Serving customers with a knowledge base

Don't have Confluence yet? Set up a free trial and give it a spin.

Deflect common requests and solve issues faster by linking a Confluence knowledge base to your service desk project. A knowledge base stores helpful articles, such as how-tos and FAQs, that your team and customers can reference. Here are some ways a knowledge base can help your team:

  • Customers can help themselves by searching for articles in the Help Center
  • Agents can solve requests faster by sharing articles with customers or referencing articles while they work
  • If a request contains useful information, agents can quickly create a new article from it

Learn more about how a knowledge base helps your team work smarter.

To set up a knowledge base:

  1. Integrate Jira Service Desk with Confluence
  2. Link a Confluence space
  3. Verify the knowledge base settings

On this page:

Integrate with Confluence

To get the most out of your knowledge base, integrate Jira Service Desk with the following Confluence versions:

You can also integrate Jira Service Desk with Confluence Server 5.6 to 5.9.x, but some of the knowledge base features won't be available. Read more about integrating with older versions of Confluence Server.

Link a Confluence space

Link to an existing space

Go to the sidebar and choose Knowledge base > Link existing space

Link to a new space

If you don't have a space, or want to start fresh, choose Create new space and we'll link it for you.

To create a new space, you need the global Confluence administrator and Create space permissions in Confluence. To manage these permissions, navigate to your Confluence site > > General configuration > Users and security > Global permissions.

Unlink or change spaces

To unlink or change spaces:

  1. Go to Project settings > Knowledge base.
  2. Under Link a Confluence space, choose Don't link.
  3. To link a different space choose Link again.
  4. Select your Confluence site from the dropdown.
  5. Choose a new space from the Space dropdown, or choose Create to make a new one.
  6. Click Link.

Can't find your space? Try these troubleshooting links:

  • Ask your admin to make sure you have View permission in the space. If you're a Confluence admin, navigate to your Confluence space, then click Space tools > Permissions. Verify that you or a group you belong to has the View permission: 
  • If you integrated Confluence using 2-legged OAuth and did not enable execute-as, y ou must enable anonymous access for the space.

  • Make sure your search terms don't use special characters. For example, if the space is called Charlie's Space, search for Charlies Space.

Knowledge base settings

Knowledge bases use a combination of global, space, and page permissions to determine who can view and author articles. You might change the permissions if you don't want customers to find articles in the Help Center, or if you want to hide some articles from customers.


The  Viewing setting determines who can view articles via the Help Center or a link your team shares.  This is an important setting, because knowledge base pricing is based on the number of team members  who have a Confluence license.

Users who have a Confluence license can create, comment on, and search all of the spaces on your Confluence site. Users who don't have a Confluence licence can't create content, but you can give them permission to view your knowledge base content for free. 

Setting Description Best for
All active users and customers

Users who don't have a Confluence license can read knowledge base articles via the customer portal, Help Center, or a link for free.

This option is best if you want your team to write articles and share them with customers.

This works best if your Jira Service Desk and Confluence sites share a user base.

If your Service Desk site and Confluence site have separate user bases, you'll need to create a Confluence user account for each Service Desk customer. If you don't want the customer to use a Confluence license, don't assign the Confluence user to a group.

Only licensed users Users who don't have a Confluence license can't read knowledge base articles unless you allow anonymous access in the knowledge base space.

This option is best if you only use your knowledge base for internal articles.

Anonymous access is not compatible with SSO using 2-legged OAuth.

When a space is accessible to all active users, you'll see the following message in the space permission screen.

This permission overrides all existing space permissions, so any logged in Confluence user will also be able to see the space (regardless of their group membership).

You can edit this permission at any time to revoke access to a space, but it can only be re-enabled from Jira Service Desk.

To see if someone has a Confluence license, go to Settings () > User management, then select the user from the list. If the Confluence box in Application access is checked, then the user has a Confluence license: 


To write and edit articles, users must have a Confluence license, and have permission to author articles in the Confluence knowledge base space. 

To check if a user has permission to author articles, click the space permissions link to go to your Confluence knowledge base space's Permissions page. Verify that the user (or a group they are a member of) has the Add Page permission.

Create and share knowledge

After you set up your knowledge base space, the issue view displays a panel called Related knowledge base articles:

When your team works on issues, the knowledge base suggests related articles that they can reference or share with customers. You can use an article's permissions to restrict the article to certain users. A red padlock appears next to articles that the reporter can't view.

Create a new knowledge article

If agents don't see a relevant article, they can create a new article from the issue:

When agents create an article, they can choose between two handy templates: how-to and troubleshooting. The issue summary and description become the new article's title and body text. 

Agents must have the Add page permission in the Confluence space to create a knowledge base article from an issue. Learn more about space permissions.

Associate articles with request types

When customers search the portal or help center, they see related articles that might help them troubleshoot their problem. To make it even easier for customers to find what they need, you can also suggest articles when they fill out a request:

In the above example, the request type wifi access is restricted to the label wifi. The knowledge base only suggests articles that are labeled with wifi in Confluence.

To suggest articles for certain request types, use the Auto-search on request types setting:

Search KB When set to Yes, the knowledge base suggests articles to customers while they fill out request forms.
Restrict to articles with labels The knowledge base only suggests articles that have these labels in Confluence.

Try a knowledge base for free

Not sure if you're ready for a knowledge base? If you're still in your free Jira Service Desk trial, you can add on a Confluence knowledge base trial for 7 days. Existing Jira Service Desk customers can try it free for 30 days - woo!

To get started, select Knowledge base > Try it free in the sidebar:

To finish setting up your knowledge base, follow the steps in Link a knowledge base. Enjoy your trial!

Last modified on Jun 21, 2018

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