Wiki Software for Java and Tomcat: The search continues

I eventually want to create a Blog/Wiki hybrid residing at A JAMWiki (see below) site is running at the URL now, but it is temporary.

This need drove me to consider Java-based Wiki software that would run on Tomcat.

I installed, configured and tested 3 packages:

Of the three, JAMWiki seems to be the best, but sadly, still not adequate for my needs. On the plus side, it was easy to install and use for everyday Wiki stuff, and is MediaWiki compatible. Its technology stack is based on Spring 2.5 and JSP, and the code is code is neat and java-doc’ed. The 0.6.7 version tag understates its maturity.

However, when I dug deeper I found that internally, it uses a very old-fashioned DB-centric (anemic) domain model. A fair bit of the business logic is encoded into SQL queries. Plenty of code duplication and verbosity. No ORM. Poorly abstracted – lots of individual servlets take care of rendering particular pages, making the system hard to re-compose or re-configure. Ultimately, dissappointing.

I have used it for a while for , but am going to move on once I find/build something better /more flexible.

XWiki has a sizeable community but I found it was too big, heavy and complex for my taste – the 45Mb War consumed masses of memory but was seemed short on useful, useable features.

JSPWiki has amateurish UI & docs (and internal code, I suspect)  – I would advise steering clear of it.

So sadly, I dont know of any Java -based Wiki engine I would recommend right now, if you want a degree of customization.


  1. Khalid said,

    November 4, 2008 at 11:25 am

    JAMWiki is the most awesome wiki ever written. It is JAMMIN its way into the corporate world, lets leave it at that.

  2. ryan said,

    November 4, 2008 at 11:34 am

    Thanks for the kind review Ben – ever since getting waylaid by a full time job I haven’t had as much time as I would like to work on JAMWiki, so it’s good to know that even without full-time attention the project has managed to stay competitive. With the next version (which should make LDAP and OpenID integration vastly easier) I’m hopeful that the software should become attractive to an even wider audience, and at that point I can hopefully begin focusing on growing the developer and user communities.

    In any case, I mostly hear only bug reports and feature requests, so it’s definitely nice to hear from the more silent (but hopefully more common) ranks of satisfied users – thanks!

  3. February 15, 2009 at 8:50 am


    I’m sorry you found the UI and docs amateurish – that may be true, since the JSPWiki core dev team does not unfortunately have any graphics designers or tech writers. However, the core team *does* consist of software engineering professionals, and the internals are efficient, easily readable, very mature and easily extensible. Our real only sore point at the moment is the backend interface, which does not have a proper metadata model, but we’re currently addressing this issue in the upcoming Apache JSPWiki 3.0.

  4. benhutchison said,

    February 15, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    Maybe its changed, but my recollection was that when I installed JSPWiki, it asked me to edit a config file within the web app before I could get going. This arrangement seemed amateurish to me – generally, a web app should never require its users to edit its contents as part of normal operation.

    JAMWiki is able to self-configure directly thru the web-app. XWiki is able to only when the default database is used.

  5. Lenny said,

    September 25, 2009 at 9:43 am

    There’s one you missed off your list – Confluence. It’s good if a little large and while not ‘free’ you can get a personal use license.

  6. ziggy said,

    January 9, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    Why is it that when someone is reviewing open source products some one else has to budge in and suggest a product (e.g. confluence) which is not fully open source?

  7. November 24, 2013 at 4:55 pm


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