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Let chatters search your Zendesk or Salesforce knowledge base content


Ada’s Smart Search feature automates knowledge base search for Zendesk Guide and Salesforce Knowledge. If you use either of these tools, follow the guide below.

For other tools, see Let chatters search your knowledge base content to search through your knowledge base using API requests instead.


With Smart Search, your bot can use your knowledge base as a back up when it can't find the answer to a question. If it finds any article matches, your bot will share the links to the articles with the chatter. This is a great way to enhance the chatter experience, ensuring they get the answers they're looking for.


  • Zendesk Guide or Salesforce Knowledge

How Smart Search works

Once you connect Smart Search to your help center, your bot syncs with your knowledge base and ingests the articles that exist there. By doing this, your bot can search the content of these articles to find the best match for any questions it doesn't have an Answer for. Up to three articles in order of relevance, depending on how many are a good match.


How does Smart Search find articles?

Smart Search uses Ada's own search logic, and looks at both the article title and body content to find a match. Smart Search doesn't use labels or other search relevance data. Additionally, Ada only searches your knowledge base for queries that are four words or longer, excluding common words such as "and," "the," etc.

What if there are no article matches?

Chatters only see Smart Search results if there is at least one relevant article match to their question. If there are no article matches, your bot responds with the Not Understood Answer.

Does anything need to be done to prepare my help center?

No. Everything required for Smart Search to work is already built in.

Configure Smart Search

Smart Search configuration requirements vary, depending on the platform you are connecting. In this section, you'll find the instructions for setting up each of the supported platforms.

Smart Search is currently available for the following knowledge base platforms:

Smart Search for Salesforce Knowledge

Before you start the Smart Search for Salesforce configuration in your Ada dashboard, configure the following in your Salesforce instance:

  1. Create a connected app. Salesforce allows external applications, like Smart Search, to connect to their platform using a special framework they call a connected app. You must create a connected app in Salesforce before you start the Smart Search configuration. To learn more about connected apps, including how to create one, see Connected Apps in Salesforce's documentation.

  2. Use rich text fields. Smart Search requires that your Salesforce knowledge base articles use rich text fields. For more information, see Rich Text Fields in Knowledge Articles in Salesforce's documentation.

  3. Take advantage of multilingual support. Smart Search can share your support articles in your chatter's language. Be sure to enable your supported languages in both your bot and your Salesforce knowledge base.

After you have everything ready to go for connecting Smart Search to your Salesforce knowledge base, you can finish the configuration process for your bot:

  1. On the Ada dashboard, go to Settings > Integrations, then scroll down to the Smart Search Integrations section.

  2. On the Salesforce tile, click Configure. The Connect Salesforce Knowledge dialog box appears.

  3. Under Help Center URL and Instance URL, enter the URLs that pertain to your Salesforce instance. Depending on your configuration, these might be the same. For more information, read the Salesforce guide View instance information for your Salesforce Organization.

    • Help Center URL: The public URL for your Salesforce knowledge base and community site. This is the URL Smart Search uses to search and display articles.



      If you have more than Help Center URL for your setup, you can only use one at a time for Smart Search.

    • Instance URL: The URL for your Salesforce account. Smart Search uses this to authenticate the connection.


  4. Under Consumer Key and Consumer Secret, enter the values that Salesforce automatically generated when you created your connected app.

    • Consumer Key: The Salesforce name for the OAuth 2.0 client_id.

    • Consumer Secret: The Salesforce name for the OAuth 2.0 client_secret. You can think of this as the password that allows Smart Search to connect to Salesforce through your connected app.


    Need to retrieve your Consumer Key and Consumer Secret? On the Salesforce dashboard, go to Setup > App Manager, locate your app in the list, click the drop-down arrow on the right, then click View to open your app details. You'll find your credentials under the API section.

  5. By default, your bot indexes all fields from your knowledge base that are mapped to the field name Text Area (Rich). However, you can enter your own field name under Custom Content Field Name to index a different field configured in your Salesforce instance. This might be useful if you want to reduce the amount of content that appears for each search result.

  6. Under Show only specific articles, choose which Salesforce articles you want to appear in Smart Search.

    • Select Show all articles to have all of your articles appear in Smart Search, regardless of their intended audience.

