Solutions to Knowledge Articles

If you are planning for transfer from Solutions to Articles, then it is very important to understand the difference between Solutions and Knowledge Articles.

  1. Using the Knowledge base requires the Knowledge-feature license which comes at an additional cost. Solutions are a natively available feature with your Salesforce.com license.
  2. Knowledge allows for article segmentation and categorization with data categories. Also you can define access to articles based on category. For example, you could show different set of knowledge to your support agents than you show to your customers, and different set of knowledge to different customer. This feature is not available in Solutions.
  3. Knowledge search and integration with cases is more advanced and robust compared to Solutions which leads to quicker case resolution.
  4. Knowledge Articles support rich text format like a Word document, while Solutions don’t. That means no styling, just paragraph breaks between plain texts.
  5. Knowledge comes with enhanced analytics and reporting to give you insight into your knowledge base, article statistics, and ratings as compared to solutions.
  6. Unlike Solutions, Knowledge leverages the Chatter feed and a publishing approval process for enhanced team collaboration.
  7. Version control is possible in Knowledge base and one can revert changes if require. Again this feature is not available in Solution.
  8. Publishing articles for customer on site is possible with knowledge base.

After reading above points, if you are planning to move from Solutions to Articles then this article is going to be very helpful for you.

The first information I want to share with you is that there is no built-in capabilities for migrating Solutions to Knowledge. Only solution is to export Solutions and import it as Article using import wizard/Data Loader.

This article will help you understand:

  1. How to export Solutions (with Attachment) using Data Management feature
  2. How to create categories and article types
  3. How to import all solutions to knowledge base
  4. How to attach file to Articles
  5. How to replace Solutions on existing cases with Articles

Export Solutions using Data Management feature

  1. Login to your Salesforce Org.
  2. Go to Setup
  3. Go to Administration Setup and click on Data Management
  4. Click on Data Export, click ‘Export Now’ button
  5. Check the checkbox called ‘Include Image, Documents, and Attachments’
  6. Go to Export data section and uncheck ‘Include all data’
  7. Check the checkbox ‘Solution’
  8. Click on ‘Start Export’
  9. You will receive an email with csv file attachment file folder

How to create categories and article types?

If you want to classify articles by creating categories which can be useful for users to easily find the articles they need. Categories can also help in controlling the access to articles.

To create Category:

  1. Go to setup
  2. Enter ‘Data Category’ in the Quick Find box
  3. Click on Data Category setup
  4. Before creating Data Category, you need to create Category Group
  5. To create Category Group, click on ‘New’ in Category Group section
  6. Enter Group Name and Description. Click on Save.
  7. Now click on Group Name under which you want to add category.
  8. Enter your Category Name by replacing All.
  9. Click Actions, then select an action: Add Child Category or Add Sibling Category.
  10. Enter Category Name
  11. Click Add. Create your hierarchy of categories before clicking on save.

Now you can set visibility setting for data categories you created under data groups.

How to create Article Type?

Without creating Article Type, you can not enable Knowledge. For creating Article it is must for user to select Article Type. Article Type provides the format and structure to control how an article displays for each audience, known as a channel.

For creating Article Type, follow the steps given below:

  1. Go to Setup
  2. Go to Customize – Knowledge – Knowledge Article Type.
  3. Click on ‘New Article Type’
  4. Enter Label, this label will be used to refer article type in any user interference page.
  5. Enter Object Name.
  6. Select Deployed in Deployment Status.
  7. Click Save.
  8. You can now create field and edit layout as you needed.

At this stage you have Article Category and Article Type in Salesforce. Now you can import your Solutions to Knowledge Base.

How to import Articles?

To import Solutions as Articles, you should save all your Solutions in .html files if the content has html tags applied to it. Differentiate all files based on article type and save in different folders.

Follow the steps given below to import Articles

Step 1: Create the .csv file

Create separate .csv file for each article type you want to import. Column of the csv should represent Article fields and each rows as Article each article. For sample .csv file for article import, click here. (Provide relating path to html file if you are importing data in rich text field)

Step 2: Create property file to specify parameters

Create a property file to specify import parameters csv separator, rich-text encoding, or character encoding. Click here to find sample Property file.

Step 3: Create Zip file

Create a zip file that includes .csv file, property file and html files.

Step 4: Import Articles using Import Article feature

  1. Go to Setup
  2. Go to Data Management under Administration Setup
    import_articles
  3. Click on ‘Import Article’
  4. Select Article Type
  5. Select Zip file that includes .csv file, property file and html files
  6. Click on Import Now button.
  7. Check Knowledge tab to confirm all articles are imported correctly.
  8. Follow same process to import Articles for different Article Types

How to attach file to Articles?

Articles doesn’t have attachment option but we can create field with field type ‘File’ on Article object so that we can import attachment in that field and associate Articles with attachments.

But Salesforce’ standard Article Import function doesn’t support attachment import. So, if you want to import attachment and associated it with Articles then you need to first import articles without attachment by using Salesforce’ standard article import functionality and then import attachments by using Apex Data Loader.

How to replace Case Solutions on existing cases with Articles?

Follow the steps given below to replace case solutions with Case Articles:

Step 1: Import Solution Id on Articles

If you want to replace Case Solutions with Case Articles on existing case records then you must import relevant solution id while importing Articles. (You can keep Solution Id field hidden as it will be used only for associating Articles to case)

Step 2: Export Case Solutions from Salesforce

  1. Export Case Solutions using apex data loader tool
  2. Check the check-box ‘Show All Salesforce Objects’ while exporting Case Solutions using data loader to see object ‘Case Solutions(CaseSolutions)’
  3. Export Case Id and Solution Id in .csv file and name it as ‘Case Articles’

Step 3: Import Case Articles

  1. Use ‘Case Articles’ .csv file to import Case Articles
  2. Rename column ‘Solution Id’ to ‘Article Id’
  3. Replace Solution Id’s with Article Id’s by using vlookup function of excel ( You can get Article Id’s and their relevant Solution Id’s in Article import file or export Articles with Id and Solution Id field to get Article Id’s and their relevant Solution Id’s
  4. Import Case Article file using data loader in ‘Case Article’ object