This documentation supports the 21.3 version of BMC Helix ITSM: Smart IT.

To view an earlier version, select the version from the Product version menu.

Overview of knowledge articles

By creating knowledge articles, you help create a knowledge base of easy-to-find solutions and give users self-service search options to help them resolve issues on their own.

As a Knowledge Author, you must have minimum permissions to access Smart IT, as explained in Smart IT roles and permissions.

Important

If you have integrated BMC Helix Knowledge Management by ComAround, see  Accessing product documentation provided by help articles Open link

Related topics

Resolving tickets with the help of Knowledge articles using Smart IT

Scenario for creating a knowledge article in Smart IT

Setting up custom knowledge management templates with Smart IT

Modifying knowledge template styles using Smart IT

Creating a decision tree Open link

Click the following link to watch a short video on creating a knowledge article. The screens of the following video refer to the earlier versions of Smart IT, but the functionality is applicable for the latest version of Smart IT.

https://youtu.be/DVpEYrH2kfM

Knowledge article lifecycle in traditional knowledge management

The following diagram illustrates the process of creating and publishing knowledge articles:


Smart IT helps you manage knowledge through the following stages:

Draft a solution

A knowledge author identifies the need for new knowledge and creates an article. The knowledge author uses a template to start creating a knowledge article. Knowledge articles can include rich media, such as images and video, but this video cannot be viewed in BMC Helix ITSM. The following video (5:01) shows how to create a knowledge article in Smart IT.

https://youtu.be/DVpEYrH2kfM

When the author completes the draft, the article's content might be visible to some users with Knowledge user roles. However, the content has not been reviewed and approved for use. This content might change, or the entire article might be deleted.

Review and promote

A Subject Matter Expert (SME) reviews the article for content. If the article needs additional work, the SME flags the article and indicates what update is needed.

The article can be promoted through multiple stages of review: content, proofreading, and final review. At each stage, the article can be approved, rejected, or placed on hold by a reviewer or by a user with Knowledge Admin permission.

Publish to knowledge base

When the article is approved, it is published and becomes available to all users, even those without Knowledge user roles. For example, when agents use Smart Recorder to log a ticket, the system automatically displays relevant knowledge articles. Business users can see knowledge articles in BMC Digital Workplace and BMC Chatbot.

In some cases, the content might be confidential so the article might be marked as not available to users without a Knowledge user role.

Review and retire

After articles are published, knowledge users periodically review the articles to ensure that the articles are still accurate and relevant. Users can provide feedback on knowledge articles. A knowledge user might review the article in response to feedback. If your organization uses KCS,  KCS Coaches use Article Quality Index (AQI) assessment questions to assess their team's articles. An administrator can create AQI question sets to meet your organization's needs.

Enhanced editing experience

The Smart IT knowledge editor has the look and feel of commonly used documentation editors and allows you to format article content just as easily. You can maximize your view by clicking the maximize button to hide the side panes displayed and extent the editor to be displayed across the browser window. The editor automatically resizes itself if you resize your browser window avoiding display of multiple scroll bars. Sections on the article remain expanded, you cannot collapse them. You must note that due to security concerns the spell checker has been removed from the editor.

You can embed images (jpeg, gif, bmp jpg, png, bmp, tga, tif, tiff) and reference video links (embed tags) within articles. You can add up to 30 images in a knowledge article. However, you cannot copy an image and text together from a Word or PDF file.
To add video URL in articles, you can copy video URL from YouTube and Vimeo, and paste it in the Paste Video URL text box. 

Activity feed of a knowledge article

Click the Activity tab of a knowledge article to view all updates made to the article.

In the Add a note text box, you can enter comments, attach files, and address a person by using the "at" symbol (@) sign followed by the person's name. To use this capability, the user must have access to the knowledge article.

If you follow an article or if you are the assignee of an article, the activity feed for that article is displayed in the Updates feed.

You can view select activity types by setting filters. On the Activity tab, click the icon. All activity filters are displayed.

Pre-defined Knowledge Management templates

All existing Knowledge Management templates are available in Smart IT, with the exception of the Decision Tree template. The following out of the box templates are provided:

  • Known Error
  • Reference
  • Problem Solution
  • How to
  • KCS Template

Note

In Smart IT, users without KCS permissions are able to access and create knowledge articles using the KCS Template. However, through BMC Helix ITSM they will not be able to view those articles and the KCS Template.