    • Select Show only articles from a specific channel to restrict Smart Search results to a particular channel. Then, select the appropriate channels. You can select any combination of:

      • Internal Salesforce Knowledge application (App)

      • Public Knowledgebase (Pkb)

      • Customer Portal (Csp)

      • Partner Portal (Prm)

      For more information on the above, including how the abbreviations in parentheses work with Salesforce's API, see Articles List in Salesforce's documentation.

  7. In the Connect Salesforce Knowledge dialog, copy the Ada Callback URL, then paste it in the Salesforce connected app's Callback URL field.

  8. Click Authenticate. A new browser window opens displaying the Salesforce login page.

  9. Log in to your Salesforce account. Then, in the Allow Access dialog box, click Allow to grant Smart Search access to your Salesforce knowledge base API. The Allow Access dialog box closes automatically.

You're done! You've successfully connected Smart Search to your Salesforce knowledge base.

Smart Search for Zendesk Guide

Connecting Ada to your Zendesk knowledge base couldn't be easier. You just need your Zendesk subdomain—add it to the Smart Search configuration in the Integrations view, and you're done!

Follow these steps:

  1. On the Ada dashboard, go to Settings > Integrations, then scroll down to the Smart Search Integrations section.

  2. On the Zendesk Guide tile, click Configure. The Connect Zendesk Guide dialog appears.

  3. In the Subdomain field, enter your Zendesk subdomain, then click Connect.



    Be sure you use your actual Zendesk subdomain, and not a custom domain name, to connect Smart Search. See Finding your Zendesk subdomain when using a custom domain for instructions about how to find your subdomain.

  4. A confirmation message displays in the dialog to indicate a successful connection. Click Go to Answer to open the Smart Search Answer.

  5. You can use Ada's default message, or you can customize the Smart Search Answer content as you see fit.

The connection between Smart Search and Zendesk Guide is complete. Now your bot can leverage your help center to make sure your chatters get the information they need.


Once connected, it may take a few minutes for your bot to complete the initial sync with your knowledge base. Smart Search won't return articles until that sync is complete.

Finding your Zendesk subdomain when using a custom domain

If your organization uses a custom domain name for your help center URL and not the default Zendesk subdomain, you'll need to find your actual subdomain to complete the Smart Search configuration steps.

You can also use Google's DNS lookup tool:

  1. Go to the Google Dig tool.

  2. In the Name field, enter your help center's custom domain name. Include only the domain elements. Don't include the https://, or any pathways, slashes, etc.

    Example: Enter, not

  3. In the list of options below the Name field, click CNAME. In the results field that appears, under Target, you'll find your full Zendesk URL containing your actual subdomain. You use this subdomain in step 3 of Configure Smart Search.


Disconnect Smart Search

If you want to stop your bot from searching for relevant help articles, you need to disconnect your knowledge base account from Smart Search. This is done with a click of a button.

  1. On the Ada dashboard, go to Settings > Integrations.

  2. Scroll down to Smart Search Integrations at the bottom of the page, then click Configure on the right of your platform's row. The Connect dialog box appears.

  3. Click Disconnect account, then click Disconnect.

You'll see a confirmation message at the bottom of the dashboard. From that point on, your bot will no longer search your help center for support articles.

Chatter experience

When asked a question for which the bot doesn't have an answer, but for which there are relevant knowledge base articles, the bot presents the chatter with a list of the articles that best relate to the question. The chatter can then select the article they think is the best match. The article opens in its own frame within the main Ada chat window.


Smart Search won't trigger unless the question is composed of a minimum of four words, each of two letters or more.

  1. The chatter asks a question.

  2. The bot responds with the text added to the Smart Search Answer. This should indicate that the bot doesn't know the answer to the question directly, but has some articles that may be relevant.

  3. The bot shares up to three articles which best match the chatter's question.

  4. The chatter clicks the link to the article of their choice.

  5. The article opens within the Ada chat window.

  6. Once done with the article the chatter closes the article by clicking the X.

  7. The article window closes, and can select another article, or continue chatting with your bot.

Have any questions? Contact your Ada team—or email us at