Import your Office documents into the wiki!

Mar 28 2011

When weighting pros and cons about using a new software, a major concern is "What will I do with my current data?", "Can I migrate all my data in the new system?". Currently, most enterprise data is stored in Microsoft format, understand Word, Excel, Power Point. No worry with XWiki, our sofware has the ability to import those formats and convert them into wiki pages. Our clients love that feature, and we wanted to share with you the experience we have on the topic.

Let's first describe Office document import feature that is not yet well known. XWiki software exposes that feature in 2 locations:

via a button in the WYSIWYG editor

xwiki-office-import-button.jpg

and when you want to create a page, via a button named "Page from Office" available under the "Add" drop down

xwiki-page-from-office.jpg

This very powerful feature enables anyone using a standard installation of XWiki to convert Micosoft Office or Open Office documents into wiki pages. Several outputs will be generated depending on the original document format. If the file is a Word document (.doc, .odt, etc.) the result page will contain text, images, tables etc. That page will then become editable just like any other page of the wiki. It will benefit from the exactly same features. If the file is an Excel document (.xls, ods, etc.) the result will be the table in wiki version. That table will then be editable just like any other table you would have created in a standard wiki page, from scratch. If the file is a Power Point (.ppt, .odp, etc.) each slide of the presentation will become an image. Those images will be attached to the wiki page. Until version 2.7.x of XWiki those images will be displayed in the content of the page, one after the other. Starting from version 3.0 (Yet to be released) images will be displayed using a gallery macro, enabling you to go from one slide to another by clicking "Next" or "Previous" button. This new version is a great user experience improvement since it reproduces the standard behaviour.

viewing-powerpoint-presentation-imported.jpg

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On several projects, our client need was to import hundreds or thousands of documents. Using the default feature where import has to be done document per document was not scalable. That's why we developed the mass office import application. Here are some examples of mass imports done and used on production wikis:

EMC, making pre-sales documents more accessible:

  • Number of documents imported: 50 000 + hundreds every night
  • Import success : more than 99% (import feature is limited to Open Office Server and its ability to open files)

Fidelia assistance, better organize the company knowledge:

  • Number of documents imported: 900 documents
  • Import rate: 100%

Faiveley, all kind of content like presentations, procedures or corporate material:

  • Number of documents imported: 900 documents
  • Import rate: 100%

We hope that this article helped you understand how you can use XWiki to take the entreprise 2.0 bend the right way by migrating you content into our collaborative software XWiki.

XWiki is an entreprise wiki that can help you be more productive by adapting to your needs thanks to our professional services.