By Michael Caton  |  Posted 2005-07-18 Print this article Print

With better tools for managing content workflow as well as new search and self-directed knowledge base tools, Talisma Corp.s KnowledgeBase.net 5.0 Enterprise Edition has gained a broader reach than its knowledge management name implies.

KnowledgeBase.net 5.0 Enterprise Edition, which began shipping in May, is priced starting at $60,000. In eWEEK Labs tests, we found that the additions to this release round out an already-well-designed system for managing support-oriented content.

Some improvements in the workflow engine make the product more broadly applicable as a document management system. Other improvements, such as the ability to search remote databases, come via add-on modules, which can cost extra. (The remote search module costs $25,000, for example.)

KnowledgeBase.net offers easy-to-use tools for creating, uploading and organizing content in the context of providing self-help for users. At its core is a document management system that allowed us to upload or create content in line and organize it in articles, FAQs, a glossary and a file manager. The system made it easy to manage content through knowledge bases, categories and article subscriptions.

The product has its shortcomings, however, particularly in browser support. KnowledgeBase.net requires Windows 2000 Server or Windows Server 2003 and IIS (Internet Information Services). Content managers must run Internet Explorer. Also, despite several improvements in Version 5.0s administrative capabilities, theres still room to make the system more efficient for administrators and content managers.

Version 5.0s new notification engine provides better visibility into processes. While KnowledgeBase.net still has a linear workflow model, the notification engine gave us a way, via e-mail, to keep documents moving. Wed like the ability to create more complex rules, including escalation rules.

The content-posting process has been improved in several areas. KnowledgeBase.net supports editing multiple versions of a document in parallel, which enables companies to revise content while keeping a live version. When we had an update ready, we could switch the content over in a single step.

Organizations that want to add revenue-generating content to support pages can do so via KnowledgeBase.nets included Ad Manager module. The module let us place, track and report on advertisements and promotions.

KnowledgeBase.net makes self-support information easily accessible and usable by support staff. We could create a branching system of answers to questions using KnowledgeBase.nets Solution Finder feature.

Next page: Evaluation Shortlist: Related Products.


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