Categorizing Knowledge Articles

Out of the box in Service Manager, we provide a number of different properties to help categorize knowledge articles such as category, language, keywords, tag, and description.  Let’s look at each of these properties in more detail.

Property Description
Category The category property is used to define the general content of the article.  It answers the question ‘What is this article about?’.  Out of the box we provide categories such as Software, Hardware, Printing, etc.
Language Every knowledge article can only be written in one language.  The language property helps identify which language the knowledge article was written in.
Keywords Keywords is just a list of words that summarizes the key points of what the knowledge article is about.  The keywords are included in full text searches to make knowledge articles easier to find by common words.
Tag The tag field is used to indicate that something needs to be done with a knowledge article.  Out of the box, we provide values like Incomplete, To Rewrite, and Duplicate.  A knowledge manager can search for all knowledge articles tagged with a certain tag and then deal with them as needed.
Description Description is a standard text field in which the knowledge author can provide a summary of the knowledge article.  This field is also included in the full text search index.
Type This field is included to help categorize the knowledge article.  Out of the box we provide values such as How To, FAQ, Issue.  Note: This field is not displayed on the knowledge article form out of the box.


For some reason, the Type field is included out of the box in the data model, but is not displayed on the form.  You can edit the values that are in the Type list in the Lists view in the console.  Obviously, somebody thought it would be a useful field to have in the data model, but somewhere along the way during development it was missed and not included on the form. 

Given that the property already exists in the data model, adding the field to the form is pretty trivial.  To add it to the form, I opened the SCSM Authoring Tool, created a new management pack, opened the Form Browser panel and found the KnowledgeMainForm form.  I right clicked on the form and chose View.  Then I clicked the Customize button at the top of the form.  I then dragged a panel control onto the form and then dragged a label and a list picker control into the panel.  I bound the list picker control to the Type property and set the label text to ‘Type:’.  Then, I played around with the margin and size properties to get it positioned just the way I wanted.  Hint: you can set a negative value for the Margin properties!  After I saved and imported the management pack, I now have a fully functioning Type value picker control on my customized knowledge form.


You can either do the same or if you don’t have any other customizations on your knowledge form already, you can simply import the management pack that you can find here on the TechNet Gallery:


Update January 3rd, 2013: One of our MVPs, Marcel Zehner., also has a creative solution he built that uses the service catalog to organize knowledge articles.  Check it out!