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Is anyone experiencing problems using RoboHelp HTML 2015 with Access 2016?

Participant ,
May 05, 2018

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Environment

  • Windows 10 with Microsoft Office 365 suite, which includes Access 2016, RoboHelp HTML (with latest patches).
  • Integrated with Visual Studio Professional 2015 Source Control

Issue

RoboHelp has started crashed with an Application Stack Overflow fatal error when we delete our local copy of the CPD file and then launch RoboHelp.

  • We are accustomed to doing this because each team member has a workspace with a unique CPD (CPDs are never checked into Source Control, which means that a Get All does not give them the latest CPD). Why do we do this? After we create conditional build tags and expressions on one machine, the other team members cannot see those tags and expressions unless they delete (or rename) their local CPDs and re-launch RoboHelp. This is also useful when we rename/delete files/folders from within RoboHelp and the changes do not show up in RoboHelp.
  • A team member recently renamed several folders. She checked her changes into Source Control. When I launched RoboHelp and "Got Latest", one of the deleted folders still appeared in my local workspace. (Our Release Engineer says that RoboHelp does not handle the Rename correctly in that it adds a new folder and copies the contents of the old folder into the new folder, thereby breaking the chain of history.) I wanted a fresh copy of the project from Source Control and so I deleted all the files from the local workspace and did a Get Specific. When I launched RoboHelp, I started getting various error messages that RoboHelp could not save root.fpj, rhbuildtag.apj, etc., followed by the Stack Overflow error.
    • I tried deleting the CPD again - same error.
    • Thanks to Peter's page, I  tried opening the HHP. But I wasn't happy with the results (I'm not sure how up-to-date the HHP because they were incorrect for the current project).
    • I tried replacing root.fpj with someone else's copy. Same error.

Status

  • Eventually I copied the CPD on the machine of the woman who had renamed the folders to my machine and was able to launch RoboHelp. Note: Her CPD is 23 MB, which I believe is too bloated for RoboHelp to handle gracefully. From a bit of research, I think it's supposed to be under 2 MB.
  • As soon as I delete my colleague's CPD and try to launch RoboHelp again, the error recurs.
  • I've spent several hours on the phone with Adobe Support, doing many of the things I'd already done. The agent is going to bring the issue up with a more experienced analyst.
  • We've all seen an unusual "Microsoft Access Record Locking information" file, one that none of us have seen before. I've asked Adobe Tech Support to find out what this file is and whether it might be interfering with RoboHelp's ability to create a new CPD.
  • In traditional Defect Analysis, you try to identify what changed between the time something was good and when it became not good. It occurred to me that the company moved us all to Office 365 at the end of December, which means that we are using Access 2016. And so I now wonder whether RoboHelp 2015 might be incompatible with Access 2016.

Sorry if this is all a bit long-winded, but I wanted to provide a full picture of what's being going on.

Thanks for at help you can provide.

Carol

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Is anyone experiencing problems using RoboHelp HTML 2015 with Access 2016?

Participant ,
May 05, 2018

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Environment

  • Windows 10 with Microsoft Office 365 suite, which includes Access 2016, RoboHelp HTML (with latest patches).
  • Integrated with Visual Studio Professional 2015 Source Control

Issue

RoboHelp has started crashed with an Application Stack Overflow fatal error when we delete our local copy of the CPD file and then launch RoboHelp.

  • We are accustomed to doing this because each team member has a workspace with a unique CPD (CPDs are never checked into Source Control, which means that a Get All does not give them the latest CPD). Why do we do this? After we create conditional build tags and expressions on one machine, the other team members cannot see those tags and expressions unless they delete (or rename) their local CPDs and re-launch RoboHelp. This is also useful when we rename/delete files/folders from within RoboHelp and the changes do not show up in RoboHelp.
  • A team member recently renamed several folders. She checked her changes into Source Control. When I launched RoboHelp and "Got Latest", one of the deleted folders still appeared in my local workspace. (Our Release Engineer says that RoboHelp does not handle the Rename correctly in that it adds a new folder and copies the contents of the old folder into the new folder, thereby breaking the chain of history.) I wanted a fresh copy of the project from Source Control and so I deleted all the files from the local workspace and did a Get Specific. When I launched RoboHelp, I started getting various error messages that RoboHelp could not save root.fpj, rhbuildtag.apj, etc., followed by the Stack Overflow error.
    • I tried deleting the CPD again - same error.
    • Thanks to Peter's page, I  tried opening the HHP. But I wasn't happy with the results (I'm not sure how up-to-date the HHP because they were incorrect for the current project).
    • I tried replacing root.fpj with someone else's copy. Same error.

