Monday, January 15, 2018

Searching in knowledge base articles in Dynamics 365

Knowledge base articles are a base component of the Service Management module in Dynamics 365. The knowledge base is a repository of informational articles that can be used to help customer service representatives resolve cases. Knowledge base articles can be emailed to a customer, which can be sent either through the Dynamics 365 interface or through the Microsoft Dynamics apps for Outlook.
With the introduction of the new knowledge articles entity data model (KnowledgeArticle) in Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update 1   and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 SP1 (for on premise) (Release documentation 8.1 – January 2017) , the existing entities for knowledge management: KbArticle, KbArticleComment and KbArticleTemplate were deprecated.

You should now use the newer KnowledgeArticle in your code  (See Important changes coming in future releases of Microsoft Dynamics 365), which also support versioning and translation support.
In version 8.1, these knowledge articles became visible in the interactive service hub which was revamped into the Customer Service Hub in version 9.0 (Dynamics 365 July 2017 update). The Customer Service  Hub also contains a number Knowledge Base dashboard - one with "your knowledge base articles" and one specifically for a knowledge manager (see screenshot below).

If you want to learn more about how to work with knowledge base articles, you should really take a look at Reduce call handling times with knowledge articles in the Customer Service Hub . Knowledge base articles are also directly shown in a tab on a case form (see screenshot below).

It is also possible to execute full-text searches against the new knowledge articles using the FullTextSearchKnowledgeArticleRequest which uses the following parameters:
  • QueryExpression: used to set additional query criteria and for which you also need to set the PagingInfo otherwise no results are returned
  • RemoveDuplicates: remove duplicate versions of the same Knowledge Article
  • SearchText: the text to search for in Knowledge Articles
  • StateCode: required parameter which accepts an integer for the different statuses of a knowledge article such as Published, Draft, Approved, etc…
  • UseInflection: searches for all different tenses of a verb or both the singular and plural forms of a noun. Underlying SQL full-text search is used (For more details see Searching for the inflectional form of a specific word
Code sample: searching within knowledge base articles using FullTextSearchKnowledgArticleRequest


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