Features You can use

 

KB Content

KB Content
Classic KB Content shown in the context of Xbox Support

Value

Historically, Knowledge Base (KB) articles have been the primary self help asset from Microsoft Support to resolve customer issues and have been available through a variety of different avenues.  Microsoft Support Services (MSS) provides the KB Content service for subscribers to easily consume and integrate KB articles into a site or application.  

Each KB article is delivered as pre-rendered HTML wrapped in XML and contains several sections which can be optionally added into the subscriber's user interface.  These optional sections are available as inline assets, which are visible within the article content, as well as add-on assets, which are attached to the article. 

These assets include:

  • Inline assets
    • Applies to - Provides a list of products the article applies to
    • Keywords - When crawled by search engines, aids in discovering and filtering for specific articles
    • Survey - Positioned at the bottom of an article; provides a method of feedback to measure customer satisfaction and solve rate
    • Content Rating - Provides an easy indicator of an articles helpfulness and a method for users to submit their own rating
  • Add-on assets
    • Metadata - provides descriptive data about the article

Functionality

KB Content service requests must include content ID and LCID.  The Content List service can be used to retrieve a list of content for this purpose. 

Inline and add-on assets are enabled or disabled by passing additional parameter(s) within the same web service call made to retrieve the KB articles.  A number of other options are provided for further ease of use. 

Implementation

Simply create a container on the page to hold the web part with the class which makes a call to retrieve the specified content.  When placed in the page, the HTML will then inherit the page's styles.  The call can be made every time the page loads or local caching can be used; caching 24 hours is recommended.

The feature is available via two supported architectures:

SOAP:

http://services.support.microsoft.com/SDK/sdk.aspx#GetKBContent
http://services.support.microsoft.com/SDK/sdk.aspx#GetContentList

REST: 

http://services.support.microsoft.com/SDK/sdk_rest.aspx#GetContent
http://services.support.microsoft.com/SDK/sdk_rest.aspx#GetContentList

MATS ("FixIt") Content

KB Content
KB Content as it appears on the Xbox Support site.

Value

Many users have difficulty translating technical documentation into the actions they need to take on their PC. With MATS content, users can download small, targeted executable files which solve the users’ issue directly using a simple wizard.

Functionality

MATS content requests are made through the KB Content service using the MATS Asset ID and LCID

<BETA> In the beta release, there is no discovery mechanism for MATS data. You can lookup MATS Asset IDs in the static tables provided here: MATS Asset IDs

Implementation

Calling the GetKBContent API will return HTML that can be hosted directly on your page. You can create a container on your page that will call the Content API and the HTML will then inherit the parent page’s style. This call can be made on every page load, or local caching may be used. When caching, a time limit of 24 hours is recommended.

The feature is available via two supported architectures:

SOAP:

http://services.support.microsoft.com/SDK/sdk.aspx#GetKBContent

REST: 

http://services.support.microsoft.com/SDK/sdk_rest.aspx#GetContent


Content Rating

Related Content & Content Rating
Content Rating shown within the context of the Microsoft Support

Value

When a customer is looking for a self help support solution, a quick assessment of how helpful others have found that content is extremely useful in determining whether to continue reading or move on.  This type of community rating feature is fast becoming part of the expected experience for customers.

As part of the KB Content service, the Content Rating feature is available as an inline asset only.  It provides an easy indicator of an article's helpfulness and a method for users to submit their own rating of that article.

Functionality

Content Rating provides users with vote counts for Yes and No along with a grand total.  Each user can only submit their feedback one time and the votes are then recorded and updated.  Each tally represents the communities opinion of that article across the support ecosystem.

In the future, functionality for this feature will be expanded to include the ability to individually rate other types of Knowledge Base content and the ability for subscribers to easily place the rating asset anywhere on their page.

Implementation

The feature is available via two supported architectures:

SOAP:

http://services.support.microsoft.com/SDK/sdk.aspx#GetKBContent

REST: 

http://services.support.microsoft.com/SDK/sdk_rest.aspx#GetContent


Dynamic Answers

Dynamic Answers Top Issues List
Dynamic Answers shown in the context of Microsoft Support

Value

Customers often start their search for a solution to a technical problem with a simple query that often directs them to a top level portal page where they will then begin mining for the correct solution.  Dynamic Answers helps shorten the distance for the customer between the portal page and the solution they need.

Dynamic Answers identifies high quality, relevant, and helpful technical support content, and then provides consolidated recommendations that subscribers can present to customers looking for solutions.  It is available by product and subscribers can get a list of supported products from GetProductList.

Functionality

Subscribers can define one or more content sources in one of over 40 different languages.  The service then returns a set of links and titles for each product.  Lists are configurable from 1 to n.

