SharePoint 2010 – Creating a knowledge base part 2

In the first part of this series, click here, I talked about a knowledge centre created for one of our customers. In this article I will show you how easy it is to create a knowledge centre with out-of-the-box SharePoint functionalities.

Step 1 – Create the site
The first step is to create a new site based on the Enterprise Wiki template:

I really like the Wiki. It is easy for the users to create new pages, by using the Site Actions menu, or by adding [[ ]] to a word or sentence. Let’s say you created a new page about hiring new employees. This page needs to connect to another page about the bonus system for recruiting new employees. Only you are not the author for this page and want another user create the page. Just perform the following action:

[[Recruitment bonus system]]

The text will get marked:

Another user can click on this link and a new page, called Recruitment bonus system, can be created. The Wiki also comes with the rating feature and a standard metadata field called Categories.

Step 2 – Set up the taxonomy
The site is created and now we want users to be able to use the Categories metadata field with predefined choices. For this, we need to set up the taxonomy by using the Term Store. Go to the top site settings and click on Term store management. We have to create a new group for our predefined choices. To be original I will call this group Contoso. You can use the name of your company or client. A group can contain multiple term sets. A term set is a container where you can define your taxonomy structure by creating terms. You can create as many term sets as you want but remember you can reuse them throughout the portal (with the managed metadata column) so try to keep it simple.

To create a term set click, you only have to click next to the name of the group and choose for new Term Set. You can start creating terms to configure your taxonomy structure. In my example it looks like the following screenshot:

If you accidently placed a term in a wrong level, just click on Move term and select the correct destination.

Step 3 – Attach the term set
The taxonomy is ready to be used! Go to the Wiki site and select the Pages library. Go to the Library Settings (in the ribbon under Library). Under the section Columns you have to select the Wiki Categories column. First we have to change the name to Department so user’s don´t get too confused by the different names. We can now attach the term set, created in the previous step, to this out-of-the-box column. Go to the Term Set Settings and select the term set, in our case Department, and confirm by pressing Ok.

Step 4 – Enable metadata navigation
Another great feature of SharePoint 2010 is metadata navigation. This has to be activated first. Go to Manage Site Features and activate Metadata Navigation and Filtering. Now, go back to the Pages Library Settings. Under General Settings a new option appeared called Metadata navigation settings. Click on it:

If we want the users to be able to filter the pages per department we have to select Department under Available Hierarchy Fields. Don´t forget to remove Folders. We can add additional filters by selecting these under Available Key Filter Fields. We will pick Created By. We can confirm these settings by pressing Ok.

Step 5 – Change the welcome page
You probably noticed that we made all these configurations in the Pages library, when we click at Knowledge Centre in the top navigation we don’t see the metadata navigation but still the home page of the Wiki. To change this we have to configure a new welcome page for the knowledge centre. Go to Site Actions, View All Site Content and click on the Pages Library. Now, copy the URL. The last step is to click at Welcome Page under Look and Feel:

Paste the URL so it replaces the current Welcome Page. We are almost there!

Step 6 – Change the view
The last step is an easy one. We are going to change the view of the Pages library so we can see the most interesting metadata. Click at Library in the ribbon and Modify View. I advise to only keep Name, Modified and Contact. There are still two default pages displayed. Delete these pages and you are ready to go! In the final article I would like to show you some cool adjustments to the knowledge centre by using some more OOTB features and SharePoint Designer.

17 thoughts on “SharePoint 2010 – Creating a knowledge base part 2”

  1. Hi,

    very nice post Jasper .

    I have 1 concern 😕
    If i am creating a page, it is adding to Department.

    But how should i attached my created page to other category like Depot,Research etc

    Could you just clarify 🙂

  2. Dear Jasper

    Great help this topic !
    I spoke to you yesterday about doing this in SharePoint 2013. I have managed to complete all the steps!
    I have another question, i added a entreprise search center as a subsite to the entreprise wiki but this search center does not search the content of my wiki pages which is quite annoying. This KB is built to navigate and search, the navigation part works allready thanks to you, would you have any clue on how to add these wiki content to the search?

    Kind regards

  3. No problem Kevin, glad to be able to help.

    I wouldn’t advise to create a search sub site but instead create a dedicated search site collection. Otherwise you have multiple search sites that makes maintenance and configuration very difficult. Imagine you have to make a change to 5 different search sites. Very time consuming.

  4. Thanks for the comment Jasper !!
    This has been a great help again.
    A last question if you don’t mind.
    Is it possible for end users to add the metadata themselves in the tree? Cause now the only way to add an item in the tree is to add it in the term store management.


  5. np Kevin, glad to be able to help 🙂 That’s the great thing of the Internet 🙂

    Yes it it. By default a term set is CLOSED. You can change this to OPEN. Be aware! People can start adding the same tag but one with a lower case and another with an upper case:


    People do get a suggestion when they type so it should be ok, but just keep an eye out.

  6. Dear Jonas

    My knowledge base is now operating quite properly thanks to you. But I still have a question if you don’t mind.
    – I would like to add a page ID inside my wiki-page so people can pass on the ID to find the document very fast when they enter it in the search field. This ID doesn’t have to be the same ID as the one in the library but i wouldn’t mind i just don’t know how to add it into the wiki page.



  7. Who is Jonas? 😉

    Do you know how to create columns in lists or libraries?

    You can create a new column in the pages library called Wiki Page ID. To add an ID you need to edit the properties of the page and assign an ID value.

    Let’s say you want to see this Page ID field while in page edit modus than you need to edit the page lay-out and add the page ID so its shown.

  8. I’m sorry Jasper, SharePoint has got my mind going crazy (haha ).

    I have found a litte different solution. I edited the EnterpriseWiki.aspx template page to add the hidden ID the pages allready contain. I used this code :

    (<)SharePoint:EncodedLiteral runat="server" text="Article ID:" EncodeMethod="HtmlEncode"/()>

    (<)SharePoint:NumberField id="XXXXX" ControlMode="Display" FieldName="1d22ea11-1e32-424e-89ab-9fedbadb6ce1" runat="server"/(>)

    Now my knowledge base is ready to be tested by the users.
    Thanks again for the great help !

    Kind regards


  9. Thanks for the tutorial Jasper.

    Let’s say in this single-site set up you wanted to add an external facing side. This public side will offer a limited view of the kb to a non-admin. How would you set this up?

    I was thinking that an obvious way would be to use permissions. However the Limited Access permission is hard to customize. You would need to create a specific list of articles that is would be available for viewing to Limited Access users.

    Another way to limit the scope of the external kb – again, assuming you don’t want non-admins to see everything that’s contained in the internal kb – would be to limit what non-admins can search for:

    But this seems like an awkward solution.

    Would I need to create multiple sites – one internal and one external, or am I missing something obvious? Thanks!

  10. Difficult question 🙂

    In SharePoint Online its very easy to share content with external users. You can send an invite to external users. You can set permissions to certain pages you want to share.

    You can redirect external users to a page where you show only the pages they are entitle to see. This can be done with the CQWP or a Search Results WP.

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