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Essentials to Know about Salesforce Lightning Knowledge

Salesforce Knowledge is the resource that will enable you to build a comprehensive Knowledge Base system inside Salesforce. This will act as a reliable and anytime Salesforce service to the internal users, agents, customers, and other stakeholders. For those who are new to it, a Knowledge Base is a customized collection of resources and articles that can give you the most authentic information about its products and services. At Salesforce Knowledge, this is a well-defined self-service model that the customers can use to solve their queries, clarify their doubts. With this maintained properly, you can lessen the number of service agents and still increase customer satisfaction.

As a user, you may already know that Salesforce Lightning may be “stuck” at many places, so as Salesforce Knowledge. Lightning Knowledge comes as a major reworking of the default Classic Knowledge and not just the UI changes. In this lengthy article, we are trying to explore the fundamentals of Lightning Knowledge, which will enable you to use it effectively and some actionable insight while migrating from Classic to Lightening and get things rolling.

Some key points to know about Lightening Knowledge

Before we start with the Lightning Knowledge’s key features, let us get a basic understanding of the same.

1. Classic Knowledge to Lightning Knowledge

If you are using Classic Knowledge now and planning to migrate to the use of Lightning, then the below tips will help you to better plan it out and well organize the setup of Lightning Knowledge. There are a few primary considerations you need to consider while migrating to Lightning Knowledge.

2. Product licensing

The Lightening Knowledge licensing requirements are based on the Salesforce edition you are using and which cloud you use. For the Essentials edition and Unlimited edition, the Lightning Knowledge may become a default part of the Service Cloud with no additional payment. For the Enterprise, Professional, Developer, and Performance editions, the Lightning Knowledge may have different licensing costs. If you are a new user, get in touch with your Salesforce Account Executive to get the exact pricing details.

3. Considerations for access 

The data model of Lightning Knowledge is different from that of the Classic Knowledge. So, access is separate. In the case of Lightning Knowledge, all these articles are located on the Salesforce object named Knowledge, which is Knowledge_kav by default, which you can rename if needed. There are different types of articles kept as various Record Types. For example, there can be FAQ records, troubleshooting records, News records, etc. based on multiple types of content you want to organize. As everything in Lightening Knowledge works the same as the primary Salesforce object, you can also gain access in the same way. The users can create, edit, read, or delete the articles based on given permissions. The tricky thing about it is special user permissions on Lightning Knowledge for Archiving, Publishing, and Translating the article drafts. For those who want to get a detailed breakdown of the same, then there is a detailed table available by summarizing all the purposes and permissions at Salesforce Help. 

4. Version and Knowledge Lifecycle

You may give your team access to provide feedback through chatter comments, provide ratings, or edit the drafts directly. This is crucial to ensure that your knowledge base is well polished for the users. The Knowledge Lifecycle is also kept cyclical, and you may again stress the need for continuous improvements of the content in it. To better manage this Knowledge Lifecycle, the Lightning Knowledge offers a version control system. This was not there in the previous Classic model, which can be used by the content creates to tag each article with the version number. The same is applied when changes are made to the published article.

This will also let you work on the fresh content without impacting the already published version, which the users see for now. It is also possible to compare the article versions on Lightning Knowledge by FLOSUM using the component of Article Version Comparison (available in the Spring ‘20 release as Beta). Once the articles are published, then you may have various channels to share them. The content can go to different audiences as internal users, external users, customers, partners, the public, etc. 

  • Internal: This channel aims at the internal users. The content shared through this channel is the guides, company policies, onboard orientation, process documentation, etc.
  • Partner: This channel is aimed to share the content with the partners and licensed users who are out there in the community. This is ideal for the content like sales process instructions, selling tips and tricks, product updates, etc. 
  • Customers: Alongside the public, customer channel is also critical for the customer self-service scenarios. The customer channel will help share the content with the users on your customer community. It is also ideal for customer FAQ, articles, troubleshooting, and the step-by-step guide.
  • Public: This is the channel where you expose and share the knowledge content with the public and guest users. This content can also be shared on the public community page or the website and accessed by unauthenticated users. 

You can also find Apps on Salesforce AppExchange, giving exposure to the public knowledge articles on the non-Salesforce pages. Similar to that of the customer channel, these AppExchange channels, too, are ideal for empowering the customers with the case deflections.

5. Approval process

As with other general Salesforce objects, you can also custom create the option for approval. This is a crucial functionality that will help control what type of content is published on Knowledge and its management. This is critical in the case of the public knowledge base and where you need to screen the content of customer-facing articles closely. The approval for knowledge articles works the same as other Salesforce Lightning applications, but adding to it, you can also find some special approvals unique to Lightning Knowledge. Say, for example, you can publish articles that are New publishes in the article as the latest version. 

Photo by Max Duzij on Unsplash

Features of Lightning Knowledge

Here are some of the critical features of Lightning Knowledge.

1. Ratings

One prominent feature of Salesforce Knowledge is that it can let the users rate the content in it. Back in the Classic Knowledge, this was a 5-point scale rating. In the case of Lightning Knowledge, it is much simplified as a thumbs-up or thumbs down. While you are migrating from Classic to Lightning, all the 3, 4, 5 stars may get converted as thumbs-up where are the 1 and 2 may get converted to thumbs down. It is possible to add these voting buttons to any pages as needed so you can custom control voting on specific articles as required. For the Lightning Pages, the component of Article Thumb Vote will offer voting options to the users.

2. Data Categories

Another critical feature of Knowledge is the option for Data Categories and creating Data Category Groups. Both of these are considered crucial functions in terms of article access and organization. These data categories will let you organize your article content appropriately in a hierarchical manner. These can also be used to group the data categories too. For example, suppose you have various categories and subcategories as the global market and regional market categories. In that case, you can find regions and subregions by putting hierarchical data in the Data Category Group with product lines in the specific offering categories. These Categories can be wisely assigned to the articles for better organization and access to the content.

Another crucial feature in Categories is access to articles. You can control the visibility of Data Category through different permissions and user profiles by restricting the knowledge content access only relevant to each group. Data Category access is different from the sharing of records and normal objects as used by the Salesforce admins. While giving access to the data category, the users may access all the data categories in that brand but without access to the sibling branches. But apart from one, most of the time, a user may need to access all the data categories. It is vital to thoroughly ensure that you read the Salesforce documentation thoroughly to understand the hierarchy of access before implementing it.

3. Adding topics

Creating appropriate topics for the articles will help you easily classify the same based on the given content and provide easier search within the knowledge base. You may consider it as the same as creating some keywords for content access. A single article may have information related to many different topics. Topics are not the same as data categories as they do not usually drive article access in any other way than being hierarchical. These are used primarily to organize the information among the community.

Adding to all these, Lightning Knowledge can also have the Apex triggers and can be also be accessed through the Apex code. There are many apex classes related to knowledge management in Lightening Knowledge as Apex for publishing, searching, archiving, etc.

AuthorDavid Wicks has over ten years’ experience as a customer relationship management software expert, and has written articles shared on many platforms throughout the Internet. Visit to learn more about data migration using Salesforce and other relevant information.