PHPKB knowledge base software has the ability to allow admin users (authors) to create/manage custom fields for the knowledge base articles. Custom fields are user-defined variables that can be assigned to articles. Custom fields are a form of meta-data that allows you to store arbitrary information with each knowledge base article. This meta-data is handled with key/value pairs. The key is a "name" which identifies the specific field thus it is a constant and should stay the same for all articles in the knowledge base. The value is the information that will be displayed for the field when you view an article on the public area. This arbitrary extra information might be useful for the knowledge base users and it can include bits of information such as:
- Product Version: 2011
- Operating System: Windows 7, Windows XP, Ubuntu Linux
Benefits of Custom Fields in Knowledge Base Software
- Custom fields provide additional level of organization and filtration of articles in your knowledge base.
- You can create unlimited number of custom fields.
- Once a custom field is made, it can be used for all articles in the knowledge base, with same or different values.
- You can assign as many custom fields as you want for a knowledge base article.
- Custom fields can be marked as 'Required' so that it becomes mandatory for the article authors to specify their value.
- Only those custom fields would be displayed on the front-end that contain data. Blank value custom fields are not displayed on the front-end.
- They are stored in a separate database table.
- If selected (from settings), the knowledge base users can also search the content of custom fields on public area.
Types of Custom Fields
The types of custom fields available in PHPKB knowledge base software are:
- Text Field - Use this to gather small amount of information about your article. You can use this custom field type for small amount of data that is to be entered manually by an article author.
- Dropdown List - This type of custom field allows your article authors to select only one option from a predefined list of options. For example, You could use this to ask for 'Article Type' so that authors can select if it is a 'FAQ', 'Known Issue', 'Release Note', 'Enhancement' etc.
- Check Boxes - Check boxes allow your users to select multiple options from a predefined set of values. For example, You can use this type of custom field to ask for selection of 1 or more values. For example, you can use it to ask for product versions that the article applies to, where custom field name can be 'Applicable To' and field values can be 'Version 1.5', 'Version 2.0', 'Version 6.0' etc.
You are most welcome to see the screenshots of various operations on the custom fields such as:
- Creating a Custom Field
- Managing Custom Fields
- Editing a Custom Field