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Knowledge Base recommendations

by Len (Friar)
on Oct 10, 2002 at 09:04 UTC ( #204117=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Len has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Our support team asked me to setup a Knowledge Base for internal use.

The Knowledge Base should have the following features:

  • Lightweight
  • Web based
  • Searchable
  • Ability to add attachments (screenshots, patches, etc) to the entries
  • Preferably running on a database backend
  • low cost
  • Preferably written in perl (that's my point :) )
  • I've searched on freshmeat, sourceforge and google and found several solutions.

    Still I didn't found something that suits our needs.

    What I found so far was either:

  • too complicated (Complete helpdesk solution)
  • in a too early development status
  • simply not looking serious. (Good developers aren't always good designers :) )
  • Maybe I didn't look well or maybe can what I want be accomplished with a simple forum ?

    I can start writing something myself, but I'm sure there must be something already available Open Source.

    Any comments / tips are highly appreciated !

    Replies are listed 'Best First'.
    Re: Knowledge Base recommendations
    by JaWi (Hermit) on Oct 10, 2002 at 09:16 UTC
      Who's supposed to update the KB? If a few people only have to do this, you could use a Wiki engine. Most of them meet the set requirements. (CPAN: wiki shows some interesting results ;-)
      I've been searching for a similiar tool also, but most KB applications are just too generic or too specific...

      Well, my EUR 0.02...

      Good Luck,

      -- JaWi

      "A chicken is an egg's way of producing more eggs."

        More specifically, I would recommend TWiki.

        TWiki uses RCS (Revision Control System) to record an audit trail of any changes to the site's content. This makes it particuarly suited to business applications as it can form part of your Quality Management system. Access control groups can also be used to prevent anonymous editing, which increases confidence in the data (everything is tagged by a 'real' username).


          And I thought I saw them all! Sheesh, this is certainly one of the largest plugin based Wiki's I've ever seen! They've even got a "emoticon" plugin... :-)

          -- JaWi

          "A chicken is an egg's way of producing more eggs."

        I've had pretty good results with Usemod. This comes almost shrink wrapped - download, unzip, edit the script to tailor the data directory path, copy to cgi-bin directory, and you are away.

          I've also had good experiences with Usemod - I had a site up and running in 5 minutes.

          If you want something more advanced, Callisto CMS looks interesting. I've heard positive stories about its real-world use but have no first hand experience of it.

          I haven't found many useful resources for comparing different CMS/knowledge management products, but CMS Info might help anyone interested in this.

        I'll second (third? forth?) the recommendation to go with a Wiki. There's a large list of available engines at Alternatively, you can buy a copy of The Wiki Way, which includes a Wiki engine on CD, along with several chapters of discussion on how to customize it. (Disclaimer: I contributed a bit of code to the book.)

    Re: Knowledge Base recommendations
    by perlcgi (Hermit) on Oct 10, 2002 at 09:22 UTC
      If you have the luxury of lots of free time, and your needs are not being met by existing solutions, then the decision is easy. But my guess is that a good fit for your problem already exists.
      Can you tell us what solutions have you rejected?
    Re: Knowledge Base recommendations
    by chromatic (Archbishop) on Oct 10, 2002 at 17:30 UTC

      I first looked at Everything for that purpose. (It powers this site, and might be extreme overkill. If you can get by with a Wiki, go for it!)

    Re: Knowledge Base recommendations
    by princepawn (Parson) on Oct 11, 2002 at 14:10 UTC
      How about Bricolage? It's a Mason-based Content Management System.

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