Re: Integration of external content in KBase – what’s your view? #question

Heather Fox

Hi Tatiana,

In Knowledge bases I've used and/or designed for enterprises, or in professional services groups or for design/development or business development groups, external content has been critical. I can share an example of one KB I designed that relied on external content being crawled and made available within a general knowledge base (KB) search.

For example, an enterprise-wide development organization's Knowledge Base required crawling and indexing of relevant third-party analysts information relevant to the markets/industries in which they compete. The organization had licenses for the third-party content and n-number of seats for that content (eg Forrester and Gartner). Thus, search results for information on competitors would bring back results that included the internal competitive intelligence team's assessments of competitors, along with relevant Forrester and Gartner analysis notes and reports.  In this case, a Google search might not bring back specific paid analyst reports for which the organization had access.

Concerning your note about copyright restrictions, contracts, licenses/seats--a good user profile and RBAC (role-based access control) system can mediate access to specific KB content based on a user's entitlements. An example of a great search engine that enables this is Northern Light ( Using a search engine like this, you are able to set up the collection process for external content sources so that crawling takes place regularly (hourly/daily/weekly/monthly, for example) so that new external content is always made available to a knowledge search. Administering Northern Light is straightforward--it will integrate with an organization's access and identity management system, so privileged content is only accessed by those who have the entitlements to do so.

Best, Heather
Heather J. Fox
personal email: heather@...
work email:
+1 302 287 0240

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