Implementation

The feature is available via two supported architectures:

SOAP:

http://services.support.microsoft.com/SDK/sdk.aspx#GetTopContent

REST: 

http://services.support.microsoft.com/SDK/sdk_rest.aspx#GetTopContent


Related Content

Related Content and Tags
Related Content shown in the context of Microsoft Support

Value

To help customers that are looking for solutions to their technical issues find the content they need, the Related Content feature offers a list of "nearest neighbor" recommendations for the content page they are browsing.  It leverages the experiences of previous customers in their search for solutions to the same or similar issues.

 An offline process analyzes content that previous users have found relevant.  A list of alternatives can then be displayed by the subscriber on the same page with the associated content to help provide the needed solution in the shortest number of clicks. 

Related Content is available for multiple support sites within Microsoft and includes KB articles, forums, & blogs.  Those sites include the following:

  • Microsoft Support
  • Xbox Support
  • Windows Online
  • Office Online
  • Office Blogs
  • Windows Blogs
  • Microsoft.com
  • Skype Support
  • Windows Phone Portal

Functionality

Subscribers can define one or more content sources from which to display related content recommendations for a given content page.  The service then returns a set of links and titles for each content page and clicked links will open a new browser window.

Implementation

The feature is available via two supported architectures:

SOAP:

http://services.support.microsoft.com/SDK/sdk.aspx#GetRelatedContent

REST: 

http://services.support.microsoft.com/SDK/sdk_rest.aspx#GetRelatedContent


QnA Pairs

Value

QnA Pairs
A QnA Pair shown in the context of Microsoft Answers

A QnA Pair consists of a question and one, or more, helpful answers within a thread on Microsoft Answers. This forms a new solution asset available to MSS subscribers which can be very useful to customers in the absence of managed content. Defined business rules help ensure a QnA Pair maintains a level of quality and helpfulness while using the community as a solution source.

Microsoft Answers is a community site with support forums for a number of Microsoft products. Each product and topic specific thread begins with a question and responses to the thread that are deemed as answers by forum moderators are marked accordingly.

Functionality

This feature is available to MSS subscribers as plain text in XML for displaying QnA Pairs directly on their site or application. The output includes the thread title, question and answer bodies, and the link to the original thread on Microsoft Answers, among other things.

Implementation

The feature is available via two supported architectures:

SOAP:

http://services.support.microsoft.com/SDK/sdk.aspx#GetQAPair http://services.support.microsoft.com/SDK/sdk.aspx#GetQAPairByThread

REST: 

http://services.support.microsoft.com/SDK/sdk_rest.aspx#GetQAPair http://services.support.microsoft.com/SDK/sdk_rest.aspx#GetQAPairByThread


Error Solutions

Value

Providing the proper solution for an error, either during troubleshooting or at the point of need is the intent of the Error Solutions feature. For a given an error message or ID, it provides solutions grouped into three categories, Top, Recommended, and Search.

Functionality

Where available, top solutions are the best. These include content specifically written to address the issue. Recommended solutions are recommendations that include closely related solutions to the given error. Search solutions expand upon recommended solutions to include other resources where certain or near matches do not exist.

Implementation

The feature is available via two supported architectures:

SOAP:

http://services.support.microsoft.com/SDK/sdk.aspx#GetErrorSolutions

REST: 

http://services.support.microsoft.com/SDK/sdk_rest.aspx#geterrorsolutions


Search Widget

Limited Release

The search widget is currently released with limited availability. If you are interested in implementing the search widget, please contact support here: mss-support@microsoft.com

Value

Many partners do not have the resources to develop Web Service based solutions, but still want a Microsoft support presence on their site. This widget makes it easy to being adding Microsoft support experiences to your website.

Functionality

search widget
The Search Widget lives in a div on your existing support site. It is fixed size. Top support content links are embedded in the widget, alongside a search box to look for new content.

Searching for content will pop-out a search results panel next to the widget:
search widget results

Clicking on any of the results will open the corresponding Microsoft content site in a new browser tab.

Clicking on “more results” will take the user to the Support.Microsoft.com site search page in a new tab and run the user’s search query.

Use the Widget Request page on Illustrator (link here) to generate a widget in your language.

Implementation

The widget is added to your website by adding a line of javascript code from our Widget Request page into an empty div on your website:

<script id="mss_widget_script" type="text/javascript" src="http://services.support.microsoft.com/restfulcontent.svc/searchwidget/en-us"></script>

Availability of the widget is by request only. The javascript above will return a 404 error until approval has taken place. Contact support to request implementation details.

At runtime, the widget is injected into your site using a method called dynamic scripting. When your users open your support page, our script is seamlessly downloaded into their browser from a Microsoft domain. When executed in the user’s browser, the script will add an iframe to the host document and populate it with the dynamic HTML that comprises the Search Widget. The calls for the script and the rendering of the script happen entirely in your user’s browser, with no server side work required on your site.