Differentiating between Confluence and Linchpin: Why you need Linchpin for your intranet

Confluence is an excellent social collaboration tool that helps teams work together better. But Confluence by itself is not a full-fledged intranet system and does not aspire to be one. It focuses on modern team collaboration (Intranet 2.0) and not on corporate requirements for intranets (Intranet 1.0). Our Linchpin solution combines both approaches and turns the excellent Confluence base into a proper social intranet where employees can work together smoothly but which still meets traditional intranet requirements.

Professional news concept

Natively, Confluence does not have a news feed. This is often a key requirement for intranets. On the one hand, Linchpin lets companies display "must-see news" to employees via the intranet: custom top-down management news based on user profile attributes (e.g. location, language). But users can also create individual news feeds on their personal intranet homepages. Users can select what they find interesting or relevant from the available news channels. This news is then automatically displayed on their intranet homepage.

Enhanced user profiles

Confluence user profiles are basic and include only essential information. This is often adequate for team collaboration. In contrast, Linchpin user profiles can be expanded to include any number of different fields. But the extra profile information is not an end in itself. Rather, it creates the basis for Linchpin's personalized user experience (interface and navigation language, navigation content, displayed news, etc.).

Flexible global navigation

Confluence's user interface does not provide a global navigation menu in the standard version. With our Linchpin-integrated Navigation Menu Editor plugin, a global navigation menu can be quickly and easily implemented into the Confluence interface. Important pages can be accessed directly. This means greater efficiency, faster access to relevant content and more employee activation by integrating a trusted navigation option familiar from their daily internet use.

Direct access to third-party applications (AppStore)

Certainly, you can create a Confluence portal page with various buttons and link them to user applications when needed. But this is only a workaround and is definitely not a flexible, personalized solution. The Linchpin AppStore, on the other hand, lets users put the application links they use daily (internal systems, web applications, websites, etc.) onto their intranet homepage. These app links can be accessed directly via small symbols, just like apps on a smartphone. Single sign-on is also supported.


Linchpin complements Confluence with social media functions familiar from social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Integration into the Confluence intranet is seamless. It promotes fast and easy central communication and makes ideas, feedback and discussions more visible and transparent.

Colleague search

You can search for colleagues based on specific search criteria and profile attributes with the colleague search feature integrated into Linchpin. For example, you can search for employees based on their expertise, project experience or department.

Better mobile access

The optional mobile theme supplied with Linchpin for intranet use on tablets and smartphones provides additional features that surpass the standard version offered by Atlassian. The mobile version is easy to customize to fulfill the customer's design requirements.

Intranet requirements at a glance

The following table lists what companies think are the most important requirements for a modern intranet and shows if and how Confluence and Linchpin address them:

Requirement Confluence Linchpin
Excellent Rich-Text-Editor check check
Personalized News, based on profile settings error check
Knowledge management check check
Microblogging like in Twitter and Facebook error check
Adjustable, personalized navigation error check
Extended User Profile with Org-Charts error check
User search and skill management error check
Complete adaptation to corporate design error (colors and logo only) check
Personalized AppStore error check
Granular rights management check check
Controllable Intranet 1.0 communication error check
Support for real team collaboration check check
Workflow management for compliance, ISO and other QM processes error check
Low dependence on manufacturer  check (open source for customers) check (open source for customers)
Runs in your IT infrastructure check check
Mobile support check (mobile interface) check (more functionalities, individual design possible
Independent of platform (Win, Mac, Linux, ...) check check


Of course, this overview is not meant to be a criticism of Confluence. Confluence does what it is supposed to do and does it better than any other collaboration system on the market – namely, it help teams work together better (see above). Additional demands are placed on an intranet, however, that Linchpin can fulfill. It addresses the needs of both teams and management in a modern solution.

Additional information

Are you interested in a Confluence-based intranet? Do you want to add helpful enterprise features to an existing platform? LINCHPIN is a sophisticated solution that turns Confluence into a full-fledged social intranet suite. You can find more information about features and benefits on our special LINCHPIN page.

The Future of Linchpin Intranet in 2016
LINCHPIN: 100% Social Intranet with Confluence
Social Intranet With LINCHPIN – Highlights & Features

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