Can I show different content to different readers?

We're often asked if it's possible to have content for different readers in the same knowledge base. For example, maybe you have both internal support documentation as well as customer-facing product documentation in the same knowledge base. Or, you might have a knowledge base that contains categories for different departments or teams in your organization.

If you'd like to segregate content--or display different content to different readers--you can do this by using Reader Groups and the Restrict to Groups option in the content itself.

There are three basic steps in this process:

Let's say I have a category of documentation called KO Product Support, and that category is restricted to a reader group called KO support.

If I'm a member of KO support, I'll see this content in the table of contents, search, etc.

If I'm not a member of KO support:

  • I won't see the KO Product Support category in the table of contents or on the home page
  • If I type to search, the typeahead search won't show me any of the articles in KO Product Support
  • If I complete a full search, the search results won't show me any of the articles in KO Product Support
  • If someone gives me the direct link to an article in KO Product Support, I'll only see a message that I don't have access to that content

In short, the content isn't something I can find or discover on my own, and even with a direct link, I can't access it.

Can I set reader group restrictions for an entire category?

Yes! If you restrict a category to certain groups, all of that category's content (subcategories + articles) will automatically inherit the reader group restrictions you set. We call these Inherited Groups. Any reader groups that an article or subcategory is inheriting are shown in the Inherited Groups section:

Sample Inherited Groups section

You'll also an up arrow icon in the Restrict to Groups list to identify inherited groups:

The up arrow after the group name indicates this is an Inherited Group

If an article or category is restricted to more than one group is selected, what happens?

This depends on your knowledge base's Reader Group Logic settings.

Two Reader Group Logic options are supported:

  • Inclusive:
    • Example: An article is restricted to groups "Apples" and "Bananas".
      • Reader in Apples group only: sees the article
      • Reader in Bananas group only: sees the article
      • Reader in both Apples and Bananas group: won't see the article
      • Reader in the Pineapples group: won't see the article
  • Exclusive:
    • Example: An article is restricted to groups "Apples" and "Bananas".
      • Reader in Apples group only: won't see article
      • Reader in Bananas group only: won't see article
      • Reader in both Apples and Bananas group: sees the article
      • Reader in the Pineapples group: won't see the article

By default, all knowledge bases are set to Inclusive Reader Group Logic (the first example above). You can check or update this by going to Settings > Security and checking the Reader Options section: