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Recent trends suggest that more and more BMC Remedy ITSM Suite users are registering external knowledge sources for indexing in BMC Knowledge Management. The application’s built-in file system connector enables you to define external file system directories, and integrate documents, such as DOC and PDF files, into the knowledge base as searchable knowledge articles.

 

This month, we’re going to discuss the benefits of registering external knowledge sources, and show you how to use the Registration Wizard to complete this task.

 

What are the benefits?

 

External knowledge sources provide the following advantages:

 

  • External knowledge sources extend the scope of the knowledge base beyond normal knowledge articles and provide additional relevant search results
  • You can use existing information, without having to manually convert documents into knowledge articles.
  • You can leverage the formatting capabilities that were used to create the external documents.
  • You can relate document files to Incident requests so that usage metrics can be tracked.
  • You can use BMC Remedy ITSM categorization values to configure the relevance of external files to search keywords.
  • You easily update document source files, based on user feedback and update requests.
  • External files follow the same lifecycle as regular knowledge articles.

 

Bear the following limitations in mind, however, when you decide to include external files in your knowledge base directly, instead of converting them to knowledge articles:

 

  • You cannot adjust boost factor of search results for external files.
  • The information contained in large external documents might not be granular.
  • Large external documents might not provide any metrics about issues.

 

How do I register external files in the knowledge base?

Perform the following steps to register external files in the knowledge base:

 

  1. Log on to the Knowledge Management Console with the Knowledge Admin permission.
  2. Click Functions > Manage Knowledge Sources.
  3. On the Manage Knowledge Sources screen, click Add to launch the Registration Wizard.
  4. On the Welcome screen of the Registration Wizard, select Knowledge Base Item > File System Path.
  5. Click Next.

 

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  1. On the Source screen, provide the following mandatory field values:
  • Source Name – Specify a name for the external knowledge source.
  • Full Path – Specify the location of the external files the server.  The destination must have read and write access granted to all users.
  • File Extension – Specify the file extensions of the documents that you want to register, such as .doc and .pdf.
  • Include Subfolders – Indicate whether you want to include only the files in the specified directory, or whether you want to include all of the files in any sub-directories as well.
  • Owner Group – Specify the support group to which the intended Owner for the knowledge article belongs. This setting does not affect article visibility.
  • Owner – Specify the name of the person who owns the article; can be the author or another user.

 

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Click Next.

 

  1. (Optional) On the Organization screen, provide values for the Company field, and for the fields in the Organization, Location, and Article Visibility Groups sections with correct Company Name and Visibility Group.

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  1. (Optional) On the Categorization screen, provide values for the fields in the Operational Categorization, Product Categorization, and Business Service sections. These are not mandatory field, and you can add these values by editing the individual knowledge articles later.

    For information about the use of these fields, see Categorizing knowledge articles on the BMC Online Documentation Portal.

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Click Next.

  1. On the Accessibility screen, specify whether if you want the new knowledge to be company-specific, or accessible to all companies.

 

 

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Click Next.

Click Finish.

 

After completing registration, the new knowledge source is listed on Manage knowledge Sources screen, its Status is set to ready. Indexing might take a while, depending upon the number of files in the directory that you specified.

 

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BMC Knowledge Management currently supports the following file types for external knowledge source registration:

  • DOC
  • PDF
  • XLX
  • TXT

You can submit Ideas on this community to share your thoughts and preferences for extending support to additional file types.

How are external files displayed?

When you search for knowledge articles, if an external file satisfies the search criteria, it is displayed in the following manner:

 

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When you view an external file from the list of search results, its content is displayed in the Content tab of the knowledge article, and the functionality of the Details tab remains the same as regular knowledge articles.

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We hope that you find this information useful.  We encourage you to participate in the discussion, by sharing your own experiences and providing feedback in the comments section of this blog post.

 

For similar content about BMC Knowledge Management, see BMC Remedy Pulse Articles on BMC Communities.