Back up your Help Center articles at the click of a button!
Let me introduce you to kBackup! This little app will allow you to back up your help centre content at the click of a button to your local hard drive.
Using this app makes backing up your help centre content a breeze.
The app currently has a number of features and may be expanded to include additional features if the demand is there.
- The app will back up your help centres or web portals content to a specified folder as HTML pages in the format of [ArticleId].html. The app will first verify that the user exists in the given Zendesk domain. This is included for security reasons so only users who exist in the domain can back up the content.
- The app will work for any Zendesk help centre or web portal even if you chose to use the Host Mapping feature as the original Zendesk subdomain will still exist, regardless of what you have currently set as your hostname.
- Using the app to back up your help centre or web portal content is completely safe and will not affect any existing data, it will simply take a copy of it so there is no possibility for data loss during the process.
There are some requirements for using this app that need to be met in order for it to function correctly. I've included these requirements below:
- This program is compatible with Windows only.
- Please note that SSO sign-in and 2FA is not currently supported. A Zendesk account that was created and is managed within Zendesk is required.
- Your user must have ‘Password Access’ to the API enabled in Zendesk. You can do this by going to Settings > Channels (Subsection) > API and enabling ‘Password Access’.
- The app requires Microsoft.Net Framework 4.6 or higher to be installed on the Windows PC or Laptop where it’s being run, this version of the .NET Framework can be downloaded here.
- I recommend running the app as Administrator to avoid any permission issues backing up to your selected backup location. This can be done by right-clicking the kBackup.exe and selecting ‘Run as administrator’.
To get started with backing up your help centre content ensure that you have met the requirements above, then go ahead and follow the steps below:
- Download a copy of the app here
- Extract the downloaded kBackup.zip file to your Desktop
- Right click the app and select 'Run as administrator’
- Enter your Zendesk subdomain into the Domain field
- Enter your Zendesk users email into the Email field
- Enter your Zendesk users’ password into the Password field
- Select your Portal Type from the drop-down
- Select the Backup button
- Browse for a folder where you would like to back up your content and select Ok
After you have selected a folder and clicked Ok the backup process will begin and you will receive a notification letting you know when the backup is complete.
Download kBackup here!
Release notes have been moved into ReleaseNotes.txt which is now included in the download package.
Giving Feedback & Reporting Bugs
For any feedback, feature & functionality requests or bugs you may have come across please leave a reply here or email me at felix.stubner(at)gmail(dot)com and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
If kBackup has helped you and you want to show your appreciation feel free to click on the little up arrow on this post to up vote it. Thanks for your support!
THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.
If kBackup has helped you, please consider up-voting this post by clicking the up arrow below. This will help other users to find the post more easily. Thank you!
@Felix - Thanks for this as I'm sure users will find it useful. I was gonna test it out but as soon as I hit the backup button I immediately get a message thats its complete however the folder is empty. I tried on two different accounts with the same results. Got any suggestions, as I made verified the Password Access was checked and I already had .net 4.6 on my CPU.
@Wes - Thanks for trying out the app. Sorry to hear you are running into some issues with it.
I will try my best to get this sorted out for you. To get started could I ask you for some additional info:
- When you click the backup button did you select a folder or do you get the "backup complete" message straight away after clicking the button?
- Do you have write access to the folder you are trying to back up to?
- What type of user do you have in your Zendesk? E.g. Admin, Agent, End-User
- What is your Zendesk subdomain?
Once I have this info I'll go ahead and investigate the issue and I'm sure we'll find a solution :)
The tool did seem to work but it only downloads about 1/2 of our articles. I wonder if some criteria must be met before the file is generated?
@Jason - Thanks for giving the app a try. There isn't any specific criteria as such, the way the app works is that it calls the articles.json API endpoint which will return 30 articles (per request) and a flag to show whether there are more articles available or not. So it will iterate through the pages of articles until it sees the flag to say that next_page is null. When it sees this flag it will stop pulling content as that is all the content there is to get.
So the only reason I can think is that the rate limit was hit. The rate limit serves as a break for API requests so that after x requests it will time out and you have to wait 1 minute or so to make another request to the API.
It's possible this may be the reason only half of the articles were downloaded.
Would you be able to tell me how many articles in total you have in your help center? You should be able to see that when you are in the Help Center by clicking 'Articles' and then 'Manage Articles'.
If it is the rate limit, don't worry I am already working on the next release of the app that will include functionality to deal with the rate limit and continue after the time-out period ;)
@Felix - See below.
1. Yes select the folder on my desktop and got the message right away
2. Yes I have full acess.
3. I'm an Admin in my Zendesk account
4. moderatorwes is the subdomain.
@Jason glad to hear it worked for you. Wonder if you hit the API paging limit.
I have 148 articles, 20 of which are in draft. Any chance this could also pull the image files down as well? If we lost the content, this app would save our text but not the images.
And thanks for pulling this together! It is just what we need.
@Wes - Thanks for getting back to me with the info. I just debugged it using the sub-domain moderatorwes and the call for this sub-domain returned no data. I have also checked on moderatorwes.zendesk.com/hc/en-US and there does not appear to be any content on this sub-domain. The tool will only pull content from a specific Zendesk sub-domain so in case you have your accounts set up as spoke accounts please be aware that content will not be pulled from those, but that might be a nice enhancement for the future. I tested the app with one of your other sub-domains which has content (mw-insightly.zendesk.com) and I was able to successfully pull all articles.
