Add a Zendesk source

When you have the required privileges, you can add the content of a Zendesk instance to a Coveo organization.

Leading practice

The number of items that a source processes per hour (crawling speed) depends on various factors, such as network bandwidth and source configuration. See About crawling speed for information on what can impact crawling speed, as well as possible solutions.

Source key characteristics

Features Supported Additional information

Zendesk version

Latest cloud version

Indexable content

Organizations, users, groups, tickets, articles, article comments, and ticket and article attachments

Content update operations



Takes place every hour by default.





Content security options

Same users and groups as in your content system


Specific users and groups




  • Users may see limited results when performing searches against secured content while on Zendesk Guide sites (see Limitation).

  • If you set the content option to Everyone, we recommend that you apply additional filtering to ensure that your content is accessible by the intended audience.

Add a Zendesk source

Follow the instructions below when adding a Zendesk source.

Leading practice

It’s best to create or edit your source in your sandbox organization first. Once you’ve confirmed that it indexes the desired content, you can copy your source configuration to your production organization, either with a snapshot or manually.

See About non-production organizations for more information and best practices regarding sandbox organizations.

"Sign in to Zendesk" window

When adding the source, you must first authenticate with Zendesk in the Sign in to Zendesk window to allow Coveo to access your content.


Your source authentication access token can potentially expire and become invalid. See Update an Access Token for information on how to update an expired access token.

  1. Enter your Zendesk subdomain, and then click Sign In.


    Your Zendesk environment URL is, therefore you must enter apples.

  2. Enter the Email and Password of a Zendesk administrator account that has access to the desired content.

  3. Click Allow.

"Configuration" tab

In the Add a Zendesk Source panel, the Configuration tab is selected by default. It contains your source general information, as well as other parameters.

General information

Source name

Enter a name for your source.

Leading practice

A source name can’t be modified once it’s saved, therefore be sure to use a short and descriptive name, using letters, numbers, hyphens (-), and underscores (_). Avoid spaces and other special characters.

Optical character recognition (OCR)

If you want Coveo to extract text from image files or PDF files containing images, enable the appropriate option.

The extracted text is processed as item data, meaning that it’s fully searchable and will appear in the item Quick view. See Enable optical character recognition for details on this feature.

"Content to include" section


Select the objects you want to make searchable. If you select Tickets, additional options appear:

  • Select Archived tickets and/or Deleted tickets if you want them to be indexed.

  • Under Filter by, select or enter the desired Organization or Tag if you want to index a subset of tickets.

Zendesk locale

By default, Coveo indexes items in American English (en-us) only. If you want to index items in a different language, under Zendesk locale, enter the supported locale corresponding to this language. For example, enter de to index your content in German.

If you want to index Help Center articles in all languages:

  1. Finish configuring your source, and then click Save.

  2. In the source JSON configuration, add the following under parameters:

    "IndexAllArticleTranslations": {
      "value": "true"
  3. Click Save and rebuild source.

Coveo will index each article version as an item. In the documenttype field of translated versions, Coveo will index ArticleTranslation. Meanwhile, original articles will have Article as the value of this field. The metadata of translations will include some of the original article metadata, which will be prefixed with article..


You index Help Center articles. The articles have been originally written in English, and then translated in Spanish.

In Zendesk, all Help Center articles have a unique ID. A given article in English may therefore have the following piece of metadata: tags: Troubleshooting.

When discovering your content, Coveo will consider that the Spanish version has the following metadata: article.tags: Troubleshooting.

However, Coveo doesn’t create mappings for this metadata by default. Once you’ve created your source, on the View and map metadata subpage, you can locate the metadata you’re interested in and create mapping rules to add it to your index.


If you intend to select the Same users and groups as in your content system option in the Content Security section, in the Permissions tab, specify who should have access to the content. This parameter is ignored when you choose a different option.

"Content security" tab

Select who will be able to access the source items through a Coveo-powered search interface. For details on this parameter, see Content security.

"Access" tab

In the Access tab, set whether each group (and API key, if applicable) in your Coveo organization can view or edit the current source.

For example, when creating a new source, you could decide that members of Group A can edit its configuration while Group B can only view it.

See Custom access level for more information.


  1. Finish adding or editing your source:

    • When you want to save your source configuration changes without starting a build/rebuild, such as when you know you want to do other changes soon, click Add source/Save.

    • When you’re done editing the source and want to make changes effective, click Add and build source/Save and rebuild source.


      On the Sources (platform-ca | platform-eu | platform-au) page, you must click Launch build or Start required rebuild in the source Status column to add the source content or to make your changes effective, respectively.

      Back on the Sources (platform-ca | platform-eu | platform-au) page, you can follow the progress of your source addition or modification.

      Once the source is built or rebuilt, you can review its content in the Content Browser.

  2. Once your source is done building or rebuilding, review the metadata Coveo is retrieving from your content.

    1. On the Sources (platform-ca | platform-eu | platform-au) page, click your source, and then click More > View and map metadata in the Action bar.

    2. If you want to use a currently not indexed metadata in a facet or result template, map it to a field.

      1. Click the metadata and then, at the top right, click Add to Index.

      2. In the Apply a mapping on all item types of a source panel, select the field you want to map the metadata to, or add a new field if none of the existing fields are appropriate.

        • For details on configuring a new field, see Add or edit a field.

        • For advanced mapping configurations, like applying a mapping to a specific item type, see Manage mappings.

      3. Click Apply mapping.

    3. Depending on the source type you use, you may be able to extract additional metadata from your content. You can then map that metadata to a field, just like you did for the default metadata.

      More on custom metadata extraction and indexing

      Some source types let you define rules to extract metadata beyond the default metadata Coveo discovers during the initial source build.

      For example:

      Source type Custom metadata extraction methods

      Push API

      Define metadata key-value pairs in the addOrUpdate section of the PUT request payload used to upload push operations to an Amazon S3 file container.

      In the JSON configuration (REST API | GraphQL API) of the source, define metadata names (REST API | GraphQL API) and specify where to locate the metadata values in the JSON API response Coveo receives.


      Add <CustomField> elements in the XML configuration. Each element defines a metadata name and the database field to use to populate the metadata with.



      Some source types automatically map metadata to default or user created fields, making the mapping process unnecessary. Some source types automatically create mappings and fields for you when you configure metadata extraction.

      See your source type documentation for more details.

    4. When you’re done reviewing and mapping metadata, return to the Sources (platform-ca | platform-eu | platform-au) page.

    5. To reindex your source with your new mappings, click Launch rebuild in the source Status column.

    6. Once the source is rebuilt, you can review its content in the Content Browser.

Required privileges

You can assign privileges to allow access to specific tools in the Coveo Administration Console. The following table indicates the privileges required to view or edit elements of the Sources (platform-ca | platform-eu | platform-au) page and associated panels. See Manage privileges and Privilege reference for more information.


The Edit all privilege isn’t required to create sources. When granting privileges for the Sources domain, you can grant a group or API key the View all or Custom access level, instead of Edit all, and then select the Can Create checkbox to allow users to create sources. See Can Create ability dependence for more information.

Actions Service Domain Required access level

View sources, view source update schedules, and subscribe to source notifications







Edit sources, edit source update schedules, and view the View and map metadata subpage






Source metadata




What’s next?