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Building a knowledgebase within Hornbill - Best-Practice


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Hi all,

I'm just looking for some guidance regarding creating a knowledgebase within Hornbill.

Currently we store all of our knowledge within a wiki that was developed in-house, it's got to a stage now though where there's so much information in there that it's becoming difficult to locate the knowledge you require. I'm therefore exploring the possibility of storing everything in Hornbill so that it's in a centralised location and can be easily linked to requests when required.

Here's an example scenario :
A user logs a request to install some software on their machine. This request gets picked up by an analyst who's never performed the install before but would like to search knowledge articles to see if a guide is available.


In order to attempt to facilitate this type of scenario, I've created a library within Document Manager, simply titled 'Knowledgebase' and have grouped documents together in collections such as; software install guides, user guides, business application processes, etc. The problem I see with this approach however is that despite the documents containing tags, it's actually quite difficult to search for and find the knowledge you require. For example, if I need to find a document named 'Kypera XLR Client Install Guide' and use the 'Document Tags' search by entering 'Kypera Install', no results are shown. I understand new functionality has been added to allow documents to automatically linked via BPM, however what about cases where this hasn't been setup? Linking documents manually within the request is also obviously possible, but they may not know the exact document they require without first searching what is available.

Am I missing something in my approach, or is Hornbill not capable of meeting these expectations? I fear that without a clear and easy way of locating knowledge articles within Hornbill, we may have to resort to continue using the wiki




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Could you not add the documents to collections? 

So all your installation documents get added to the 'Installs' collection. Use a naming convention that is the same for all documents (and enforced) and tag the document with the software name only. So...

  • Install - Client - Kypera.doc
  • Install - Server - Exchange.doc
  • Install - Client - <SOFTWARE>.doc
  • Office - Outlook - Out of Office.doc
  • Office - Excel - VLOOKUPs.doc

for examples. You just need to make sure you have the fields for your naming convention set out to cover most things before you start. Otherwise you may end up with Microsoft - Client - Office 2016 - Outlook - Shared Mailboxes - Adding a shared mailbox.doc

Previous places I have worked also wanted version and dates added to file names so it can get complicated but if the fields are sorted out from the get go and don't change it can work really well. 

Or we might get Hornbill to add boolean operators to the filter field (if we ask very nicely :)) as a search of 'Kypera AND install' would have returned the correct result.  



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Hi @dwalby

While this is being looked into, I was thinking about your wiki and I would imagine that it would take some time until all is moved to Document Manager.  I have a custom button on requests that searches the Hornbill wiki.  To do this just do a normal search on your wiki, take the URL from the results page and make a custom button with it, and add the summary or description variables where you see your search text.  I thought that having this on your requests may help until Document Manager is ready for you.  You can do the same with Hornbill Workspaces     Workspaces become a great place for less formal knowledge.  It is amazing what useful information can get captured through a discussion on a workspace.




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  • 6 months later...

@James Ainsworth - We're now in a position where we are ready to review our knowledge management system/process and make a move away from our wiki which has unfortunately become unstructured and difficult to find the information you're looking for. Hornbill is therefore the primary solution as this is the destination application for many of our users. Has there been any further developments or features added to Hornbill for knowledge management usages?

A few other questions...

  • Is it still recommended practice to upload knowledge documents and organise into collections?
  • Is there a way to automatically open a file and preview it in document manager, rather than having to download it each time?
  • How would you define the usage scenarios between FAQs and documents in Document Manager?

Thanks in advance

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  • 3 weeks later...

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