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Can I use Teams as an alternative to StackOverflow "Teams"?

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I work in a company that develops software with the Microsoft stack. We're using VSTS. 

 

I would like a system where where questions and answers between the developers gets stored and maintained in a system similar to StackOverflow's Teams-feature (which is an instance of StackExchange separated for you and your colleagues). 

 

Can this be done with Teams? 

13 Replies

Hi Simon,

 

I am not deeply familiar with the StackOverflow's Teams-feature. But if what I am reading collaboration, having discussions and sharing information  is the game then Microsoft Teams is definitely up to par. 

 

Further more, you can configure your Microsoft Teams environment to integrate with other Office 365 components, such as Planner (which kinda looks like VSTS) and also VSTS of course.

 

So, with what I understand you wish to accomplish.....Yes this can be done with Teams. 

Hi Mark, and thanks for your reply.

 

As questions get answers, StackOverflow becomes like a knowledge base. I want the same out of Teams, if possible. The search functionality is especailly important. 

 

Hi Simon,

 

Ok.....lets try this:

 

You could create a specific Team (topic) that would have channels (sub topics) together with a OneNote that you can associate within a Teams/ Teams discussion.

 

The knowledge is gathered and stored within the Teams conversation(s) and within the OneNote of that Teams/ Channels (All searchable)

 

Your company could then setup/ discuss certain "Rules" that would determine how and where knowledge preferably should be stored. But if these "Rules" aren't setup up, you would still be able to search and find the content you're looking for.

 

The catch (there is always a catch :) ) is that you can only see and search the Teams data of the Teams that you are a part of (invite) or of Teams that are made public.

Short answer is no not really. You would have to rig Teams to work even a fraction of setting up a response system like that to use. If you could move messages around between channels It possibly could be made to work a bit better but IMO, right now, for that use case it's not the best idea.

But the OneNote idea Mark brought up is what my IT Support team is currently using for their Knowledgebase, but it's not ideal and we would like a better KB solution which we are working on finding a new support system that includes this.

Thanks for an honest reply, Christopher. 

 

Our company has a policy of choosing Microsoft's tools and tech as often as possible. So before trying other solutions I always try to find out whether Microsoft already covers the need.

 

As you probably detected, I am not interested in hacking a tool to make it cover "60 %" of my needs. 

Hi, I am trying to find the same thing, the key features I need are:
- Ability to ask questions (This is can be done in a team channel)
- Ability to upvote a question (Partially doable with the like button)
- Add tags to a question (Not possible)
- Up/down vote an answer (No, only possible to like an answer)
- Questions can also be marked as Resolved (not possible)
- Area where you can see the list of unresolved questions (not possible)
- Reputation system to motivate people to answer questions helping colleagues
- Search by keywords (possible)
- Filter by tag (not possible)

This would be an incredibly nice feature for teams

For questions and voting you can use for example “Polly” bot! Also forms can be used for these scenarios!

For the resolved part there is a uservoice for this:
https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/30973729-resolve-close-convers...

There is also one for marking “best answer”

You can also instruct users to tag their comments with a custom tag like #test then you can search for this!
Also there is a uservoice for this which is under analyzing process by Microsoft

https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/18465754-tag-files-for-searcha...

Hope this helps
Adam

Thank you Adam,
I will try both to see what can be done with them, I hope I can cover most of the features with one of them. I upvoted the "resolution" request, the other one about tagging is related to file uploads, for us would be better to tag topics.

Regards

Fwiw, we have the full Office365 suite, whistles and bells. Having this, basically forced Teams upon us for internal communication. Note that some of us were also using it as a Sharepoint portal to share documents.

 

For the communication part we found Teams very much lacking and we were able to step away from it in favor of the - at least at that time - much better equipped Slack. Yes, there's mostly feature parity, but when you have worked with both of them, you can tell that Slack was conceived to solve a need, while Teams is just a product with features.

 

Then - to cut to the chase - we were also in need of a knowledge base tool. Since Slack is equally configurable as Teams, a highly customized setup as suggested here too, might get us somewhere. But rather than bracing ourselves up for the unknown, we started using StackOverflow for Teams and haven't looked back.

 

Again: it's a tool specifically crafted to solve a need. If you can get the job done with a customized Teams, that's perfectly fine, but I expect it to only scale so much. So if you're a small/medium sized company (50-?), that might cut it. If you're beyond that, I wouldn't think twice about the alternative.

 

The only downside would be the cost. e.g. serving about 100 users will bring you well over 500$ / month. Then again, there's currently no match for efficient knowledge communication, making it some well spent bucks. Also note that StackOverflow automatically calculates active users for invoicing, which helps a lot in making the invoice match the added value.

 

I would argue: just make sure that you use the right tool for the job. Having to battle your tooling will only give you a hard time on-boarding users.

Has anyone found a suitable knowledgebase functionality in MS Teams?
Either you link to a existing knowledge base online/internally

Use the wiki and build one ( no search currently )

Use a onenote in teams

Find a third party app with integration in Teams ( not aware of any )

Use and tab any other kind of document like word or pdf

Build a kB bot

answers.microsoft.com appears to be pretty close to what we expect, but I don't see that available under office 365. Microsoft should consider availing this to enterprises over office 365.

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