Enhanced capabilities and new UI experience of Article (KB Article) in CRM 2011


In Microsoft Dynamics CRM, an article or knowledge base article is a type of structured content that is managed internally as part of a knowledge base. Using Articles, users can manage product/service information of business unit, FAQs and other information. When you create an article you have to associate it with KB Article template and a subject. The template describes pre-defined formatting and the sections that can be used in your article.

Subjects are used to organize the articles by business categories. In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 the UI experience of article grid and form is enhanced by adding customization capabilities to article entity, makings its grid and form experience native to CRM and associating its search experience with quick find control and ribbon. These changes give user enhanced capabilities and smooth UI experience.

Customization capabilities of Article:

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 the Article entity is opened for customizations. User has following capabilities on customization with article:

  • Customize Article form
  • Views
  • Charts
  • Fields
  • 1: N relationship
  • N: 1 Relationship
  • N: N relationship
  • Messages

Article has Language:

A new field languagecode is added to article entity. Its value is automatically set based on language of article template. This field is by default added on article form and grid. With this user can define views and add filters on default view based on language.

Article Form:

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Article Grid and Form in CRM 2011:

The Article grid and form is ribbonized like most of other entities in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. All the controls which were in toolbar are moved to ribbon. To navigate to article grids there are two OOB navigations provided.

1. Workplace > My Work > Articles

2. Service > Articles

Both grids are identical. Please note that there is a difference in these grids from Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4. 0. On the CRM 4.0 Workplace > Article there was search experience on grid and it used to show published articles. From the Workplace it used to always open article in article viewer. By default, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 opens the CRM form. If user wants to open it in article viewer user have to explicitly open it by selecting published article from grid and clicking “View in HTML”.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4:

Workplace > Article

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Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011:

Workplace > Article

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New Search Experience: Ribbon and Quick find supported

In CRM 4 the search experience was associated with grid. There was a separate column on grid where user had capabilities to define search criteria.

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In CRM 2011 to make article grid experience more native these search options are now available on a new ribbon tab. This tab comes on focus when user clicks on quick find.

User needs to mention search text in quick find. Search functionality is similar to CRM 4.0 only the UI experience has been changed. We support following Search options:

  • Full text search
  • Keyword Search
  • Title Search
  • Subject Search
  • Article Number Search

Following search types are supported:

  • Exact Words
  • Use like Words

The Subject can be mentioned by clicking on subject button which opens subject lookup and then selecting subject from lookup. If user want to close search tab than click on Close search. The Search experience is similar to that of the Outlook CRM client. I would like you to walk through an example which will explain new search experience in more detail. For example, if user want to do a Title search on “Web Browser” with search type of ‘Use Like Words’ and filter on subject “Default Subject”. Then the steps for the user would be:

1. Click on ‘Quick Find’. (That will bring Search tab in focus.)

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2. Type search text in ‘quick find’. For the above example it is “Web Browser”

3. Select “Title search” from search options and “Use Like words” from search type

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4. Click on Subject.

5. Select the Subject from lookup results.

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6. Click on Find button next to quick find text box.

You can now see the search results in this resulting grid.

Cheers,

Niraj Yadav

Comments (22)

  1. Kamaldeep says:

    Wonder if we can add attachments to articles in CRM 2011. Also, it would have been good if we could also include images in the article content.

    Thanks for the update.

    Kamal

  2. Chris says:

    Yes, you can add attachments to article. NO images as a content.

    The best way to attach images to the article is attach file as a Note. In properties of the Form you may change Notes section roll up as default. Save changes and publish to others Form.

  3. Dustin Wright says:

    Can KB articles be versioned?

  4. Niraj Yadav says:

    No there is no OOB versioning supported for KB Articles.

  5. hardwicklaura@hotmail.com says:

    So perhaps I'm crazy, but I have actually saved an image in the article content. You can copy/paste from a web site and the image will save. I'm wondering if there are any odd implications to this or if it was an unknown.

  6. dew says:

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    http://adf.ly/1qDUb

  7. Nathan says:

    @Wicki,

    you didn't save the image, you merely saved a href to that image located on the internet…

  8. LDG says:

    What the intention/difference between a Note vs. Comment in an article? Why use one or the other or both? Are there best practices for using these fields?

  9. LDG says:

    What the intention/difference between a Note vs. Comment in an article? Why use one or the other or both? Are there best practices for using these fields?

  10. LDG says:

    In an article, is the Comments field used when you publish articles for use on an external customer service (eservice) portal?

  11. LDG says:

    In an article, is the Comments field used when you publish articles for use on an external customer service (eservice) portal?

  12. LDG says:

    In an article, is the Comments field used when you publish articles for use on an external customer service (eservice) portal?

  13. LDG says:

    In an article, is the Comments field used when you publish articles for use on an external customer service (eservice) portal?

  14. LDG says:

    Besides the fact that you can add attachments to the Notes, what is the intent and best practice for using Notes vs. Comments in the KB article? When/why would you use Notes vs. Comments?

  15. Jeff says:

    Hi- Great post. Is there a way to indicate who the owner of the article is? Also, the authoring process seems very basic. Is there a way to have a more robust approach to authoring? Like from Draft article goes to Tech Review and then to Editorial Review and then Publish?

  16. Hazem says:

    Don't know why but thr Article ribbon is not displayed at all on the Create mode, If I used ctrl+S to save the form and open it in Edit mode, it displays!,any suggestions?

  17. Mehul says:

    We want the quick search to search by a custom column. That column has been selected in the "Quick find" lookup columns but it does not seem to work.

    Any ideas on how to address this?

  18. Mary says:

    Hi, please tell me how can I attach pdf, word, … files to the article.

    Thanks in advance!

  19. kishy says:

    Can Articles be accessed from an external system? like a web portal

  20. ekta says:

    @Wicki,how did u save the image by merely copy pasting? its not getting copied for me. can u pls list the steps for crm 2013?

  21. ekta says:

    how to copy and paste the image? pls tell

  22. Laurent Debacker says:

    I was wondering if you can set the lookup to default to "Subject Browse" instead of "full text search"?