Issue #14 December 2005

Red Hat Speaks

Jason Hibbets, Project Manager for Red Hat Knowledgebase

Red Hat's Global Support Services team recently upgraded Knowledgebase, the popular self-service tool that provides answers to common Red Hat Enterprise Linux questions. The improvements will dramatically expand the content served up for each inquiry. We recently sat down with Jason Hibbets, Project Manager for Red Hat Knowledgebase, to learn more.

Tell us a little bit about Knowledgebase.
The Red Hat Knowledgebase is a self-service tool for Red Hat customers. Our technicians populate the knowledgebase with articles on common issues that a customer may run into. Instead of submitting a support request, we empower our customers to find answers to their issues by providing the Knowledgebase as a tool for them to use.
Who has access to Knowledgebase?
Everyone has access to the Red Hat Knowledgebase, all you need is a login to gain access to the content.
Can you explain the new technology?
We've implemented a new natural language search tool and have expanded on the resources our users can find Red Hat information. For example, we've added the Hardware and Software Certification pieces of, so that when you perform an initial search, the engine is looking through more information on the first try. Also, with the natural language search, the more specific you are with your search term, the better the results should be.
How will it help Red Hat customers?
The answer is simple, this phase of improvements to Red Hat Knowledgebase will make it easier to find Red Hat content. We identified a problem with our former knowledgebase search and listened to our customers pain points when trying to find content in the Red Hat Knowledgebase - this problem has been solved. We can now concentrate on getting needed content into the Knowledgebase when we identify content gaps from our search analytics.
Give me an example of what I would see with a typical search previously versus what I can see now?
Previously, you got better results with concise keywords. Now, you can search with a natural language approach. The search engine understands intent. If you ask a how do I, where do I, or what is type question, the engine understands it. We also have a layered dictionary that starts with the base language, adds a software/technology layer (with common terms from this industry vertical), and we top it off with a custom Red Hat dictionary that includes terminology specific to Red Hat.

In addition to that, your initial search will find content from different sources including documentation, Red Hat Magazine,, whitepapers, and Red Hat Knowledgebase to name a few.

What does the future hold for Knowledgebase?
We are positioning the Red Hat Knowledgebase to be the premier gateway for Red Hat self service. Improved content with more content sources, internationalization of our content starting with Japanese, German, & Chinese (Simplified & Traditional), integration with Red Hat Network (RHN), and a formal process to accept Knowledgebase contributions from our customers, partners, and the Open Source Community.