Knowledge Base provides a centralized, searchable and secure knowledge management system that can be set up in minutes.
Understanding Permissions – Users vs. Admin
Knowledge Base is divided into two views or experiences, Users and Administrators.
Users are the primary group of people that will be using Knowledge Base. They can view articles and ask and view questions, but their range of abilities is limited. Admins however, have full control over all of the content in Knowledge Base. They can create and edit articles, manage and answer questions, and manage what the Users can view.
Setting permissions for users
The first step for setting up your Knowledge Base Cloud Part® is to decide the permissions for users.
To set permissions for users, make sure that you are the Site Collection Admin, then follow these instructions.
- Click the gear wheel at the top of your SharePoint site and click Site Settings.
- Under the heading Users and Permissions, click People and groups.
- On the left side of the page under the Groups heading, click More... This will open up the People and Groups page.
- To set Site Admins, click on SPXKnowledgebaseAdmin, then on the page that opens, click New, then Add Users. This will bring up a box that will allow you to invite users to this group.
- To set Site Users, click on SPXKnowledgebaseUser, then on the page that opens, click New, then Add Users. This will bring up a box that will allow you to invite users to this group. Please note that Site Users must also be in the member or visitor group in your site collection to view articles and questions.
- Once you have added specific Users and Admins to your site, you are ready to start using Knowledge Base!
Navigating through Knowledge Base
There are six main sections in Knowledge Base that you can navigate to by clicking on their icon in the navigation bar.
Articles Section – Where anyone can view Articles posted by the Administrator
Tag Cloud Section – Where anyone can view the most popular tags associated with articles by Article and by views
Questions Section – Where anyone can ask questions, as well as view questions that have been asked by other users.
Administration Section – Where admins control all aspects of creating and editing articles, as well as managing and answering user’s questions.
Analytics Section – Where admins can view Article/Question analytics or Search analytics
Settings Section – Where admins can decide and change if Questions are shown in the menu
There is also a Tag cloud where you can view how frequently tags are used for articles, and how many articles are viewed that reference certain tags.
To create a new article in Knowledge Base:
- Click on the icon and click Manage Articles.
- Click on
- This will bring up a box with fields to fill out for your new article.
Article Title – The value for this will appear as the Title
Body – This is the main content of the Article. An important feature of this is the ability to copy and paste right from a word document or web article and keep the styling from that source
Categories – Pre-Set Customized Categories for easy searching and sorting. See Creating Categories section for more information.
Tags – Another method for sorting, similar to categories, but do not have to be pre-set.
Pinned– clicking the Pinned button will attach the article to the top of the Articles page.
Review Date – Add a date that the article needs to be reviewed by another admin.
Expiration Date – the article will be archived when this date is set. Note: they are not deleted and can be republished at any time.
Article Status – There are 4 main subcategories here:
- Draft – For creating a rough draft of an article.
- Review – Once the draft is more polished, you can set it to be reviewed by another admin
- Published – This grants all users the ability to view the article
- Archived – Once the Article is no longer relevant or needed on the page it can set to archived. These articles can be republished at any time.
- Once you have filled out the field in the New Article box click Save.
- If you selected Published for your Article Status, it will now be available for all users to see. If you selected Draft, Review or Archived it will be view-able by admins in the Manage Articles section, but not by regular users.
Asking a Question
One of the most useful functions of Knowledge Base is the ability for both Users and Admins to submit questions. This helps identify what problems users are having and gives us an easy way to respond to them.
To ask a question:
- Click on the icon on the left and click Ask a Question. This opens the Ask a Question page.
- Fill out the fields of the Ask a Question box.
Note that there are some formatting and mark up options to use in the Question field.
- Once you have filled out the form, click Save. The form will be automatically cleared when you submit your question.
- To verify that your question was received, click on the icon and then click See All Questions. Your question will now be listed on this page.
- Once your question has been answered, you will receive an automated email notifying you.
Answering User Questions
To answer User Questions:
- Hover over the icon on the left side of the page and then click Manage Questions.
- The Manage Answers page is divided up into 4 tabs.
All Questions – Lists both answered and unanswered questions
Answered Questions – Lists only the Answered Questions
Unanswered Questions – Lists only the Unanswered Questions
Needs Article – Lists Answers that are tagged as still needing articles
This page opens on the All Questions tab automatically. We can either answer the question from here or sorting the questions first by clicking on Unanswered Questions.
- Click on the question you’d like to answer.
- This opens the Answer a Question box. At the top, the subject and question are listed. Below that is the field where we can provide an answer.
- Next, check the box Question has been answered to move the question from being unanswered to answered.
- If you want to add an article to the answer later, check the Needs Article This will help serve as a reminder to add an Article later.
- The Question has now been answered, and the user that asked the question will be sent an email notifying them.
Categories in Knowledge Base are useful for quickly sorting your articles into specific topics.
To create a Category:
- Hover over the icon and click Manage Categories.
- In the middle of the page there will be a box where you can create new Categories.
Type in a Name for your new category. The Parent Category is used for nesting categories in one another and is not a required field.
- Click Save
- Your new category will appear near the top left of the page.
- Add as many Categories as you want.
- Category access can be restricted to certain groups or all viewers.
Now, when creating new articles or editing old ones, you can add one of these categories to them. This will make sorting your articles much easier.
You can now set permissions for Categories in order to restrict adding new KB articles in situations that require such. When you are creating a new Category, you will need the Category Name, a Parent Category if it is a specialty subset under a larger base category, and you can choose whether the Category Access will be available to all KB viewers or if it will be restricted.
(See image below for example)
By selecting the “Restricted Access” radio button you will have the option to create a new group to restrict the access by or use an existing group you have already created for KB.
Views and Ratings
One useful feature in Knowledge Base is the ability to see how many times the articles have been viewed, and how users have rated them. This can provide great insight into what topics are the most important to your users.
To check the View and Ratings, click on the icon. Then they will appear in two columns on the page.
To rate an article:
- Click the icon to navigate to the Article section.
- Click on the Article Title you want to rate. This will open the article.
- At the top left of the Article you will see a group of five stars. The article will automatically display the average rating that has been established. Click on the number of stars you would like to rate this Article.
- Once you have rated it, a new average rating will appear. Click on the at the top right of the article to exit and go back to the Knowledge Base homepage.
Note: views and ratings won’t be counted if the user is only granted visitor permissions on the site collection. Users must have site member or owner permissions to enable this function.
When viewing the questions or articles there is a search box at the top right that will search the question subject and body of the KB articles, questions, and answers. It will highlight the search text if it is part of the subject in the results grid after you hit “Enter” to perform the search
This feature has been expanded to also search articles by tag as well.