Knowledge, information, and data are significant assets for any organization. The best and efficient method to build a knowledge base in your organization is to use open-source software. One needs to keep track of their organization’s knowledge and share it correctly to ensure better customer support, knowledge sharing, and collaboration platform using the best knowledge base open-source solutions.
You will come across many open-source knowledge base software companies that offer open-source software for their clients. Being a business owner, it becomes quite a mandate for you to satisfy your customer at any cost. It is because more customers mean more business to provide a bigger payday for your organization.
Some open-source knowledge bases integrate easily with artificial intelligence for more interactive and responsive software. But most open-source knowledge bases are nothing but indexable knowledge repositories. To understand it better, keep reading this article. In the blog, we have answered various questions that will help you clear your doubts, a list of features necessary in software, and also the list of best open-source knowledge management (KM) software for your consideration.
Table of Content
10 Best Knowledge Base: Open Source Software In The Market
Exo is an open-source knowledge management software for businesses that aim to increase the engagement of their workforce. It helps growing companies and large enterprises override traditional intranets to connect employees and provide them information from a single platform.
This fully functional platform for intra-team requires the employees to log in with the correct credentials and only allow them to collaborate. It also has document collaboration that you can easily set up with permissions for access and version control. You can also integrate other features in this knowledge management software such as a forum, chat for collaborating, your team’s wikis page, and other documents.
- Customers collect, store, and share the information.
- Sharing internal and external knowledge via forums or chat discussions.
- Sends automatic notifications as admins create or capture any new content.
- Easy to find information by using the dynamic search functionality
- Gain full control of content visibility by setting up permissions for the customers
- Easy to use and can install on any OS
- Mobile Collaboration possible
- Useful chat and file sharing functionality
- Possess considerable learning curve
- Feature customization is time-consuming
- User Management is quite complex
Documize is an open-source knowledge base software that makes use of a wiki in combination with proprietary tools. It is a powerful software for a knowledge management system that allows the customers to centralize and manage internal documents.
It also has the capability that enables you to permit external parties to view or access any documents that you store on Documize’s knowledge management software that is open-source. Moreover, another option lets you create knowledge base tools for products, services, or other processes.
For easy, real-time collaboration, Documize’s open-source knowledge management software allows the users to take charge to assign tasks or secure approvals within the documents. It also allows them to communicate about the same to the interested parties, so they get immediate updates. As a result, it eradicates the need to continuously update and review documents because they get updates and see real-time progress.
- Capture and centralize the information or data necessary.
- Organize the information with proper formatting and categorization.
- Support the library of reusable templates, themes, and snippets catalog.
- User-friendly UX design.
- Helps control workflows and seek approvals as per the hierarchy of the organization.
- Allows access to different versions of each document.
- Reports and analytics for the content that the users are consuming.
- Easy to add/edit documents
- Permission-based access to content to outsiders
- Clutter-free and straightforward content management
- Lacking support in loading messages
- High-Cost subscription
- Not appropriate documentation
Companies mainly use the phpMyFAQ for the FAQ content management system and are considered top open-source knowledge base software. It enables the customers to create and manage FAQs with the ability to collaborate and discuss the same. If one question persists before and some new user asks the same question again, this software can automatically answer it.
This open-source knowledge management tool lets you assign a user or group-based permissions to teams and individuals to view editor to create content. This open-source knowledge base software gives the admin complete control over the contributors, categories, records, comments, file uploads, navigation, and hierarchy.
Search functionality is also vital in this knowledge-base platform, allowing users to find questions and answers in various languages and categories. Besides that, you also get to see the analytics of the most popular search terms in the knowledge base solutions.
- Allows you to provide permission-based access to individuals and teams
- A powerful search engine takes place for impressive outcomes
- High-end security with LDAP and HTTP authentication
- Use multiple AD servers for configuration.
- Customers are allowed to ask or answer questions.
- Generates analysis reports of the content performance
- Supports various SEO plugins, so your FAQ gets ranked higher
- Export contents to PDF, JSON, XHTML, and others
- Fully customizable on front-end for impressive design
- Integrate with social networks like Facebook and Twitter
- Lacking high-level technical knowledge to implement CMS
- Does not work correctly with existing CMS integration
OpenKM launched its knowledge base software, especially for businesses that were seeking document and records management solutions. Organizations can build a controlled and seamless knowledge base repository of information to facilitate knowledge creation and sharing amongst the resources like employees, groups, or between you and your client.
This open-source software also lets you create, receive, maintain, share, or dispose of records of business activities and transactions. It is the best example for your business to comply with data regulations and provide accountability. With the help of this open-source knowledge base, you will maintain authentic and reliable records more decently.
