Salesforce.com Knowledge Management Cheat Sheet

Salesforce.com knowledge management application lets customers and internal staff find information easily. Information can be found by keyword searching or by filtering through pre-defined categories under which information is organized. This blog highlights the key aspects of knowledge management application.

Article Types

Article Type are the various templates available to create an article. It provides the layout options for the articles.  By default Salesforce comes with two article types – a) Tabs b) Table of Content. In Tabs layout the information sections are displayed as tabs and in Table of Content layout the information sections are shown as links.

  • You can create customized article types using Visualforce.
  • You have to have atleast one article type defined
  • You can add custom fields to article types that be used to managing articles.
  • It is a best practice to create different templates for different types of knowledge articles. For example, product troubleshooting can be one type and Product Information can be another type.

Display Channels

The Display Channels are the channels where an article type can be published. Salesforce allows it to be a Pubic Space, Customer Portal and internal CRM.

Display Customization

The set of information / data fields groups in Salesforce Knowledge Article Types can be displayed in a table of content style where one page has links to all data groups/ sub sections or in tabular format where each data group becomes a tab.  Salesforce also allows custom developed visual force pages to display data groups.

Workflow & Approvals

Workflow function is the same as you have for other objects. You can create a custom workflow with rules that triggers certain events.  The same is true for approval processes too.

Data Categories

Salesforce Knowledge Management module allows users (with create, edit, deactivate or delete permission) to create data categories that articles can be tagged to. It is similar to tagging a blog post with keywords. If the website www.techcrunch.com were to use Salesforce.com for publishing their content, they could create data categories as Mobile, Web, Venture Funding, Big Data etc. An article can be tagged to more than one category.
If you have not created role hierarchy than all data categories are visible to all users. Once you have roles hierarchy built, data categories visibility settings can be managed for roles.

Category Groups

Administrators can define category groups and provide visibility through role hierarchy. Admins can defined category groups up to 5 level deep and a category group can have up to 100 categories.

Permissions are given at the category level. Customer Portal users inherit the permissions of their account owner.

Article Rating

Internal apps and customer portal users can rate an article on 1 to 5 stars scale. If an article is not rated in last 15 days, its average rating moves up or down to a half life calculation. Articles without the recent votes move to 3 start rating.  Users can sort articles by ratings.

Knowledge Searching

Users can refine search by filtering on article type or data category.  Admin can  also define synonym (up to 6 in each group) for words so search results include the wider set of articles. In addition, the Salesforce comes with Stemming feature by default – so when searching for Run, it will also search for running.

Knowledge Access

Administrator has to enable Knowledge User setting for users that needs access to the articles. In addition, Admin can also create specific user profiles to knowledge management that will let users Read, Edit and Manage articles. Read is on by default for all users. For Manage knowledge settings, the Admin can give access to manage data categories and synonyms management.

Rajeev Kumar

Rajeev has over 20 years of experience in IT managing large software development programs, organization change initiatives and Agile transformations. Prior to joining Mirketa Rajeev worked at startups and fortune 500 companies in senior management roles. He founded www.mytafi.in and www.finacast.com, personal finance management applications for Indian and US market. Rajeev is also the founder of www.wednik.com, a wedding planning application with online market for wedding planners and wedding merchandise.
Posted in Salesforce.com, Visualforce.

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