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What are the best practices for hosting multiple versions of software help text with Robohelp Server? Or do is it more common to have one help text for the software and differentiate on the page content what version it is relevant to?

Community Beginner ,
Apr 15, 2016

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We build our own software and are researching moving to an online solution. In the past with *.chm files we maintained a copy for each major version because it was relevant to the build of the software. However, if we move it online it will no longer need to be part of the software build process so does it need to be maintained with major versions or use one help text solution with a placeholder for when it was last updated and what version the topic is relevant to?

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What are the best practices for hosting multiple versions of software help text with Robohelp Server? Or do is it more common to have one help text for the software and differentiate on the page content what version it is relevant to?

Community Beginner ,
Apr 15, 2016

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We build our own software and are researching moving to an online solution. In the past with *.chm files we maintained a copy for each major version because it was relevant to the build of the software. However, if we move it online it will no longer need to be part of the software build process so does it need to be maintained with major versions or use one help text solution with a placeholder for when it was last updated and what version the topic is relevant to?

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LEGEND ,
Apr 15, 2016

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Just to be clear, moving to on-line help may or may not involve the separately purchased and separately installed RoboHelp Server product.

RoboHelp Server is great for the features it offers, but is not needed and is serious overkill if all you want is to share RoboHelp WebHelp and other formats via the web.

Cheers... Rick

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 15, 2016

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If you don't use RoboServer, can you still get the analytics needed to improve the user experience of your online help system?

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LEGEND ,
Apr 15, 2016

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Well, that's sort of a yes and no question.

Yes, all web servers maintain information about accessing pages and whatnot. So sure, you would have that information and could obtain it from your web server peeps.

But I do know that RoboHelp Server offers reporting that would likely be different. So sure, if you are interested in all that statistical data, I say go for it. That's one of the reasons folks opt for the RoboHelp Server package. But we see a fair number of folks that become confused and believe they actually need the RoboHelp Server product to simply share their content via the web. And if that's their belief and they don't need the features of the server product, it's a rather expensive mistake

Cheers... Rick

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 15, 2016

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Ok, just to clarify a few things. I know we don't need RoboServer to publish online or maintain multiple versions. We are currently maintaining multiple versions without being online. The added benefit on using RoboServer with publishing online is the benefit of reporting and analytics. Let me try to clarify my question...

1) If you have a software which is using online help text, do you maintain multiple versions relating back to the software or keep one version of help no matter what the version of software the user is running? We also have multiple software platforms we have to maintain on top of versions...

2) If you do the latter, what do you do to let the user know they may need to upgrade their software in order to take advantage of the newer features?

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LEGEND ,
Apr 15, 2016

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Sorry, but I'll need to defer to one of the RoboHelp Server experts such as my dear friend johndaigle to advise on those particular aspects. I only popped in to clarify on the usage of the server as we see some are confused and mistaken as to its actual need. You don't seem confused about it and that's great.

I know there are nuances to its use where you can create different "areas" or something like that. This aspect might be useful in your case but I'm not sure. I'm sure John will see I've tagged him and be along to advise.

Cheers... Rick

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 15, 2016

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Hi, Karen

RoboHelp Server 10 might offer you a solution if you require a username/password authentication scheme to deliver your help content. Plain WebHelp does not offer this out of the box, but RoboHelp Server's WebHelp Pro does. It also now offers Dynamic Content Filtering which is a terrific improvement for better search results, etc. In addition, it offers Feedback Analytics reports which can help authors improve the content going forward.

RoboHelp Server may also be a solution by using a concept called "Areas". The way this works is that a subset of content (or in your case a version of help for a particular product audience) can be published to an Area (which can be password protected if that is important.) When creating Feedback Analytics reports, you can also filter the reports so that only certain Areas are included so you can understand that sub-set of your audience.

Of course, as Rick mentions, it may not be necessary if authentication and/or analytics is not a requirement.

Just this week, a new version of Adobe RoboHelp Server 10 was released. You should look this over to help in your evaluation.

Thanks

John Daigle

Adobe Certified RoboHelp and Captivate Instructor

Evergreen, Colorado

www.showmethedemo.com

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