@Jason - Thanks for getting back to me on this. I will do some more testing with regards to drafts, however it should get all content, drafts or not. Could you provide me with your Zendesk sub-domain and I will investigate this.
With regards to images, this is functionality that I will be working on after I have completed the functionality that handles rate limiting. Some additional features that I have been thinking about:
- The ability to view the collection of backed up articles directly through the tool.
- The ability to retrieve cached help center content from the web as outlined here.
- Version control for backed up content.
- Ability to edit articles using the tool.
- Ability to restore backed up articles in the event content was mistakenly deleted or needs to be retrieved.
If you have any additional suggestions on features you'd like to see let me know! :)
@Felix - I thought about that after I sent the message. I do have articles for that account they are just selected as Agent Only. So to be clear the articles need to be viewable and can't be locked to Agents Only. Appreciate your help and nice job on the app.
Felix, subdomain is goldsim. I would say about half of our articles are "agent-only" but I checked the downloaded articles and found that they included both public and agent-only articles so I know it wasn't agent-only that stopped the download.
@Wes - I see, I will check up on the documentation about the API to see if there is a limit on which articles can be retrieved.
@Jason - Thanks I will check it out in a little while and get back to you.
Just to be sure I understood correctly, when you say that the articles are 'agent-only' do you mean that they have been placed in a Section which has the 'Who can view?' option set to 'Agents and managers'?
Thanks again for giving the app a try, really appreciate it!
Sorry I wasn't clear before. Yes, we have 2 categories in which all sections in there are set to only be viewed by agents and managers. We have another category where only 1 section among others is set to agents and managers viewing. We have 2 more categories in which all sections are set to anyone to view.
@Jason, Wes: After some debugging and comparing results of backed up articles it looks like there was an issue with passing the credentials to the API. I've resolved the issue and can confirm that all help articles that your user has access to will be backed up.
I have updated the download link in the post with the latest version of the app, give it a try and let me know how you get on.
Nice job. It's working perfectly.
Thanks so much for working on this. Really need it.
@Julius - Glad to hear that it's working for you.
Keep an eye on this post as I will be adding some additional functionality to the app including the backing up of images contained in a post.
But of course if there is any additional functionality that users would find useful, don't hesitate to leave a comment.
@Felix - Looks like it working now. I'll recommend it to a few of my clients.
Additional functionality would to be able to push an article back into the HC but I know that would take some time as the structure would need to be in place. I could see where a user may want to push all their articles into their Sandbox and store copies there.
It works now. Thank you! This is exactly what we need.
I also look forward to the added capability of downloading the images too.
@Wes - Glad to hear it's working correctly for you now after the update. The ability to restore articles is on my list of features to add, but it may take a little while until I have a good base built. Good idea about the sandbox environment, I will have to see what I can do there as the I don't have the functionality available on the plan I am on. Nonetheless I have noted it down as a future enhancement.
@Jason - Very happy to hear that you are getting good use out of the application. I am currently working on the downloading and backing up of images for the next release.
I'll post an update when it's out and you can take it for a test drive ;)
This is really great! If you're interested in possibly getting your app added to our App Marketplace, you can find the information on how to get started here: Publish your app.
Thank you again for putting in the work on this! I know many people will find it useful. :)
@Jessie - Thanks for the info on publishing an app. I will look into it as I'm sure it would be a good way to make the app visible to a broader audience.
V0.3 of ZenBackup is now available for download here, check out the release notes at the end of the post! :)
You are such an overachiever, Felix! (We love it! :)
@Jennifer - Hehe thanks! Really glad to see that users are getting good use out of the app :)
Thanks! We just started using it and it solved all our "how will we back up the help desk?" dilemmas!
@Anna - Glad to hear that it solved your dilemmas! :) I will be enhancing the tool with more functionality in the future so keep an eye out.
Hi Felix - Thanks so much for sharing this app! I'm trying to download it using the links above and I'm getting an error message -
The www.fail2reap.com page isn’t working
www.fail2reap.com didn’t send any data.ERR_EMPTY_RESPONSE
Is the site down? I'm using Chrome.
Oh dear oh dear, thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. I will go ahead and get that sorted right away.
Hey Chandra, thanks for your patience. It looks like the service I'm using to host my site is temporarily down, my sincerest apologies for that.
I've gone ahead and tried to update the links to an alternate provider but it looks like the editor of the article did not like that at all, as you can see from the jumbled mess.
Please find a temporary download link for the app here and thanks for your patience and understanding.
@Jennifer & Jessie - Could I get your assistance with this. When I go to edit the post and try to take out all the spaces it just seems to add more in every time. I don't want to try and make any more edits to it in case it gets worse. If you have any idea what could be causing this please let me know.
Great - thank you so much!
@Chandra - you are very welcome, if you run into any issues or have any functionality requests or general feedback don't hesitate to let me know.
Hi Felix - thanks for the great tool! And looking forward to enhancements. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Category and Section structure backup
2. Backup all articles into a single Word Doc
3. Backup to a single Zip file
4. Backup of custom HC theme files (header, footer, js, css, etc.)
5. Readme.txt in ZenBackup.zip file with brief instructions and release notes
@Neal - Thanks for the feedback the app has now been certified so I will be able to continue my work on it and add more features. Stay tuned!
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