Manage Help Content Access via Authentication?

Engaged ,
Jul 10, 2019 Jul 10, 2019

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Environment:

  • Developing a new help system for a B2B software product
  • Running RoboHelp 2017, with all updates installed
  • Generating Responsive HTML5 output
  • Output will be hosted in the cloud
  • 1 help project
  • 2 audiences: our customers and my company's tech support department

The help project contains three types of topics:

  1. Internal: A topic that only our tech support dept. can access.
  2. External: A topic that our customers and our tech support dept. can access.
  3. Mixed: A topic that our customers can access, but also contains some (build-tagged) proprietary and confidential info only our tech support dept. can access.

My plan was to use dedicated topic-level build tags and dedicated content-level build tags to generate/deliver 2 different outputs (and also support the filter tool): one for our customers (without proprietary and confidential info) and one for our tech support dept. (with everything).

Our software product is cloud-based, so the customer help will be too. Our dev team is using Auth0 (auth0.com) to manage/control customer access to our software, and they (our dev team) asked whether it would be possible for us to generate/deliver/host/maintain only one help output, and then use authentication (Auth0 in this case) to control who can access/view the different types of help content.

Questions:

  • I'm not sure how any third-party authentication solution could do this for a single RoboHelp output, especially when thinking about how search and other help functions like the TOC, index, and filter would function/be affected, but perhaps it's possible (for example, the auth tool can be coded/configured to leverage RoboHelp's build tags...)?
  • I read up a little on the RoboHelp Server product and it appears to provide some level of access/permissions functionality, but it was very light on detail. Does anyone know if it can be done for a single help output environment, or via multiple outputs? And if it can be done for a single help output, does it support any type of interface to Auth0?

Issue Summary:

  • Project management is interested in hosting/maintaining only one help output (for management and cost efficiencies) and they'd like to leverage the same authentication tool (Auth0) they're using for our software product to control the help content that authenticated users can view/access.
  • The heart of this issue boils down to generating a single output. It would be fairly simple to generate two outputs: one for customers and one for our tech support dept and then use authentication to point the user to the correct output.
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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 11, 2019 Jul 11, 2019

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Highly doubt that you can bundle it all in 1 help package, but why bother? Drive space is cheap & your Auth0 thingie should just be able to redirect users to whatever version they are allowed to see.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 13, 2019 Jul 13, 2019

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I agree with Jeff. Without Rh Server, which has a cost, you will probably spend more on developing your own authentication than if you just generate two outputs.

Filtering will not work here as you have content that you don't want customers to see. Otherwise that would have been a solution.


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

@petergrainge

Please 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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