Everything about everything — Knowledge base in your Bitrix24
26 September 2022next article
The knowledge base is a kind of company directory in which you can place and structure all the necessary information for employees. Regulations, rules, history, work schedules, documents or report forms - everything you need to know and understand about business processes can be made simple and understandable, and most importantly accessible at any time and anywhere on the Portal. The knowledge base is indispensable in remote work and training new employees, and it can also store all the wisdom of the achievements of predecessors, even if they have already left your company. It's like your own Wikipedia, only internal and attractive.
The path of development of the Knowledge Base in Bitrix24
Initially, the Knowledge Base was available only to certain groups and actually used WIKI markup for editing. It was even called "Knowledge Base Wiki". And if there was a need to create reference materials for all employees, first it was necessary to create an open visible group in the Portal, where anyone could join. The idea with the marking functionality is very good, because the world encyclopedia allows you to describe absolutely any event, object or phenomenon. However, this approach has one very unpleasant drawback: the content does not have an aesthetic appearance.
You should not think that this is far-fetched - in the modern virtual world, when everything is overflowing with perfection of forms and colors, any article in the real Wikipedia seems dry and already very formalized. But the task of the Knowledge Base in Bitrix24 is to help users, not to make them strain. A less critical, but still shortcoming, was the knowledge base editor's need to know the basics of Wiki markup. And, as we know, everything in Bitrix24 strives for simplicity and accessibility, so filling out the database also had to become as clear as possible to absolutely every user.
The crown of the evolution of virtual directories
The Bitrix24 team presented the updated Knowledge Base, which meets modern requirements, in October 2019 at the presentation of the "Boston" release. Its concept consisted of five points:
Simple creation and updating of content;
Distribution of access rights among users;
Availability on all devices;
To achieve this list, the approach to creating a Knowledge Base: Wiki-markup was completely abandoned and the entire process was put on the rails of Bitrix24. Indeed, creating sites in the designer turned out to be within the power of every user, the "wheel" was filled with convenient tools for processing content and marking up text. Also, now the Knowledge Base has become available to all employees without being tied to a group, although it remains possible to create separate directories for groups and projects. And it became possible to call up the necessary Database in the form of a context menu in various places of the Portal, where without reference materials users may have difficulties.
How to manage the Knowledge Base?
Knowledge bases are available in all Bitrix24 tariff plans, including the free one, and their number is not limited for individual projects. However, depending on the cloud tariffs, there is a limit on the number of general Knowledge Bases: 1 for free, 3 for special tariffs, 5 for the "Team" business tariff and countless for "Company". To start working with the general Knowledge Base of the company, you need to find the item of the same name in the left menu. Individual bases can be found in the menu bar of each project and each group. If you had experience working with Bitrix24.Sites, then everything will be extremely simple.
In the Knowledge Bases management menu, ready-made templates of virtual directories, an empty template, for your own development in designer mode, access rights management and usage documentation are available for you (by the way, the same as for Bitrix24.Sites). By default, access rights to edit content belong to all employees. However, the Portal administrator can manage accesses and grant them both individually to each employee and to certain departments. For this, it is necessary to create appropriate roles and distribute them among the necessary people / departments. There are no functional access rights in groups or projects, so every member can edit the content of profile databases.
By default, a ready-made Database sample is available for each Portal. All you have to do is change the standard content to your own and further expand the guide by creating new sections or pages. You can purchase additional ready-made templates, and if you are a Bitrix24 Partner, you can also create your own for sale.
When choosing an empty template, a slider window will also open, where the system will ask you to choose the color theme of the future Base. After that, you can combine ready-made blocks, creating a Knowledge Base exactly according to your preferences. We also remember that in all commercial tariffs there is a block for your own HTML code. Thus, if you really want something unique or just want to create an incomparable Knowledge Base, you can do it yourself.
Content decides everything
Bitrix24 provides an excellent tool for storing and transmitting information about your company, but the content is entirely your responsibility. Thus, in order for the Database to be not only beautiful, but also useful, it is necessary to fill it correctly and use the available functionality as intended. Here are some practical tips to help your Knowledge Base live up to expectations.
Create a clear structure.
The knowledge base should, first of all, be distinguished from the usual Bitrix24 site by the strict structure of the material. For this, the content must be built in a clear logical sequence. And the sidebar will help to structure all this - a special block in which you can build a hierarchy of materials.
If you are creating a Knowledge Base for the entire company, think about the content and sequence of topics in advance. Place the sidebar in the Base and structure the menu items in it. It can be multi-level, which makes content distribution even easier. At any time, you can not only swap menu items, but also determine the number of attachments. In this way, you should not be afraid to make a mistake - you will always be able to quickly edit any block or line. The main thing is that everything is as convenient as possible for future readers.
Don't forget to search
The block with the search string is the main difference between the Knowledge Base and ordinary Bitrix24.Saytov. Search indexes all the materials in your directory and allows people to quickly find the information they need. This is very convenient when there are several pages in your database: readers do not need to scroll through everything or surf inside the directory: they should enter a search query and go to the desired material found.
From here we get the next piece of advice — don't make the Knowledge Base one huge "canvas". It is inconvenient and ugly, even with modern functionality. Create different pages for each of the sections and readers will appreciate the compactness of your Knowledge Base.
Optimize your content
The knowledge base allows you to combine text and visual elements to create an aesthetically appealing appearance. In the text editor, there are many ways for you to work with styles: fonts, colors, selection, and more. Graphic material is easily downloaded from a computer and a built-in image editor is provided for its processing.
However, you should not abuse the available opportunities! Do not forget: everything uploaded to the Knowledge Base remains on the virtual disk of your Bitrix24, which means it accumulates in the system. Non-optimized images take up more space, "load" the work of the Database, but, at the same time, the quality is not noticeable to the user's eye. Therefore, as they say: "No fanaticism", otherwise at one fine moment Bitrix24 will notify about the filling of the virtual disk.
Knowledge for everyone
As you can see, the modern Knowledge Base in Bitrix24 is a very convenient and useful functionality that should be used in every company. It is indispensable for new employees, very useful for remote workers, valuable for managers and, for that matter, prestigious in the eyes of other people. Bitrix24 gives you everything you need to create the best Knowledge Base for the entire company or important highly specialized databases, as well as the ability to call this information in the right place in the Portal in just one click. Of course, you need to approach the creation of an electronic directory responsibly, but the result is worth it. After all, all knowledge will be available while the Portal of your Bitrix24 is working.
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