Using Salesforce Knowledge within Salesforce Communities

Written by | Jun 06, 2013

Among the new features coming out in Salesforce’s Summer ‘13 release is the much-anticipated Salesforce Communities. The Communities area had previously been seen, but it will now be generally available to Salesforce Users.

One highlight of Communities is the ease with which it can be integrated with certain other areas of Salesforce, including:

  • Salesforce Knowledge
  • Chatter Answers
  • Ideas

This post will focus on the how to configure a basic implementation of Salesforce Knowledge within Salesforce Communities. Of course, depending on the Knowledge-related processes in place at your organization, there can be many more steps involved in Knowledge setup than I’ll cover here, Make sure to fully establish your defined processes, following Salesforce best practices, before releasing Knowledge functionality to partners or customers. But that’s for another post, so let’s stay focused on basic configuration and setup.

Org prerequisites

  • Communities Licenses
  • Salesforce Knowledge Licenses

Salesforce Knowledge Setup

Salesforce Knowledge requires some initial configuration before any Community integration occurs. I will cover the most basic steps to get you going.

First, create one or more Article Types:

  • Go to Customize > Knowledge > Article Types
  • Click the New Article Type button
  • Fill out the required Article Type information
  • Click Save

Not seeing “Customize > Knowledge”? Make sure you’ve checked your own User record as a Knowledge User:

Screen-Shot-2014-02-14-at-10.48.16-AM-300x148

Now, enable Knowledge:

  • Go to Customize > Knowledge > Settings
  • Check Enable Knowledge

Knowledge Tab Setup

Since we’re setting up Knowledge, we might as well take utilize the new Knowledge tab that replaces the “Articles” tab as of the Summer ‘13 release. To do so, go to any Profiles that need to have access to the new Tab. Check the “Knowledge Tab” checkbox and click Save.

Knowledge-Communities-Gen-Permissions

Salesforce Community Setup

These steps assume that you’ve set up a Salesforce Community already. If you haven’t, contact us today for quick setup steps.

Integration with Salesforce Community

  • Go to Customize > Communities > Manage Communities
  • Edit the desired Community
  • Click on Tabs

Knowledge-Permissions-Community-Settings

 

  • Add the Knowledge Tab to the Selected Tabs for the Community and click Save

Knowledge-Communities-Tab

Optional Knowledge Settings

Two optional settings to consider:

  1. Enable Suggested Articles. Go to Customize > Cases > Support Settings and check the channels for which Articles are suggested
  2. Show Article Summaries. Go to Customize > Knowledge > Settings and check the channels for which Article summaries will be shown in list view

Your Community with Knowledge!

Commuity-with-Knowledge

Conclusion

First, let me reiterate that I’ve just walked through an ultimately basic setup of a Community that utilizes Salesforce Knowledge. The functionality can be significantly extended and the underlying processes will always require some attention up front.

However, you can see that Salesforce has done a great job with making the configuration and setup of this integration intuitive and straightforward. Having a Community with integrated Knowledge is a powerful thing. Good luck setting up your Community!

Questions? Email me at phil.weinmeister@www.cloudcraze.com or on Twitter (@PhilWeinmeister).

Salesforce MVP | Author of Practical ..read more