- User-friendly and speedy user interface and design
- Multiple global languages available for translation
- Scans uploaded files and documents for viruses and other malware.
- Elaborate dashboard for obtaining in-depth information
- Includes Microsoft office support for various versions
- Collecting emails from IMAP, Pop3, etc.
- Can also import text directly from HTML format or attachments
- Allow bulk uploading, password-protected documents, emailing documents, and more.
- Allows the customers to define the workflow, create or assign the tasks to their teammates
- Easily configure mail notifications
- Supports Digital signature on documents
- Integrate multiple third-party applications
- Copy and Move command work differently as expected
- The interface is outdated
- Quite tricky to setup user access
Zoho Desk is the best open-source knowledge base software that provides impressive customer service and supports software packages. It is a part of the expansive Zoho family. The primary functionalities in Zoho Desk include ticket management, agent productivity, analytics, and customer self-service activities.
Zoho Desk offers internal and external knowledge bases and community forums for additional customer self-help, making it an integrated knowledge management solution. Almost all the packages available in Zoho Desk generally come with an unlimited number of article categories. Employees can continue grabbing knowledge by converting ticket solutions to the open-source knowledge base articles.
Zoho Desk includes agent, manager, knowledge base, and ticketing dashboards to track performance, making the definitive customer support solution. The free version also provides up-voting and down-voting for knowledge base articles, so you can gain insight into what content customers find most valuable.
- Impressive Help Desk support to your team
- Support help center
- Complete management of Contracts and Service Level Agreements
- Help Desk customization
- Creating Standard and Customized Reports
- Enhanced Scalability and flexibility
- Best for companies that want a robust customer service suite and flexible knowledge management tools
- No specific limit to the type or number of knowledgebase articles
- The free version also comes with full feature sets
- The Free version allows up to three agents and has limited customer options
- Doesn’t include article versioning of 301 redirections
ProProfs Knowledge Base
ProProfs Knowledge Base is an open-source knowledge base software designed explicitly for the teams that want to focus on Knowledge Management strictly; rather than concentrating on a more extensive business software suite.
With this software’s help, it becomes relatively easy for you to bundle your knowledge base with other primary solutions if required. In addition to it, this open-source knowledge base software is part of the broader ProProfs learning management, help desk, and training software system.
- Supports external integration
- Enhanced feature of Contact and Customer Management
- Google Apps integration
- Live Chat Support
- Impressive and effective API
- Attractive Workflow Management
- No problem containing the information for an external self-service portal
- Easy to import documents, images, and videos to a knowledge base
- It allows only one author to create open-source knowledge base content
- Collaboration isn’t an option with the base free package
- There are multiple functionality restrictions with the free version
Freshdesk, the best open-source knowledge base software solution, provides impressive customer support for various software offerings using a much broader Freshworks collection. The primary functionality of Freshdesk includes ticketing management, collaboration, agent productivity tools, and other helpdesk automation functionality as a full customer support solution.
This open-source software is designed explicitly for businesses focused on customer service using the advanced and external knowledge management system. It allows unlimited users to access a free plan and no specific limit to the number or type of knowledge bases, and this makes it the least restrictive free solution on this list.
This customer self-service knowledge base software allows the users to track article feedback, views, likes and dislikes so that you can measure and improve your knowledge base.
Customer support teams can also answer the questions on an internal knowledge base and build knowledge using Freshdesk’s email to build a knowledge base.
- Uses Effective Ticketing System
- Support for Consistent Branding
- Self Service Portal
- Multi-channel support
- Detailed and enhanced reports
- Advanced Notifications
- The Free option is reasonably robust
- There is no limit on storage, the number of agents, or knowledge bases
- The features are pretty limited in the free version
- Upgrades work as per agent, per month model
Bitrix24 is the perfect open-source knowledge base software. Many organizations ranging from enterprise companies to small and medium-sized businesses and startups are making the primary usage of Bitrix24 on a large scale from anywhere in the world. The most beautiful and useful thing is that it centralizes information for easy access to multiple users or staff working in the same or different organizations.
Bitrix24 is known for its on-premise, providing you with open-source software code access to modify your Bitrix24 experience entirely. By using Open source code, you can easily customize your knowledge base fully and even integrate apps with Mind Maps.
Bitrix24 provides an optimum solution in terms of the knowledge base, particularly for the whole company and every project/workgroup. Now, this company knowledge base is accessible to every employee, and this way they can easily store important information and documents within the organization. It ensures everyone is on the same page, and this makes it bring new employees up to speed quicker and more comfortable than ever.
