Serving customers with a knowledge base

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 self-service problems by searching for articles from the customer portal or help center, or by viewing articles that agents share with them. 
  • When your team works on issues, they can view and search related articles that they can share with customers or use for reference. If they don't see a relevant article, they can create a new article from the issue.

To set up a knowledge base:

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

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

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 knowledge base

After Jira Service Desk is integrated with Confluence, you can link a Confluence knowledge base space to your service desk project. The quickest way to do this is by selecting Knowledge base in the sidebar:

You can choose from spaces that are in your primary Confluence application. If you don't have an existing space to link, you can create a new one and we'll link it for you.

After you link your space, select Knowledge base in the sidebar to search and view articles. You can also click Create  or Edit page  to go to your Confluence space and update your knowledge.

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

Can't find your space? There are a few reasons why you might not find a space you want to link:

Reason Solution
You don't have View permission for the space.
  • Navigate to your Confluence space, then click Space tools > Permissions. Verify that you or a group you belong to has the View permission:


  • If Confluence was integrated using OAuth with impersonation, then the Confluence user might not have View permission for the space.
  • If Confluence was integrated using 2-legged OAuth with execute-as, then the configured user might not have View permission for the space.
You integrated Confluence using 2-legged OAuth, did not enable execute-as You must enable anonymous access for the space.
The space is not in the primary application link The knowledge base link in the sidebar displays spaces from the primary application link. You need to manually choose a different application link:
  1. Go to Project settings > Knowledge base.
  2. In Link a Confluence space, select Don't link a Confluence space to unlink the existing Confluence site.
  3. Select Link to a Confluence space.
  4. In Application, select the Confluence site you want to link.
  5. in Space, select the space you want to link.
Your search term uses special characters Search for the space name without special characters. For example, if the space is called Charlie's Space, search for Charlies Space.


Knowledge base settings

Select Project settings > Knowledge base to create and link a Confluence space to your service desk project. You can also use the knowledge base settings to define who can create and view knowledge base articles. To deflect even more requests, you can associate knowledge base articles with different request types.

Viewing access

The  Viewing  setting determines whether users need a Confluence license to read articles from your knowledge base space. 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.

To see if a user has a Confluence license, go to  > 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: 

Authoring access

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. 

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.

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, the can choose between two handy templates: how-to and troubleshooting. The issue summary and description are 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.

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 Mar 16, 2018

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