Using JIRA applications as Knowledge Base

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Note: This content was created specifically for JIRA 3.x. While most of this information remains accurate for the latest versions of JIRA applications, some aspects may be out of date.

Introduction

While JIRA applications have no specific functionality for functioning as a knowledge base, they don't offer some Knowledge Base type options.  You can selectively open up any issues to a broader audience for searching and browsing.  You might also want to create specific knowledge base type issues by cloning or copying or moving issues to a specific KB oriented to a JIRA application project.

JIRA applications features

JIRA applications are a great tool for sharing knowledge because it is a lightweight, web-based tool that is easy to maintain and encourages knowledge sharing. With JIRA applications you can:

Configuration Suggestions

If you are already using a JIRA application then you can either open up individual issues or projects to be searchable by a larger audience, or you can setup a specific project as the Knowledge Base. In this KB project, you most likely would copy, move or clone issues into this specific project. Below is the general guide for configuring JIRA applications as a Knowledge Base if you decide to setup a specific Knowledge Base project within JIRA applications.

Click on each arrow to learn more about each feature.

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Create a new project 'Knowledge Base' and a new issue type 'Knowledge Base Article'.

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The JIRA default screen will not be much use in this case so it is best if you customise them. Here is an example of a basic Knowledge Base Article screen with a few fields:

In the example above we are using the JIRA Labels plugin to make it easier to find related articles and we will see this later.

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Now that you have finished the basic configuration you can create your first Knowledge Base Article:


As you see above we have allowed other users to come and contribute to the articles which is great for sharing knowledge. But if you wish to more strictly control the articles you can remove the permission to only allow certain users to edit and comment on an issue.

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From the moment you have your first article in your Knowledge Base project you can have your users search upon them. The quickest way to do this is to use the Quick Search in the top right hand corner. Your users can further refine the search in the issue navigator.

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By using the Labels plugin your users can also search upon related articles with key words. This is accessed by the Browse Project tab.


You can also add the Labels Portlet to your dashboard, or create a specific Knowledge Base dashboard:

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* The sample file works with JIRA Enterprise 3.13.3 or above. You can download the latest version here.
* Please ensure you have backed up your existing JIRA Enterprise instance as this sample file will delete all your existing data.
* Before you download the sample file please ensure you know how to restore it.
* You will also need to install the Labels plugin.
* The Knowledge Base sample file was built off the Helpdesk sample file and you should read more about it first here.
* You can download the sample file here.

All user passwords are the same: password
The main username to login with is: rmk, as he has full JIRA admin rights and is also a member of the Helpdesk group.

You can also jump to another user quickly by clicking their name in the top bar from the home page:

 

Other Configuration Options

You also be already using a Knowledge Base tool and so here are some ways you can integrate your existing solution with JIRA:

Integration with Confluence as a Knowledge Base

JIRA is very good with structure data.  Sometimes knowledge bases are most effective when many can easily participate with dynamic content.  Confluence, our Enterprise Wiki solution, is often used as a knowledge repository, intranet, and knowledge base.  You might consider using Confluence as the dynamic content platform as a compliment to JIRA's structured data.  The Confluence As A Knowledge Base article might be useful. This approach is used by Atlassian.

Integration with a Third-Party Knowledge Base tool

JIRA's open architecture makes it possible to integrate JIRA into your other toolsets.  You can use the web services interfaces or user the the remote API to integrate JIRA. You may like to post to the JIRA forums for input from our user community on this option.

Further Resources

Last modified on Feb 26, 2016

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