The Difference Between An Internal and External Knowledge Base

A knowledge base is a vital part of any company or firm. An Internal Knowledge Base is important for employees working within the firm to provide confidential knowledge. An external Knowledge Base, on the other hand, provides a platform that can allow sharing of information regarding the firm’s products in the public forum.

Some of the shared features between Internal and External knowledge bases include software security, storage space, integrations, and content creation tools. Although a lot of their features are alike, there are some key differences between the two.

Some of the main differences between an Internal Knowledge Base and an External Knowledge Base are as follows:

1.   Internal and External Communication

Firstly, an internal knowledge base allows communication practices among employees of its own company or firm. This makes internal operations within the company a lot easier. An external knowledge base however makes communications easier that take place outside the company. They share information regarding the company products with the public and also resolve issues and queries of its customers.

2.   Login Requirements

One of the most significant differences between internal and external knowledge bases is regarding their login essentials. While the internal knowledge base requires permission to grant access to its information, the external knowledge base does not require a protected login. Customers as well as the general public are allowed to access any information without a login ID or password.

3.    License Fees

With regards to additional license fees, companies are not required to pay them to a separate solution provider in case of an internal knowledge base. It is implied to the users that they use the knowledge base in the form of a tool that they use. This also makes it easy for users to use the same application with an interface that is usable for different internal processes.

An external knowledge base, however, requires an additional payment of license fees since most companies require a separate solution provider for it. This is because, unlike internal knowledge bases, solution providers are focused only on the need for knowledge management. As a result, their supply is also much more advanced than an internal knowledge base.

Which one is better?

It is hard to say whether an internal knowledge base is better than an external knowledge base or vice-versa. There are advantages as well as disadvantages for both. They can be used for the same company separately as well as in a combined method.

The internal knowledge base has a high native capability and can adjust to any ITSM tool landscape. The external knowledge base, on the other hand, has great portability which makes it easy to transfer data when the ITSM tool is changed.


It totally depends on the necessities of a company and what they might require. It also depends on how a knowledge base works out with its solution provider and interface for the given company. These can be figured out only after several trial-and-error. After all, what matters is not whether a company selects an internal or external knowledge base but how effectively it compliments the management system.


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