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 Permissions.
- At the very bottom of the permissions panel click Advanced permissions settings
- Once here, Identify the autogenerated permission groups for your Knowledge Base
- 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
Advanced Search – Where anyone can search the entire Knowledge Base with advanced options
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, managing categories, and managing article templates.
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
Help – Where an administrator can go if they need assistance setting up or managing the Knowledge Base Cloud Part
The articles section offers multiple ways to consume your data. A user can view all articles, in this view any pinned articles by the administrator will appear at the top of the list of articles and then proceed to be sorted by title alphabetically. They can also select to view articles within the categories list on the left. A user can jump quickly to their personally favorited articles using the “Favorite Articles” tab. Or view articles by tag with the last tab. There is also a search box available in the top right-hand corner of the webpart.
This section allows anyone with permission to the webpart to view tag density by views and tag density by articles. This is a fun visual way to get an idea of the information in your database and how it is consumed regularly.
Advanced Search Section
The advanced search section allows any users to search the Knowledge Base with more specific queries than a basic search box offers.
The questions section is an area where any user can see questions that have been asked and their answers or ask questions themselves. Details on how to complete these tasks are covered in detail further into this user manual.
This section allows administrators of the Knowledge Base webpart to manage all facets of the Knowledge Base. Admins can come here to manage existing articles. They can also create and manage templates for articles in this section. Questions from the users can be managed, answered, or pinged for a related article to be created. And article categories available for tagging are managed here as well.
This section allows users and admin to view analytics of articles and questions and analytics of searches against the Knowledge Base.
This section offers a toggle option to show or hide questions in the left hand toolbar for the Knowledge Base webpart.
This page includes instructions for the administrators of the Knowledge Base webpart on settings up permissions and groups for the Knowledge Base.
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. The body has a character count at the bottom right of the box.
Categories – Here the article can be assigned one or multiple categories from option defined by admins. These categories are added by admins in the administration section.
External Resource – Area to link any external resource that is feeding content of this article.
Tags – Another method for sorting, like categories, but they do not have to be pre-set by the administrators.
Pinned – Clicking the Pinned radio button will attach the article to the top of the Articles page. Leaving the article on the default Not-Pinned radio button with not pin the article.
Review Date – Add a date that the article needs to be reviewed by another admin.
Reviewer – Denote who will need to review this article by the aforementioned date.
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.
Can export article to PDF – Toggle checkbox to allow users export the article to PDF or not.
Attachments – Area where attachments can be uploaded to the article.
- Once you have filled out the field in the New Article box click Save. If you want to save this article as a template, instead of clicking save at the bottom of the form, scroll back up to the top and click the Save as Template button on the top left of the form.
- 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 admins 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 ArticleThis will help serve as a reminder to add an Article later.
- Click Save
- 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.
As mentioned above, a template can be saved from an article while creating at any point during the creation. If an Administrator wants to create or manage a template specifically, they can navigate to the administration section by hovering over the icon and clicking manage templates. From here you can select Create New Template and you will be met with the same screen as when you create a new article. Also, you can click on any existing templates and update or delete them.
As Knowledge Base offers and Analytics section when users and administrators can view Article/Question analytics and Search Analytics. To access this information, click on the
icon and choose either Article/Question analytics or search analytics.
Above is a picture of the Article/Question Analytics options. There are a number of different ways the data is broken down and visually displayed, that way it is simpler to view the data based on the metrics the user is personally interested in.
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.
Note: The Predictive Search drop down search box only will query Article Titles. If you are looking for a string that is outside of an Article Title simply hit Enter of the Magnified glass will result in a full query. You might see a "No Data Found"
KB Lite Install and Filter Features
To Install KB Lite
Create a new page
- Click on Save Draft
- Click on + to open Page Tool Box
Click on Publish once KB Lite Viewer renders
KB Lite Favorite Articles allows only your articles to come up when they are chosen as your favorite.
KB Lite Articles by Tags tab allows you to filter your article by their tags. Click on your tag choice and your results come up.
KB Lite Search has been modified to cache your articles and results allow for a faster response to your search choice.
Uses Contextual Search which allows you to filter as you type and when you select the article it pulls the article directly.
Chosen article from the search drop down.