Status

  • Eventually I copied the CPD on the machine of the woman who had renamed the folders to my machine and was able to launch RoboHelp. Note: Her CPD is 23 MB, which I believe is too bloated for RoboHelp to handle gracefully. From a bit of research, I think it's supposed to be under 2 MB.
  • As soon as I delete my colleague's CPD and try to launch RoboHelp again, the error recurs.
  • I've spent several hours on the phone with Adobe Support, doing many of the things I'd already done. The agent is going to bring the issue up with a more experienced analyst.
  • We've all seen an unusual "Microsoft Access Record Locking information" file, one that none of us have seen before. I've asked Adobe Tech Support to find out what this file is and whether it might be interfering with RoboHelp's ability to create a new CPD.
  • In traditional Defect Analysis, you try to identify what changed between the time something was good and when it became not good. It occurred to me that the company moved us all to Office 365 at the end of December, which means that we are using Access 2016. And so I now wonder whether RoboHelp 2015 might be incompatible with Access 2016.

Sorry if this is all a bit long-winded, but I wanted to provide a full picture of what's being going on.

Thanks for at help you can provide.

Carol

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 06, 2018

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We've all seen an unusual "Microsoft Access Record Locking information" file, one that none of us have seen before. I've asked Adobe Tech Support to find out what this file is and whether it might be interfering with RoboHelp's ability to create a new CPD.

I am not a source control user but I can tell you something about the specific point above.

The CPD file is an Access database file even though you do not need Access to use it. When Access opens a database it creates an LDB (Locked DataBase I believe) to stop anyone else accessing it. The file is deleted on closing the database. If anyone attempts to open a database when the LDB is on the system, you get that message.

I am wondering if someone has checked the CPD in or someone has somehow opened the project direct, if that is possible. It does seem highly likely though that this is at the root of your problems. I think I would first reboot all the machines including the server as that will clear all open CPDs. If the issue persists, then look closely at what is getting checked in.

There are other files that should not be checked in. see Snippets on my site.


See www.grainge.org for free RoboHelp and Authoring information.

@petergrainge

www.grainge.org for free RoboHelp & Authoring info. Use the blue Reply button at the top to help me help you.
The black Reply link nests replies and they sort out of order.

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Participant ,
May 06, 2018

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Peter,

Thanks as always for your prompt response.

We have been careful not to add the CPD and other system files to Source Control, having become familiar with your advice on your site. Last summer a release engineer trying to help us switch to a new Team Foundation Server inadvertently added the CPD file, but then deleted it (I saw this when I showed all hidden files in Source control).

Here's what we have:

The information about the CPD file is helpful. What's not yet clear is why Lynn and I ended up with the locked LDB file in our local workspaces after deleting the CPD file, something we've done many times without a problem. Since we all have local copies of the CPD, and it's not checked in to Source Control, it's not clear why Access would need to create a locked file. I checked Source Control again to make sure that the LDB had not been inadvertently added to Source Control, and then checked out to my workspace when I tried to get a fresh project.

I don't believe any of us have opened the project. We open the project from Version Control.

When you say that we should reboot all the machines and the server, do you mean the Team Foundation Server? We have already rebooted our machines a couple of times.

Carol

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 06, 2018

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LDB files can be left when there is a crash so perhaps that's how they remained.

On 365, Word files can be on the PC and in the cloud or just in the cloud. RoboHelp will not work with documents that are cloud only, they must be local.


