Restrict KB Access (and News) to Specific Brands and Roles

Visibility of KB articles and News items is dependent on a few things: brand permissions, role permissions and specific article settings. We'll focus on restricting access to KB articles based on the specific Brand and specific user role permissions, but the general idea carries over to News items as well. 

Using the Brand > Permissions > View KB Articles Requires setting, any brand can be configured to restrict the permissions necessary to see KB articles. Any value for this setting, other than All Users and Nobody, will require users to be logged into the portal in order to see the KB articles for the brand. If you need to restrict the visibility of certain folders of KB articles, this can be done by creating roles with customized KB Article permissions. Finally, when creating or editing a KB article, it can be assigned to one or more brands by adjusting the settings on the Brands tab. When using the All Brands setting, articles are displayed for any brand, but they DO still follow the role permissions associated to the visibility of KBs for a particular brand.

Restricting based on brand requires, of course, more than one brand to be configured within SmarterTrack, and both brands will require their own hostnames to be configured. For our purposes, we'll use support.BrandA.com and portal.BrandB.com as our separate brands and hostnames. When set up correctly, a KB Article associated with Brand B will only be available when accessing portal.BrandB.com. The same would hold true for any articles associated with Brand A. 

To associate KB articles with either Brand A or Brand B ONLY, and to restrict articles to users with a specific role, do the following:

  1. First, create separate KB folders for each brand.
  2. On existing KB Articles, edit them to ensure they are assigned to the appropriate brand.
  3. For the existing user roles, customize the KB Article settings so that they only have permission to see the KB folders associated with the brand the user is associated with. 
  4. Create a new user role that grants permissions to see the KB folders for Brand B. Assign this role to any users you wish to be able to see Brand B's articles.
  5. To completely hide the KB Article section on Brand B's portal from users who are not logged in, got to Brands > Permissions and change the View KB Articles Requires setting to "Registered Users", or something more restrictive.
Using these settings, a user visiting Brand A's portal will only be able to see KB articles associated with Brand A. For those users visiting Brand B's portal their experience will depend on whether they are logged in and the roles that have been assigned to their account. On Brand B's portal, an unauthenticated user would not even see that there was a KB section, while an authenticated user would see that the KB section is there, but they would only see the articles if they had the appropriate role.

Of course, if you don't want to limit the ability to view KB articles, regardless of brand, based on the user's status (e.g., logged in or not logged in), you can simply avoid that part of the process. You CAN still restrict KB articles for a brand without limiting a user's ability to view those articles.