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KB User's Guide - General Info - XML (RSS) Display Options

The KB offers RSS feed options for your KB site. RSS is a format for delivering regularly changing web content. Some KB groups publish and frequently updateinformation: documents, news, blog entries and so on. The RSS feed benefits those who want to receive timely updates from your KB. The feed includes full or summarized text, and metadata, like publishing date and author's name. This document the details of this feature.

Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication (RSS)

RSS feeds enable publishers to syndicate their KB content automatically. In the KB you may choose from 3 formats which ensures compatibility with many different browsers.

  • XML
  • JSON

Subscribing to a KB's RSS removes the need for a user interested in your KB to manually check your KB for new content. Instead, their browser constantly monitors your KB site and informs them of any updates. The browser can also be commanded to automatically download the new data by using software called "RSS reader", "aggregator", or "feed reader", which can be web-based, desktop-based, or mobile-device-based all of which can present RSS feed data to users. Users subscribe to feeds either by entering a feed's URI into the reader or by clicking on the browser's feed icon. The RSS reader checks the user's feeds regularly for new information and can automatically download it, if that function is enabled. 

How to use the RSS feed in the KB

Begin by going to the KB site and entering keyword(s) into the search field. A list of documents related to your search will appear below the search field in a table. On the upper right corner of that table, you will see 2 links: XML and JSON.

In the image below, we are in the KB User's Guide KB and have entered the term "mail" in the search field. The search has yielded 5 documents. Note the links on the upper right corner of the table listing the 5 documents in this image circled in red.


XML: Extensible Markup Language

XML is a markup language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format which is both human-readable and machine-readable. The design goals of XML emphasize simplicity, generality and usability across the Internet. 

Clicking on the XML link will lead you to a web page with a URI ending in *=xml. This page will display information such as the search result, the URI of the XML output page and the metadata of all the documents in the search result output. Specifically, this output will include document keywords up to 200 characters.

In the image below, we see the URI ending in *=xml circled in red and a red arrow pointing at the complete URI. You also see the search result for "mail" and the metadata for one of the 5 documents in the search.


JSON : JavaScript Object Notation

JSON is an open standard format that uses human-readable text to transmit data objects and uses JavaScript syntax. JSON format is text only, just like XML. Text can be read and used as a data format by any programming language.

Clicking on the JSON link will yield a page with data readable by humans and easy for machines to parse and generate. The URI ending in *=json, will display information such as the search results, specific document settings and the metadata of all the documents in the search result output. Specifically, this output will include document keywords up to 200 characters.

The image below shows the results from the original search of "mail" in the KB User's Guide KB and lists the metadata from the 5 docs that search yielded. The output is displayed in a huge block of text. While it is human readable, it is not very friendly.

Screenshot of the raw JSON output from the Knowledgebase search results

A More Friendly and Readable JSON Feed

You may download a JSON viewer/ plugin to convert the JSON strings into a more friendly and readable format.

In the image below, you are viewing the JSON output on Firefox, using the JSONView plugin. Note how much more readable it is than the block of text above. As a reminder, this output will include document keywords up to 200 characters.

Screenshot of the JSON output using the JSONView plugin in Firefox