Auto publish and expire knowledge articles

We’re really excited about the new Knowledge Management capabilities  we shipped as part of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016. One of the common scenarios for Knowledge Managers is to schedule knowledge articles to be published and removed from public access at a specific time. Let’s say you're the Knowledge Manager for our infamous Contoso wearables company. Your company decides to launch the new Fitness band on December 25, 9:00 AM EST. What it means to you as a Knowledge Manager is that you must manually publish all the self-service articles on a holiday when the product is launched globally.

Scheduling articles to be published

Guess what, we’ve got you covered. You need not be available in the office during holidays for this. You can use our Auto Publish feature to schedule your articles for publishing at any specific date and time. The knowledge articles will automatically be published using the system job “Update Knowledge Articles State job” created for the purpose of publishing and expiring articles. 

What this means is you can author, review, approve, and get the knowledge articles staged for publishing way ahead of time at your convenience. A knowledge article can have related translations in different languages to support a wider customer base. When you publish the knowledge article, also called the primary knowledge article, you have the flexibility to publish the related translations. You can also choose a few other details like the status your scheduled article will be in and the publish status to enter when the actual publish happens.

Enough talking, let’s show you how the publish dialog is going to look for our above scenario of scheduling knowledge articles for December 25, 9:00 AM.

Expiring articles to make them unavailable

Let’s say there’s a promotional offer on the Contoso wristband that is available only for the first five days after the product is launched. You have a few knowledge articles catering to this promotional offer to help your Customer Service Representatives. When the promotional cycle ends, you need not manually search for the related contents to remove them or modify their access. During publish time, if you are aware of the promotional content, you can choose the future date and time when the article should expire. For a Knowledge Manager, this simplifies things. You can expire the knowledge article into Archived or Expired status, or choose to keep it in the Published state. You will be able to choose the respective status combination as well.

The following screenshot shows the example where we want to publish the knowledge article on December 25 but expire it on December 31, 12:00 AM when the promotional offer ends.

How to trigger periodic review on your self-service articles

Let’s say your company requires a few critical technical articles to be updated periodically to maintain the quality of your self-service content. This is easy to implement using the Publish command. When you publish an article, you can choose a future date when the article should expire. In our scenario, we will configure the article to remain in the Publish state but change its status to “Needs review”. You can create a custom view or workflow to configure the articles that are in the “Needs review” status to act on them.

Scheduled articles

In the interactive service hub, you can use our Scheduled Articles view to identify all the articles that are scheduled to be published. If you are interested in finding whether a specific knowledge article is scheduled for publish, you can search for it or drill down using the different filtering options available on the grid. From this view, you can also revert the knowledge articles to draft or publish them immediately using the bulk actions available to you.

With every organization trying to embrace the power of self-service technologies, we hope these new Knowledge Management capabilities help you create and maintain your knowledge base much more efficiently. 

Regards, 

Shivasubramaniam Kavindpadi

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