Set up a knowledge base with Confluence Data Center

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This guide shows you how to link Jira Service Management to a Confluence Data Center knowledge base. If you're looking to link to Confluence Cloud, refer to Set up a knowledge base with Confluence Cloud.

1. Install Confluence

Who can do this?

Jira admins

You'll need Confluence 5.10 and above and Jira Service Management 3.1 (formerly known as Jira Service Desk) and above to access knowledge base (KB) features. Get the latest versions of each for all the bells and whistles. 


  1. Install the latest version of Confluence
  2. Have the same user base in both Jira and Confluence by one of the following methods:
  3. Check that you're an administrator in both Jira and Confluence. 

Good to know

  • Read Use Jira applications and Confluence together to check version compatibility between products. 
  • Use the connector directory instead of delegated authentication for LDAP or AD. Otherwise, the customers will have to log in to Confluence at least once to have the account created before they can search and view a KB from the Portal. Using connector will allow all users to be created and synced in the application.
  • If you're unable to have the same user base in Jira and Confluence (using the methods described above) and need to manually create customer accounts in Confluence, don't assign them to a group. By doing so, these accounts won't count towards your Confluence license.

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Having the same user base in both Jira and Confluence means:

  • you won't have to manually create and maintain customer accounts in Confluence
  • each Jira Service Management customer has a user account in both Jira and Confluence but not consuming any licenses

2. Get the right number of Confluence licenses

Who can do this?

Jira admins

Your service project agents will need a Confluence license to create and edit knowledge base articles. However, service project customers won't need a Confluence license to view articles.

Good to know

Who can do this?

Jira admins

Linking two applications allows you to share information and access one application's functions and resources from within the other.


  1. Go to Jira Administration then Applications.
  2. From the sidebar, select Application links.
  3. Enter the URL of your Confluence site and select Create new link.
  4. Check The servers have the same set of users, to configure using OAuth (with impersonation) authentication.

    If you configure OAuth (without impersonation), knowledge base articles can't be accessed from Jira Service Management unless you allow anonymous access in Confluence.

  5. If you're not an admin on both servers you won't be able to set up a 2-way (reciprocal) application link. If you want to go ahead and create a 1-way link anyway, clear the I am an administrator on both instances checkbox.
  6. Use the wizard to finish configuring the link.

Good to know

4. Learn about knowledge base settings and permissions

The permissions set in Confluence by the Confluence admin, and the permissions set by the project admin in Jira Service Management, determine whether (or not) your agents can create articles and if your customers can view them. 

Read Knowledge base settings and permissions to decide what you need.

5. Link your project to a Confluence space

Who can do this?

Project admins

When you link a Confluence space to your service desk project, agents can search for solutions and create new articles for common requests. Customers can then use the articles to self-service problems. 

There are two ways to link your service desk to a Confluence Space:

Link to an existing space 

  1. Go to Knowledge base then select Link space.
  2. In the Link space dialog that displays, search and select the space you want to link to.
    You can only link spaces that you have permission to view,
  3. From the Who can view list, set permissions to define who can view knowledge base articles.

You can also unlink or change spaces in the Linked spaces section from Project settings then Knowledge base. Unlinking spaces only removes them from your service project. These spaces will still be available in Confluence.

Link to a new space

  1. Check you have Confluence admin and Create space permissions.
  2. Go to Knowledge base
  3. Select Create space
  4. Congratulations, you have created a new Confluence space and linked it to your service project.

Good to know

6. Write, search, and share knowledge base articles

Who can do this?


Once you've linked to a Confluence space, agents are ready to start writing and sharing knowledge with customers and teammates.

Read Write, search, and share knowledge base articles to learn how to do this. 

Known issues

Having trouble connecting a Confluence knowledge base and Jira Service Management? Check out the common integration-related issues and how to troubleshoot them.

Last modified on Feb 22, 2024

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