Knowledge Base - setting up within O365/Sharepoint

New Contributor

Hi Everyone, yes I agree the O365 suite is a great tool for organisational knowledge management and collaboration. However, I have not found any official guidelines on a way to set up a knowledge base/Wiki type structure, that achieves what is offered by other software. I'm thinking that Sharepoint would be the ideal place, but am interested to hear from this community on what has been done, tried and any tips for new players. Thanking you in advanced!

32 Replies
as far as I know, a full featured wiki is not available out of the box with SharePoint. I wish it were though :)
Additionally the existing wiki functionality is not yet available in the modern ui. Stuff like [[pagetitle]] crosslinking and other stuff.
Ivan is correct, SharePoint has never provide a KB functionality in the box so you have to build it by yourself either using standard features available in SharePoint (Wiki pages) or third party products that allow to deploy a KB solution on top of SharePoint

Thanks for your comments Ivan, Juan. Any advice from you, or anyone else viewing this, on recommendations for a third party product, or someone who can help be our 'sounding board' to build our own, would be greatly appreciated. :)

If you find anything, please post back!!

Hi Yeow,

 

One of the third party products i have used in the past is Knowledge Base from Bamboo which is pretty impressive but i think the pricing is a bit on the high end side. 

 

Anyways, for OOTB Wiki you get three options and its up to you which one to choose from. 

 

- Site Pages Document Library: For me personally this is the easiest and best way to get started because  you already have a Wiki library on your SharePoint site. If you click on Site Contents and look at Site Pages – you will notice that its a Wiki Library mentioned in the TYPE Column. Now Click on Site Pages and the Home page will come up which is the Homepage of your SharePoint site. Whenever you add or create other pages on your SharePoint site, they all end up in this Site Pages Library. This actually means that can add Wiki or Knowledge Base pages/articles right inside the Site Pages Wiki Library, without creating an extra one. The only difference between Site Pages Library and Wiki Library is that you won’t get Updated Pages section with the Site Pages which is a unique feature of Wiki Library mentioned below as the 2nd option. 

 

- Wiki Library Web Part: For this option click on Site Contents > Add an App > Wiki Library. Once created, you will see two default pages which appear OOTB and you can create new ones. You will also notice how similar it is from the first option i mentioned above. Try creating some New Pages and add in some stuff like text, pics, vidz, etc and you will notice that the Updated Pages section in the upper left-hand corner shows you the recently updated pages.

 

- Enterprise Wiki: Now this one is a template which you choose when you create a new site and in a way, you will actually be creating a separate site (subsite) specifically for your Wiki. Please do remember that this Site Template is only available on site collections with publishing features enabled and my two cents would be to play with it before going ahead with the Publishing feature. 

 

All three options have pros and cons so it all boils down to what exactly do you plan to achieve. Again, i believe that its always a good idea to start small and then slowly build up as Users come with ideas and suggestions. Even if you don't intend to go ahead with OOTB features - at least you will get to know what your Users are expecting and they feel comfortable with. It would be a good approach to see the 3rd party products with your scope / requirements in mind.

I'm sorry I cannot help here...unfortunately (from a research I did for a customer a while ago), thare are not many KB solutions for SPO.

The last I checked the Bamboo Wiki editor is not available for SP Online.  

 

I am trying to use the Enterprise version as a proof of concept, hoping someone will comeup with a good after market tool and MS will significantly improve the OOB Wiki.  

 

An isssue I thought I had resolved was replacing the file name with the title in the page header.  It looked good until I viewed the page with Read Only permissions.  All I saw as a reader was the file name and not the title.  How does just changing permissions change the ability to show the file title verses the file name.  This really HURTs.  

 

Any suggestion or answers from anyone.

Merritte

Are the Wiki pages in Teams the same as the Wiki pages in Sharepoint? Same functionality?

 

Rob.

NO, they are different and in Microsoft Teams - Conversations, files, and wikis are specific to each channel, but all members of the team can see them.

 

 

Problem solved.  The person that had modified the template page for us had not published it.  Once the page was published, everything worked.

We successfully built and deployed a KB in "Classic Sharepoint" in Office 365 last year. I hesitate to explain how we did this here, as it isn't possible in the new UI. We are waiting for the new Communication Sites to drop so we can see if we can re-build a Kb 2.0 using that as a substructure. I am not looking forward to the day when MS flips the switch to convert all classic sites to modern sites. I just know it is going to break all our hard work.

I share you concern about the switch. It is going to have a big, negative impact on a lot of us.

Wiki's seem old school now. OneNote has filled the role for teams to quickly and easily create their own knowledge base. Also with the online web access (OWA) for Word, PPT, etc., creating a standard library with files is the way to go - easier for users to create and manage content versus the complicated management of a wiki library. AND I haven't seen anything about wiki pages in the modern UI. I have created many wiki resource libraries to train users on SharePoint over the past 15 years but not anymore. That would be my last choice in the modern UI. Hope that helps.

Julie, I like your idea about using the standard library.  I have tried using OneNote, and do love, and live in it.  However, the OneNote KBs seems to get out of control real fast. 

Back to you document library comment.  Do you have any information you can share related to how you have setup and structured the library.  Such as content type definition. 

Thanks for you comments.

No, they are unfortunately not the same in Teams and SharePoint. The Teams wiki pages are somewhat more limited. You have no option to add images for instance. What you can do is to add a SharePoint wiki page as a web page in Teams if you want one single place for a wiki.

I've used a combination of these since there are certain limitations of Site Pages library to create consistent pages via layout templates. 

 

Also, the biggest drawback of non-Enterprise Wikis are tagging capabilities and adding categories to pages effectively. SharePoint gives you a starting point but not necessarily an OOTB knowledge base solution. 

 

Fred

I created a knowledge base list in 2010 with a grouped by Category default view.  Key filters were also turned on for other column choices.  Search by list worked well.

 

Not fancy, but it will migrate over nicely to SPO.

Potentially lots of information architecture work to get organized to get the tags right but you'd have to do this for a really organized wiki anyway. And yes, it is possible that you would need to use multiple content types but not a given. You just need enough tags to give the users the views they need to find what they are looking for. AND as the UI evolves you can easily jump into some of the modern UI web parts on a page if you that is helpful to users. Standard libraries and views just have the most flexibility in my opinion. And you let the content owners work in the format they are most comfortable in (e.g., Word).