There is a post in the Wiki Ninjas - Official Blog of TechNet Wiki about a simple question: What Can I or Should I do in the TechNet Wiki? (you can read the entire post here) and one of the statements is:
  • Can I take a question and answer on the forums and transform it into an article?

The answer is simple: Yes, you can and you should… you can use whatever you need to be inspired to write a contribution, this can be a forum question, a problem or a need that you face in your day by day work, a post or an article from other author.

Another reason is that the Wiki article can get more views, it can be easier to read, and it can be much easier to find by the Community. Plus it can end up with some collaboration that will make the answer even more complete!

This article is intended to be a list of all the best practices that you can have while converting a Forum thread into a new TechNet Wiki article.


To help me describe some of the best practices that you should have, I took two BizTalk Server questions from the forums and created two new BizTalk Server Wiki Articles:
So, those are two different situations that can provide us with two good and distinct scenarios.

Best Practices

The main important thing in transforming a forum question into an article, is that you don't just copy the question and answer to a simple article without anything more! You can do this…But this for me is just quantity and not quality… however if you take the same question and explain even more about the problem, provide the right solution or possible solutions (since some problems can have several solutions) and explain why… that’s an amazing contribution!

Explain the problem

Again, don't just copy the question and answer to a simple article without anything more... some question can have a simple description in the Forum or sometimes the description may not have been placed clearly.

Add an introduction and have a short description of the problem (see the sample here BizTalk Server: How to map values from a repeating node into a single node using conditions).

Take your time to find the right solution, possible solutions, or/and related problems

Creating this kind of article might take a considerable amount of time. For example, when dealing with BizTalk Mapping problems, there is never only a single way and there are no right or wrong methods to solve it. We can find more effective ways (in terms of performance) than others or easiest ways to solve the problem, yet the output result will be the same. For these reasons we must search for alternative solutions and don't be contend with the first solution.

So take your time, mark your articles as "in-progress", investigate the problem and possible solutions, and use all necessary care to produce an excellent article both in terms of content and presentation.

If the article is about an error posted in the forum, take your time to find not only the solution or possible solution but also related errors (see the sample here BizTalk Server: Backup BizTalk Server job failed Troubleshooting).


Make sure your article is accurate. If you unsure of the accuracy, please immediately get help reviewing the accuracy of your article from your fellow forum and Wiki contributors!

Give Credits

You are not the owner of all the content, research is a common process... so add the credits to the authors. There is an amazing article about Best Practices for Giving Credit in the TechNet Wiki that you must read.

In both of the articles that I used as references you will see in all the article references to the authors of the content. This is a best practice that you should always use.

Copy content from external source

As referenced in Best Practices for Giving Credit in the TechNet Wiki:

  • "While giving credit is good, but copying other people's content is not. According to the Wiki Terms of Use, you must own or otherwise control all of the rights to content that you publish on the Wiki".
  • Copy content from another Microsoft site, such as TechNet forums or Library: Sometimes OK (and appreciated) but always confirm with a Microsoft employee. Link to the original source.

In my opinion, we can use external content as a reference to create our own, probably copying small parts, but we always, always, must leave a reference to the original author or source. 

Or just add a reference to the source. A good reference for me of a "Link Collection" article is BizTalk Server: List of Errors and Warnings, Causes, and Solutions.

The BizTalk Server: How to map values from a repeating node into a single node using conditions article that used for reference have 90% of the content copied from my blog! Probably that is not a best practice and you shouldn't do the same! I only did it because:

  • The content is mine
  • And I just wanted to show a good example of taking a question in the forum and making a good article

However, one of the best practices that you can have in these scenarios, even if the post is yours, you probably should copy small parts of the post to describe the key steps and put a reference to your blog post or forum thread.

Defining a common structure

If we follow similar article structure, I believe the TechNet Wiki will be more consistent and the articles will be more easy to read/understand.

Have you seen a book with different layouts and different structures between different chapters? For me it is always a best practice to apply the same concepts in the TechNet Wiki.

For helping you accomplish that, you can apply one of the following templates:

that you can find here: Wiki: Templates For Converting a Forum Thread Into a New Wiki Article

These templates are intended to provide an initial path (model or pattern) for you to make the final article with a visual presentation of its structure and maybe input fields of data or description of the section that you should use.

Fell free to add new templates, change or add section to the existing ones.

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See Also