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
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.
- 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:
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.
Salesforce Community Setup
These steps assume that you’ve set up a Salesforce Community already. If you haven’t, go to 7 Steps to Set Up a Basic Salesforce Community for quick setup steps.
Integration with Salesforce Community
- Go to Customize > Communities > Manage Communities
- Edit the desired Community
- Click on Tabs
- Add the Knowledge Tab to the Selected Tabs for the Community and click Save
Optional Knowledge Settings
Two optional settings to consider:
- Enable Suggested Articles. Go to Customize > Cases > Support Settings and check the channels for which Articles are suggested
- 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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter (@PhilWeinmeister).