Once you select the template, you can create the content of the knowledge article, add metadata for the article and save the content.

Access to related and similar information

As you create the article, Smart IT provides a list of similar knowledge articles, allowing you view, and merge content from these similar articles to your one you are creating. You can also choose to directly edit an article from the list displayed. Retired articles will not be listed under suggested knowledge articles while creating a knowledge article. You can search for Retired articles only through the global search or advanced search using the Search for knowledge resources option.

You have the option to change the template in use when creating the knowledge article, if required. This will change the layout of the content and allow you to make changes to the content. You can also merge the already created content to the new format selected. Once saved, you can update the article, and create a new version or just update the existing version if its a minor update. As a Knowledge Author, you can view all saved versions of the article. 

Creating a knowledge article on an iOS or Android OS phone is just as easy, with all options available on the device.

Articles created by using decision tree template

In Knowledge Management, you can create and edit decision tree knowledge articles. In Smart IT, you can only access and view decision tree articles. They follow the same lifecycle and behavior as knowledge articles created by using other templates. You must have at least knowledge viewer permission to access the articles, which you can identify by the icon. Decision tree articles have the following important capabilities:

  • Refer articles to resolve tickets
  • Relate articles to tickets
  • Flag and unflag articles
  • Change article status
  • Follow articles
  • Add articles to your favorite list
  • Review articles
  • (Only Universal Client (UC)) Edit metadata and add attachments
  • (Only UC) Share article link through email with external customers and internal team members

Decision tree articles have the following limitations:

  • You cannot create or edit articles.
  • You cannot share articles as PDF attachments when you send email from incident tickets. Even if a decision tree article is related (pinned) to incidents, it is not available for attachment.
  • You cannot print articles.
  • Decision tree articles can be created only in Knowledge Management, and you must have knowledge user permission to create articles. By default, KCS users are not permitted to create articles in  Knowledge Management. They can only view knowledge articles in Smart IT. Considering these limitations, if your organization follows KCS principles for knowledge management, and wants to use decision tree articles, it is recommended that you give Knowledge permissions to one of the service desk agents to create and maintain decision tree articles in Knowledge Management. 

Navigation in decision tree articles

You can use options given in the following table to navigate through decision tree articles.

How toUCMobile
Navigate through articleSelect the Back and Forward buttonsTap the Next and Previous options
Go back to the beginning of the articleSelect the Reset All buttonTap the Start Over option
View article nodes and selected branches that led you to the latest selected answerSelect or tap the Show All option

Notes

  • When you copy content from various sources and paste it in the article, fonts that are copied get applied to the article content. In such cases, you might see article content in multiple fonts, and the color of the text might differ from the original color.
  • BMC Helix Digital Workplace does not support decision tree knowledge articles.

For more information on creating articles by using a decision tree template, see  Creating a decision tree Open link .

Viewing the tickets that have pinned a knowledge article

When you view a Knowledge Article, in the Tickets Using this Article panel, the latest created tickets appear at the top of the list. In earlier versions of Smart IT, the latest created tickets appear at the bottom of the list.

Archived tickets are not visible in this section

Metadata information for articles

All required metadata information related to a knowledge article is now accessible on a single pane. The pane displayed when creating the knowledge article allows users to define necessary information and settings for the knowledge article. Article metadata allows you to define the visibility of the article, assign it, define the company to which the article is to be associated with and  other properties from the same pane.

MetadataDescription
VisibilityThis option provides quick options for accessing articles from a single option instead of multiple places. It controls visibility of Knowledge article based on visibility groups. For more information about the visibility of knowledge articles, see Knowledge Article number 000258057 (Support logon ID required).
Publish to External Audiences

This option controls the accessibility and visibility of knowledge articles to the external users of Smart IT such as BMC Service Request Management and BMC My IT users. By default, the option is set to No. When a knowledge article is still not ready to be shared with external users, the option must be set to No. When the article is reviewed and finalized, you can change the selection to Yes. Internal users of Smart IT such as service desk agents can always view articles irrespective of the option set to Yes or No.

