents the easiest migration path.

CTLT will contact the owners of public-facing wiki spaces regarding next steps for this.

Blog.nus

An alternative for (1) few authors, public readers is to use Blog.nus. These are WordPress blogs hosted by CampusPress. NUS has subscribed to CampusPress since 2008.

Microsoft SharePoint

For private wikis for group collaboration, SharePoint can be used in cases where you want to restrict editors to a small group but readership to within NUS or smaller units within NUS.

You can request for a SharePoint Site here. If the link does not work, log in to nTouch (VPN/WS1 required off-campus), then search for SharePoint Online, then under Catalog Items look for SharePoint Online - General Service Request.

Canvas Pages

For use within courses, Canvas Pages can be used in a wiki-like manner. Pages can be set to allow student editing. Just like a wiki, there is version history showing the date, time and author.

If you want students to be able to create their own pages, you can set this in the course settings by expanding more options and changing the permission for can create, rename and edit course pages by default.

  • Instructors retain the ability to create pages that are not editable by students.

  • You cannot set individual pages to be edited by specific students, groups or sections.

  • Pages are listed in alphabetical order by default. Canvas does not indicate which are pages are editable only by instructors and which are editable by instructors and students.

  • Students:

    • can edit any page editable by students. (This includes editing the page title.)

    • cannot delete pages, regardless of whether a page was created by student or staff.

    • can restore a page to a previous version. (The restored page is a new version in page history. Page history is retained.)

    • cannot delete previous versions of a page i.e. potential defacement is always detectable.

Microsoft Loop * This option is not available until further notice

Loop is a new wiki-like service by Microsoft. While it is not as powerful as Confluence, the concepts for using Loop are similar to Confluence (spaces, pages, permissions).

At this moment, permissions can only be added to Microsoft Loop on an individual basis. If you need to add groups, e.g. your department, NUS staff etc. it may be better to use SharePoint (see above) instead.

Comparison chart



Confluence Cloud

Blog.nus

Microsoft SharePoint

Canvas Pages

Microsoft Loop



Confluence Cloud

Blog.nus

Microsoft SharePoint

Canvas Pages

Microsoft Loop

Use case

(1) Few authors, public readers

(1) Few authors, public readers

(2) Authors are readers

(3) Few authors, restricted readers

(2) Authors are readers

(2) Authors are readers

(3) Few authors, restricted readers

URL

https://wikinus.atlassian.net/wiki/

https://blog.nus.edu.sg/ 

https://nusu.sharepoint.com/_layouts/15/sharepoint.aspx

https://canvas.nus.edu.sg/

https://loop.microsoft.com/ 

Subscription cost

Free (provided by CTLT)

Free (provided by CTLT)

Free (provided by NUS IT)

Free

Free* (provided by NUS IT)
Microsoft indicates that this is a separate tier of Microsoft Services. However, charges should be borne by NUS IT.

Migration path

Wiki spaces can be exported from Wiki.nus, then imported into Confluence Cloud.

Content will have to be copied manually from Wiki.nus to Blog.nus.

If you require student assistants to help copy your content over, please let CTLT know.

Content will have to be copied manually from Wiki.nus to SharePoint.

If you require student assistants to help copy your content over, please let CTLT know.

Content will have to be copied manually from Wiki.nus to Canvas.

If you require student assistants to help copy your content over, please let CTLT know.

Content will have to be copied manually from Wiki.nus to Loop.

If you require student assistants to help copy your content over, please let CTLT know.

How to start

CTLT will contact owners of public-facing wiki spaces.

Sign up for a Blog.nus account.

Request for a SharePoint Site here.

If the link does not work, log in to nTouch (VPN/WS1 required off-campus), then search for SharePoint Online. Under Catalog Items look for SharePoint Online - General Service Request.

You can create Pages in your existing Course(s).

When you first log in to Loop, you will be prompted to create a space.

Notes

This option is only for public-facing wiki spaces. 





 



Notes

Subscription and migration costs

CTLT intends to subscribe to Confluence Cloud on a limited basis for public-facing wiki spaces. For the public wiki spaces that move to Confluence Cloud, CTLT will bear the subscription cost. Migration should be relatively straightforward and not incur costs. However, you are responsible for reviewing the import so that the content is as you want it to appear.

The other alternatives listed above are offered by NUS IT (SharePoint, Loop) or CTLT (Blog.nus) at no cost to users. If you decide to use student assistants to assist with migration, CTLT will bear the cost.

If you decide to subscribe to services outside of the list, e.g. Notion, Coda or others, your department will bear the subscription and migration cost (if any) for the service.

NUS Cloud Policy

CTLT plans to proceed with cloud assessment for Confluence Cloud.

Existing alternatives already in use in NUS - e.g. SharePoint, Loop, Canvas - have already undergone cloud assessment. Please ensure the chosen service is assessed to meet or exceed the data classification level of your data.

If you decide to subscribe to a cloud service outside of the alternatives provided, you will have to go through cloud assessment in accordance with NUS Cloud Policy before you subscribe to the service. 

Hybrid-permission wiki spaces

If your wiki space combines three of the major use-cases e.g. a section for internal collaboration within your department, then other pages which are accessible to a larger audience, then you will have to split the wiki space and find alternatives following the respective use-case.

If your public-facing wiki space also has private pages where the same wiki editors collaborate, this use can be accommodated.

Migration of content

For wiki spaces moving to Confluence Cloud, wiki spaces can be exported from Wiki.nus to a file, then imported to Confluence Cloud. This is relatively straightforward. CTLT will assist with migration to Confluence Cloud, if needed.

For migration to Blog.nus, SharePoint, Loop or Canvas Pages, you will be able to avail of student assistants to assist with copying content, the cost of which will be borne by CTLT.

While Confluence offers exports to HTML, XML and PDF, your ability to import these into other services are likely limited unless the service you choose to migrate to offers Confluence migration from the XML export. Nonetheless, you are encouraged to export the data so that you have a backup.

Migration tips

Before migration:

  1. Remove all users except the main admin. Grant access in your chosen service later.

  2. Page permissions should be removed.

  3. Space and Page Watchers should be removed.

No new wiki spaces on Wiki.nus

As of the time of this announcement, we have disabled the ability to create new wiki spaces on Wiki.nus. 

Conclusion

We do not take this decision lightly.

As one of the heaviest Wiki.nus users on campus, this affects CTLT deeply as well. On average, four out of the top ten most visited wiki spaces every month belong to CTLT.

We empathise with the pain that you feel as we navigate towards divergent alternatives, away from what was an affordable, user-friendly and effective service.

Do contact us at CTLT Helpdesk for assistance.

We can arrange to meet on your options moving forward.