AutoKBProviding support to your customers can be a time consuming process, and it is something we here at JMB Software know all about. Adding a knowledge base to your site can save you and your support staff hours of time each week by providing your users with a central resource containing commonly requested information. AutoKB was created specifically to handle the task of creating and maintaining a knowledge base. With AutoKB you can let your users help themselves when they need assistance. Instead of immediately contacting your tech support department, they can quickly find answers to common questions in your knowledge base. This will also prevent your tech support staff from answering the same questions over and over.
Article ManagementEach piece of knowledge that you add to your AutoKB knowledge base is called an article. Your knowledge base can have unlimited articles in unlimited categories. Each article can have attachments, related articles, display images, and much more. Through the AutoKB control panel you will be able to manage all of the articles in the database. An advanced search feature will allow you to quickly locate the article you want to work with, and you can quickly add new articles at any time. Articles can contain HTML code that is either rendered by the browser or displayed as-is depending on how you enter it in the article.
You can also allow multiple administrators to have access to the software control panel but restrict their privileges so that each article they create must be approved before it can go live in the knowledge base. The software will keep track of who created each article and when it was last updated. Only administrators with special privileges will be allowed to approve newly created articles, so you can make sure that the articles that do go live in the knowledge base are appropriate for your site and contain the correct information.
Built In GlossaryAutoKB features a built in glossary that you can use to define some of the commonly used words in your articles. This is especially useful on technical sites that are using many acronyms, or on any site that is using commonly misunderstood words. The knowledge base has a separate interface for the glossary so that your users can quickly locate the word they need a definition for. The main benefit of having a separate glossary is the fact that you will not have to define a word each time it appears in one of your articles. If a word appears in many articles it would be tedious to define it separately in each one. With AutoKB you simply add it once to your glossary and your users will be able to look it up at any time.
User ExperienceA knowledge base can be a great resource for your site, however if the user experience is poor it will not be as helpful. AutoKB allows your users to quickly and easily find the information they are looking for. A powerful search feature allows them to search all articles in the knowledge base or limit their search to a specific category. The software uses a smart searching algorithm to return the most relevant results.
Besides searching the knowledge base, users can browse it by category. Each category can be viewed separately, and the software has built in support for pagination allowing the list of articles to span several pages. Users can rate each article and leave their own comments for others to view. All of the HTML generated by AutoKB is controlled through templates, so you can match the design of your knowledge base to your existing site design. This will help to maintain the continuity of your site, and will make it easier for your users to transition from other parts of your site to the knowledge base.
Ratings and CommentsEach article in your knowledge base can be rated by your users and they can also leave comments for other users to view. This can be an extremely useful feature, not only for the users of your knowledge base but also for you as the administrator. By viewing the comments you can find out information that may be missing from your article. Additionally the rating that an article gets will tell you how effective it has been. If an article has an extremely low rating you may determine that it needs to be re-written.
Your Users Help YouWhile the knowledge base itself is designed to help your users, they can also help you using some of the built in features of the software. First off, AutoKB has a built in feature that allows your users to suggest a new article that they feel should be added to the knowledge base. From the software control panel you can quickly view all of the suggestions and create new articles based on those suggestions.
AutoKB can also keep track of user searches that return no results. If your users are searching for items that they cannot find, it is useful to know what they are searching for. Many times by viewing this information you can create an article before it is suggested by one of your users. This is a completely transparent feature for the user, so it does not disrupt the user's experience.
Using both of these features you can create new articles for your database before your tech support staff gets flooded with the same question.
RequirementsThe server where your site is hosted will need to meet the following requirements in order to use AutoKB:
Unix or Linux Based Server
MySQL 3.23+ Database
.htaccess Password Protection
DownloadAutoKB is distributed in a gzipped tar file. Simply download this file to your computer and use an archive extracting tool to extract the files. You will find complete documentation in the docs directory of the archive. View the index.html file in that folder to see the table of contents.