See www.grainge.org for free RoboHelp and Authoring information.

@petergrainge

www.grainge.org for free RoboHelp & Authoring info. Use the blue Reply button at the top to help me help you.
The black Reply link nests replies and they sort out of order.

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Participant ,
May 07, 2018

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Thanks, Peter. We've verified that the LDB goes away when we close RoboHelp.

We've asked Adobe TCS Support whether RoboHelp is trying to use any files in the cloud, although we do not think that this is the case. We have a local workspace that is connected to Source Control.

I did more tests this morning including:

  1. Renamed the 23 MB CPD file.
  2. Closed RH and restarted the PC.
  3. Verified that there was no CPD file and opened RoboHelp from Source Control.
  4. Launched RH. Got the Application Stack Overflow fatal error. RH did create a small CPD file.
  5. Restarted the PC and launched RH with the CPD created in step 4. The project opened, but most files were gone. This is not surprising given that the error occurred while RH was trying to build files.
  6. Made a backup copy of the Help folder, deleted all the files, and then did a Get Specific in Source Control to get  a fresh copy of the project. Launched RoboHelp. Got the fatal error again.
  7. Eventually, reinstalled RH with the latest patch. Renamed the CPD, got the fatal error.

I've now reverted to the 23 MB CPD so that I can at least work.

I've sent multiple questions TCS Support but have not yet heard back.

We are probably going to roll back the changeset where my colleague deleted multiple folders and files, all of which had thousands of hyperlinks.

I will let you know if we manage to resolve this thorny problem.

Carol

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 06, 2018

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And here's the system requirements for RH2015. Office 365 and Office 2016 are supported, although I'm not sure what "(only documents downloaded from Office 365)" for O365 signifies, not using that version myself.

RoboHelp System Requirements

With Source Control, you've undoubtedly already done this, but in case not, double-check that the cpd, ldb and pss files aren't checked in to source control.

One other thing (your engineers have probably already checked; they sound pretty switched on) once our tech guy found a bunch of files that looked checked in to us, but were "pending add" behind the scenes somehow. I'm not sure how that's possible, but it happened. Make sure these are all fully checked in.

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Participant ,
May 06, 2018

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Thank you for this additional information. I will mention it to our release engineer tomorrow. He has gained a great knowledge of RoboHelp over the last year!

I will ask the Adobe TCS Support person about this:

And here's the system requirements for RH2015. Office 365 and Office 2016 are supported, although I'm not sure what "(only documents downloaded from Office 365)" for O365 signifies, not using that version myself.

Yes, I have verified that the files you mentioned are not in Source Control.

/Carol

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 06, 2018

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The Office 365 comment is probably only related to Word somehow, but worth confirming.

I had a couple of other thoughts.

Antivirus. Maybe a change has been made to AV, causing it to scan and thus hold on to the ldb file so it doesn't get deleted when you close RH. Try deactivating it temporarily to see if that makes a difference. I know it can cause slowness when it scans source controlled files - at one office we changed it to only scan on check out, not check in (or maybe viceversa, I forget the details now).

And is your check-out location a local disk, not a network location, external disk or a "looks like it's local but really a network location in corporate environments" aka C:\users\<username>\  (e.g. My Documents)? Any of these locations might introduce network glitches causing the .ldb not to delete.

Also make sure you delete the .ldb file if it exists and RH is closed.

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Participant ,
May 07, 2018

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Thanks for all the ideas:

I've asked Adobe TCS Support about the possibility of anti-virus scanning causing the problem. However, we think this is unlikely because the problem only occurred after a colleague deleted multiple folders with many folders that contained a LOT of hyperlinks. We think that there is corruption in the project files, corruption that does not allow RoboHelp to create a new CPD file. (We think that's way the CPD file is 23 MB when it should be under 2 MB.)

We use a local workspace for checking out and checking in.

We've now verified that the LDB file goes away after we close RoboHelp.

We are considering rolling back the changeset related to the Renaming of folders.

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