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Using the Public Knowledge Base with external documentation

I am trying to determine whether the public knowledge database will meet our needs and am hoping that someone can provide me with some guidance.  I’m the SF administrator in our company, but I’m not a programmer so I need to get prepared for some of my conversations with our IT group to explain what SF can do.


1- What are the options for querying external systems (in our case, a web server that contains our html help and documentation files) to return search results for the PKB or does the data have to reside on SF servers?  I’m guessing that you can leverage the API somehow to do this, but my programming knowledge is limited here.


2- Which editions allow you to customize the layout of the PKB on the website?  We currently have professional edition.  I can customize the page in FrontPage, but when I look at the page on the browser the standard SF PKB page appears.  I’m referring to more than just the style sheets… I’m looking to reformat the entire screen layout.


Thanks for any advice or guidance you have!