How can I set up the Confluence KB permissions protected but read-only without using licenses?

I want to use JIRA Service Desk with a Confluence KB.

In it says that the "Users who don't have a Confluence licence can't create content, but you can give them permission to view your knowledge base content for free."

This is exactly what I need - but I am not sure how to do it correctly.

I know that:

  • Customers can look-up content from the KB via the Service Desk Help Center (Customer Portal). However, they can just search for it, they do not have actual access to the Confluence Space
  • Customers can get writing license (which costs for each customer) to access the Confluence KB space and even edit / comment (if they have the permission).


What do I want?

I simply want that customers can...

  • use the Service Desk Help Center / Customer Portal to handle their issues + search for KB entries
  • navigate through the Confluence KB (click through the space + search) and have read-only access. However, ideally the KB is NOT public

Any suggestions on how to do that?


2 answers

0 votes
Susan Hauth Community Champion Oct 17, 2017

Hi Marcus,

Indeed I am after the same thing and currently it is not possible.  I raised it up vigorously at Summit.  Please chime and vote for



Thanks - I voted for it.


However, there it says...


  1. If you do not want to make your space anonymous accessible, ie. you want customers to explicitly log in before they can see Confluence, then you must convert your customer user accounts to Atlassian accounts. You can convert them yourself using the instructions on or you can file a support ticket and our support can bulk migrate your customer accounts to Atlassian accounts. Having an Atlassian account does not consume a license.


Well, although this should be the instruction for JSD Server it looks like this is meant for JSD Cloud. 

This means, yes I want them to explicitly log in to Confluence to gain read-only access without using a Confluence license. We want to have the Confluence license only for our agents, and authors of the Confluence KB. It would not be good if we need licenses for hundreds of customers.

0 votes
Ann Worley Atlassian Team Oct 17, 2017

Marcus, this article has instructions for setting up authenticated "customer" accounts for Service Desk users to gain Confluence KB access: Guide to link Knowledge Base to JIRA Service Desk for unlicensed user

The customers will also be able to search, if I read the article correctly. Please let me know if there is something in your use case that is not satisfied by this method.

There are still problems ... I just do not get it running and I am not sure if it is even meant to be.

I would like that a "JIRA Service Desk Server" customer can access the entire KB space.

Accessing the help center and previewing KB articles out of Confluence works already.



The problem is that the customer should be able to access read-only the Confluence Space that implies the Knowledge Base linked to JIRA Service Desk. 

The Confluence Space must not be public, thus login is absolutely required for that.


For Cloud this seems to be definitely possible if converting the user accounts to Atlassian accounts, c.f.,


However, my challenge is to make it running on JIRA SD + Confluence Server.

Anything on that?

I requested information directly from Atlassian about this as it is obviously not possible or not clear at all. I have read that other customers have the same issue. 

Meanwhile anyone else suggestions on that?

Susan Hauth Community Champion Nov 10, 2017

@Markus Raab

I requested directly from the Product Manager of Service Desk who I met at Summit as well as some of his colleagues whom I know well.   Unfortunately no response as of yet.  I think a lot of the problem is that this has to cross over two products Jira and Confluence to figure out how to make this happen. 

I told them quite frankly that Service Desk comes in very low on the KB scale when you look at Zendesk and Service Cloud (Salesforce) that all have these full scale (free to customers) KB built in.

Suggest an answer

Log in or Sign up to answer
Community showcase
Published Dec 18, 2018 in Confluence Cloud

Happy holidays from our team to yours!

Hi Community!  2018 was filled with changes for our team, both big and small, and we've taken a lot of time to both celebrate our wins and recognize areas of improvement. One thing that we're a...

469 views 3 18
Read article

Atlassian User Groups

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Find a group

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Find my local user group

Unfortunately there are no AUG chapters near you at the moment.

Start an AUG

You're one step closer to meeting fellow Atlassian users at your local meet up. Learn more about AUGs

Groups near you