You can share articles through email with both the internal and external users. Both types of users must have permission to the appropriate Visibility Groups to view the articles.

    • The Publish to External Audiences option must be set to Yes when you email an article as a PDF via incident ticket.
    • An article can be emailed as a link (via Knowledge Article) to both the internal or external users. External users would be able to access it only if the Publish to External Audiences option is set to Yes, and they have permission to the appropriate Visibility Groups.
Assign to me

When you create or edit a knowledge article, you can quickly assign it to yourself by using the Assign to me link. In the CTM:People form, users are associated with the support groups. The Assign to me link is based on the association between users and the support groups of which they are part.

    • If you are part of only one support group, when you click the Assign to me link, the article is assigned to you without opening the Update Assignment pane.
    • If you are part of multiple support groups, when you click the Assign to me link, the Update Assignment pane is displayed on the knowledge article profile. On the Update Assignment pane by default, the Assign to me check box is selected and your name is displayed in the Search box. The system searches for support groups to which you belong across all support companies, support organizations, and support groups. To refine the search, you can specify the support company, support organization, and support group to which you belong, and select the specific support group. The search result displays names of support groups to which you belong. You must select one of the search result and save the selection.

On the Update Assignment pane, when you click the Delete option to clear your name from the search box, the Assign to me check box is automatically cleared, and the search result displays the result as per the search criteria that you specified. If you have not specified the search criteria, you can search for a specific person.

Company

  • By default, All is set as a primary company. You can select a specific company from the list and then click on the selected company to set it as a primary company. For example, if you select Apex Global and  Calbro Services from the list, these companies appear with the global option All and you need to click Apex Global to set it as primary company.

Now, if you click Change, in the Update Assignment panel, the options of Support CompanySupport Organization and Support Group appear based on your selected primary company:

SiteYou can select a site from the list. After you select a site, if its corresponding company is primary, then that site is automatically marked as primary. If you have added multiple sites from the primary company, click on a site to make it primary.
Organization / Department

You can select an organization and department from the list. After you make a selection, if its corresponding company is primary, then that organization and department are automatically marked as primary. If you have added multiple organizations and departments from the primary company, click one to make it primary.

Note: To filter and view articles in the Knowledge console, the company and organization must be designated as primary on the knowledge article record.

Business ServiceYou can select a business service from the list. After you select a service, if its corresponding company is primary, then that service is automatically marked as primary. If you have added multiple business services from the primary company, click on a business service to make it primary.
Operational Category and Product Category

Start typing in these fields to view matching categories. After you select one or more categories, if its corresponding company is primary, then that category is automatically marked as primary. If you have added multiple categories from the primary company, click on a category to make it primary.

Add Attachment
  • When using Smart IT on mobile devices, you can attach files from the following locations:
    • Files stored on the local devices
    • Files stored on cloud storage such as, Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and Box.

On iOS devices, the Add Attachment option, and on Android devices, the From files and Dropbox options enables you to attach files that are on cloud storage when you create or edit change requests, and when you add a comment.

The administrator can configure the attachment criteria, and the supported file extensions in BMC Helix ITSM, in the Attachment Security tab of the Server Information form.
Keywords

Define the search terms that users could use to find the knowledge article. Keywords are Full Text Search (FTS) indexed. For more information, see  Performing searches with FTS Open link .

Also make sure that you are not adding anything from the AR exclusion list. For more information, see  Configuring the Ignore Words List for FTS indexing Open link .

Limitations

The following limitations apply for Smart IT:

  • Following Knowledge Base Items are not supported:
    • Source type File System Path
    • Source type AR Form with no support for life cycle management
  • Users can access only Attachment and Character fields, for custom templates created in Knowledge Management.
  • Status transitions listed for a Knowledge article do not take into consideration any categorization settings defined for the article.
  • Cognitive recommendations for Knowledge will work only for articles created with specific companies, not for all companies.
  • In Smart IT, you can add work note in the Knowledge Articles that are in In Progress status.
  • While editing the title, keywords, metadata, company, site, organization, business service, product category, and setting visibility to all, if you save the article, you may get the following error message, but the article still displays the edited values:

    entry does not exist in database

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