Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Sign up Log in
It's not the same without you

Join the community to find out what other Atlassian users are discussing, debating and creating.

Atlassian Community Hero Image Collage

Knowledge Base access in the Free plan


We've started using JIRA Service Management on the Cloud, Free plan as we're a very small team and have to watch the pennies.  It's working out well except for one element.  Apologies if I use the wrong terminology anywhere here, but I'm relatively new to Atlassian and find a lot of the features hard to navigate (though I'd say I'm pretty capable technology wise).

We have a knowledge base (confluence space) with some articles that we'd like to give external customer access to.

The service desk project works fine and customers are registered when they email our support address - this then gives them access to the customer portal.

They can see the knowledge base categories that I've defined, but then they click into the categories, they are informed there are no documents available.  For internal service desk/confluence accounts, the documents are all there, under the correct categories just fine.

In the free plan, I can't change permissions, but confluence-users SHOULD have view access to the documents.

IF I then flip over to the standard plan on the free trial, I can then go into permissions and enable anonymous access.  At this point, anyone (registered or not) can view the knowledge base articles just fine.

The behaviour doesn't (IMO) match what is suggested in various articles or in the application help tips, and I can't justify the standard plan at the moment just to have a couple of articles accessible for customers.  Sure, it's what I would prefer, but I would probably have to just stick the docs on our website as PDFs if there isn't a solution to giving public (either registered users or otherwise) access to knowledge base articles.

Direct links to docs don't work either by the way - they just result in a no access padlock on the customer portal.

I was hoping there would be a tool with Confluence/Service Management (I'm not even sure which tool "owns" permissions here!) to query the access rights to the document to establish if I'm getting something wrong in the config, or this is a limitation of the Free plan, or a bug...

Hopefully someone can point me to the magic switch!

For info, I've been through all of the settings I can find but almost everything seems to point to creation of user accounts, rather than visibility of documents.

All the best,


1 answer

1 accepted

Hi Oliver

What settings have you got in the knowledge base under your service management project?

Project Settings -> Knowledge base -> who can view


It's set to "Anyone"

Many thanks,


Are you able to supply a screenshot?.


When looking at a free plan instance I can see two options 

  • Only confluence users
  • Logged in users


Anyone was the setting because we're on the 14-day trial period.

I've switched back to FREE and now I only get this option under "who can view"

I don't have the "only confluence users" at all.


What's bizarre is that right at this moment, I have a test user viewing the page and they haven't even logged into the portal yet!

If I look back at the permissions for the Confluence Space that is my Knowledge Base, the Anonymous view is still set to view - which explains that behaviour, but I thought this would be reset back to disallowed when moving back to the FREE plan.

I suspect that something will reset this and I'll be back to where I was before too long...


Thanks for the help here by the way - it's very much appreciated!

hmm I have the same setting in a free service management instance e.g. logged in users

logged-in users.png

and have anon access as disabled for all permissions (also unable to change these permissions due to this being free tier)


however if I log in with a customer account to the service desk portal and start an issue summary with something that matches a page in the confluence space I see suggested articles:


and am able to click on the article that takes me to the article:


Would be interesting to know at what point this is not working on your setup?

My hope was that we could publish links directly to Knowledge Base articles like:

I'm happy for people to then be required to create an account (though I think it's completely public at the moment).

The problem is that even logged-in *external* users were being told they didn't have view access to articles.  I think I need to wait for my instance to update its permissions back to the default "free = no anonymous access" state and then test again.

Ok I see now. In this case it appears that your servicedesk permissions are open to anyone and don't require an account to log in. In your case this setting is at

As you have that anonymous access permission set this is working at the moment so the articles are visible but as you say when it is in free tier there are no anonymous access permissions.

The customer/portal only accounts would need to be logged in to see the articles

I think I'm in the current state because I was able to enable Anonymous View access when I went onto the Standard plan trial, and now I've moved back to Free it hasn't reverted back to "not allowed" (yet?!)

What you just said is where I get confused...  I get lost in how permissions are applied across:

Jira Service Management Project

Jira Service Management/Desk Platform

The Knowledge Base / Confluence Space

Confluence platform

I was hoping there might be an administrative test tool that would explain what blocks/allows access to a given request.

Again - many thanks!

Overnight, this warning has appeared:


And - as anticipated - no more public access.

The Global Permission is unset and cannot be changed in the Free plan


Knowledge base "who can view" is set to "Logged-in users" as before.

BUT... drum roll... I have a test user logged in and it now CAN see the knowledge base articles!

I don't know what was wrong before, but hopefully this will stick - I'll keep checking :)

Thanks you for the support!

Suggest an answer

Log in or Sign up to answer
Community showcase
Published in Jira Service Management

JSM Jira Automation: How to Send SLA Breached Notifications

Hi Everyone, In   this tutorial,  we will show you how you can monitor an SLA, and send notifications before or after the SLA has been breached.   SLA Threshold Trigger The SLA t...

762 views 5 13
Read article

Community Events

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

Find an event

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

Unfortunately there are no Community Events near you at the moment.

Host an event

You're one step closer to meeting fellow Atlassian users at your local event. Learn more about Community Events

Events near you