Generally, to create a knowledge base using the Bitrix24 knowledge base software is not easy. Initially, you need to make an appropriate decision on selecting the knowledge base within the company or with a particular project. Moving ahead, you can easily add and edit as many blocks as your need, or you have an option to select the one from many predesigned template layouts. Then, you need to configure your access permissions based on who you want to access and edit the knowledge base. Finally, you can easily add information and documents, and your knowledge base is ready to go.
- Integration with MindMaps
- Best navigation search
- Support Bitrix24.Drive
- Wiki Knowledgebase
- Enhanced User Experience
- Accurate CRM
- Activity Stream intranet center
- Email Notification
- Super adjustable, multi pipelines, streamlined CRM
- Automation and visual work process creator
- Great people group bolster
- Pricing is a significant hindrance for tiny business
- No option to get CRM or project management together
- Mobile App functionality is quite limited
myBase is an open-source knowledge-base software system that efficiently captures and stores documents, images, emails, webpages, etc. irrespective of its length or format. The resulting outcome of the information captured usually is a zip compressed file and structures decently in the tree-structured outline form.
Unlike traditional database systems, myBase can capture text input like a word processor and provide enhanced benefits in capturing, editing, organizing, retrieving, searching, and sharing information.
- Provides User-Friendly interface
- Information organization in tree-structured outline form
- Content Categorization using hierarchical labels
- Support large files but less than 2 GB
- Having high-end security Functions
- Supports HTML/Rich text formatting and editing
- Can assign customizable icons for different file types
- Facilitates autosave, auto backup, and auto index
- Data Import/Export from/to various sources
- Significant issues in file uploading
- High Costing
LogicalDOC is a free and open-source knowledge management system licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) version 3. It is a community edition and usually contains the source code accessible and available for anyone intending to build a customized knowledge management system as per their business needs.
This open-source software’s primary goal is to overcome the drawback of all your document management needs, including capturing, modifying, and sharing.
- Allows users to search documents based on the search queries
- Highly secure as the documents & folders can be password protected
- Includes event log, so that you can view the details of the changes done in the documents
- Allows local file storage
- Generates a necessary statistical and standard report
- Compatible with HTTP/HTTPs, SOAP & RESTFUL, WebDAV, and CMIS protocols
- A Multilingual interface which can work on desktop, and as iOS and Android apps
- Import documents from Zip Archives
- Integrate easily with WordPress Explorer, Joomla Explorer, and Dropbox
- No robust product documentation
- Time-consuming for indexing a large number of documents
Advantages of using Open Source Software
You know that the original code is free to use by being open-source and modifies according to your liking. So, it becomes relatively easy for developers to access more functionality in their applications.
However, in this case, time or money does come into action to build the open-source knowledge base individually; or you need to hire an expert from your department to work for you.
An astonishing functionality that incorporates is adding more and more features to your open-source knowledge base solution. As it provides you with more benefits to use, it can make your platform “complex” to handle, most often referred to as feature creep. Such a situation can also lead the software harder to maintain.
Fully Integrates with Your Existing Software
Many businesses possess substantial benefits by currently adapting to use multiple applications and tools to have an integrated knowledge base for your business.
By performing the integration with your existing software, it becomes relatively easy for you to build your knowledge base software to grab a knowledge using added functionalities and features specifically from open source code.
It Can Be Self-Hosted
The most important question that arises in your mind is whether you would reply to your company’s process or be dependent on any other open-source knowledge base software to work for you?
Many business owners’ best recommendation is to know that their software for the knowledge base is self-hosted, making complete security on their platform.
FAQsSome examples of a simple open-source knowledge management system are Amazon, Canva, and Evernote. You can check out their pros and cons in our blog on Examples Of Knowledge Management systems.The word “open” indicates that it is completely free; all the functionalities work free of cost. However, in the case of knowledge base software that is open-source, it may or may not be free of charge. On the other hand, the source code is open-source software that inspects, modifies, and enhances anything. It is nothing but a technique of what developers or programmers have access to perform. It is the code that they can improve or manipulate to change how they intend their program or software to work.
There are some things that you need to keep in mind while looking for knowledge management software. Some of the questions are as follows:
- Is the software cloud-based or on-site?
- Is the UI easy to understand?
- What is the search functionality?
- Does it offer external and internal knowledge sharing?
Here are some of the steps you should take to ensure that your organization’s knowledge base works correctly:
- Keep updating it with new data and information
- Maintain relevancy by deleting data that is not useful anymore
- Give access to senior-level or trustworthy employees only
- Ensure that the information hierarchy is proper so that it is easy for the users to navigate
So, which is the best knowledge base, and open-source software suits your needs?
All in all, it is essential to have a data hub or an information center for your organization. It will not only help you become more efficient but also allow you to serve your customers better.
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