Knowledge Introduction

Salesforce Knowledge provides the ability to build out a comprehensive Knowledge Base (KB) inside of Salesforce to service your internal agents, partners, and customers. It is simply a collection of articles with relevant information about your products and services.

Terminology and pre-requisites

Article Types

  • Article types are containers for different types of articles such as FAQs and Tutorials
  • Article types provide the format and structure to control how an article displays for each audience, known as a channel.
  • For each article type you can create custom fields, customize the layout by adding or removing sections and fields, and choose a template for each channel.
  • You can also create workflow rules and approval processes to help your organization track and manage article creation and publication.

Data Categories

  • Data categories are used in Salesforce Knowledge (articles and article translations), Ideas, Answers, and Chatter Answers to help classify and find articles, questions, or ideas.
  • You can use data categories to control access to a particular set of articles, questions or ideas.
  • Salesforce Knowledge uses data categories to classify articles and make them easier to find and allows administrators to control access based on role hierarchy thus dictating article visibility.
  • After data categories have been set up, article managers can assign the relevant categories to draft articles.
  • When users search for articles in any channel — Internal, Customer, Partner, or Public Knowledge Base—they can use the categories to help locate information
  • For knowledge customers, Data Category visibility settings cannot be restricted with profiles.

Knowledge One Widget

  • Knowledge One widget allows Service reps to see suggested Knowledge articles while working on a case. It will automatically search for the most relevant articles based on keywords and rating. From the widget, we can view the articles, attach them to cases, and best of all, send them out in PDF format to the customer! Some serious time saving can be had here..

Voting (Article Feedback)

  • Knowledge has the ability to allow voting on articles for your internal and community users.
  • This can be configured to either accept a 5-star format or thumbs up/down.
  • This greatly improves the user experience for a couple of reasons.
    • Salesforce uses voting, views, and a number of other factors to produce a “relevance” rating to help order articles in search results.
    • It also allows us seeing what articles aren’t performing so well, if users and customers are voting a particular group of articles down, it might be time to revise them.
Approval Process We can easily setup approval processes for article creation. This uses the native Salesforce feature and allows you to create a set of rules and approvals an article must go through before being published.

Licenses, Permissions, and Limitations.

  • Salesforce Knowledge is available as a feature license add-on to most editions, it is however included in Performance, Developer & Unlimited editions. You will only need to buy licenses for the users that will be administering the application and creating articles, but not the users that need to view them, this is included in most Salesforce licenses.
  • Once Salesforce Knowledge is enabled Manage Salesforce Knowledge Permission is required to be able to configure Knowledge:
  • For articles to be visible the object CRUD needs to be enabled for each article type at profile level and appropriate channel (internal app, partner, customer, and public knowledge base) needs to be set for the underlying articles.
  • Maximum number of data category groups and active data category groups – 5 category groups, with 3 groups active at a time
  • Maximum number of categories per data category group – 100 categories in a data category group
  • Maximum number of levels in data category group hierarchy – 5 levels in a data category group hierarchy
  • Maximum number of data categories from a data category group assigned to an article – 8 data categories from a data category group assigned to an article

Article Life Cycle

  • On the Article Management tab, article managers can create new articles as well as find and manage existing articles in any phase of the knowledge life cycle.
  • Create and save a new article.
  • Reassign the article
  • Publish the completed draft to one or more channels
  • Update the article as needed
  • Archive the article when it is obsolete
  • Delete the article when appropriate

Article Creation and Article Updates

  • Authors create articles by selecting an article type, writing content, assigning categories, and choosing one or more channels. Depending on the article type, several fields may be available for different types of data.
  • Articles can be created within the context of resolving a case or in the Article Management tab.
  • When applying categories, choose the categories that a user would naturally look for as they navigate. Users only find an article if they select its explicitly applied category, the parent of that category, or a child of that category.
  • If you’re editing a published article or translation, choose whether to leave it published while you work on a draft copy, or whether to remove the original article from publication and work on it directly. If you work on a copy, publishing the copy replaces the last published version of the article. If you work on the original article, it is unavailable in the channels until you republish it.
  • Archived articles are removed from publication but can be edited with the appropriate permissions. Articles can be archived manually or automatically by setting an expiry date.
  • While creating/updating an article, it can be sent for approval using the Approval engine provided by Salesforce Platform.
  • Article assignments can be used for next steps and delegating responsibilities related to article creation process.

Article Publishing

  • The articles created in the draft state, are (can be) sent for approval. once approved they are published.
  • Article Managers or individuals having “Manage Article” permissions can edit, assign and publish articles.
  • Articles can be published immediately or scheduled to be published in the future.
  • Can add workflow rules and approval process to article types for managing and automating Knowledge. Tasks are not supported by article type workflow
  • Knowledge actions can be created to link a workflow action to an article.
  • When an article is published from the edit page, the article is first saved and then published. Workflow rules apply to the saved draft article but not the published article.

Article Consumption

  • For an article to be consumed it should be visible and Article Visibility is dependent on many factors as below
    • The User must have access to Knowledge
    • The User must have access to the corresponding article type
    • The User must have visibility into the article’s categories
    • The Article must be published
    • The Article must be visible in the appropriate channels
  • Support agents can search for articles that are related to cases and can attach it to the case or send it as a PDF via email to the customer.

Article Deletion

  • You can delete articles and translations on the Article Management tab or the detail page of the article or translation.
  • Deleting permanently removes articles from the knowledge base.
  • You can delete draft articles, draft translations of articles, or archived articles, but not published articles or translations.
  • Deleting articles move them to the Recycle Bin. If you delete an article with translations, the translations are also moved to the Recycle Bin. However, if you delete a single translation, you can’t undelete it.
  • Deleting an article or translation may fail if another user or the system simultaneously modifies it while the deletion is being processed. You receive an error message when this occurs.


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