A grudging Help partnership...

Subject: A grudging Help partnership...
From: "Jeff Barnes" <jlb -at- mdtsoft -dot- com>
To: <TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2000 12:58:46 -0500


I'd like to solicit opinions on the following drama, being played out in my
company offices as we speak.

Due to some, ah, design issues, we have opted to use Microsoft's Management
Console (MMC) as a stop-gap interface to some of our server-based
administrative functions in our forthcoming NT-based software product. We
have designed a snap-in for the MMC that handles our these modules. The rest
of these administrative functions are managed within our product, and all of
our client-based functions. The MMC also comes with its own Help system for
basic operations.

Until this release, we had a UNIX-based system, with corresponding manual,
training material and Help system. Now that we are switching to the NT-based
system, we have 70 percent of our functionality contained in the actual
software, using one interface, and 30 percent using the MMC interface to get
the rest of the work done.

My biggest question involves incorporating the software-specific Help into
the product. I'm fitfully coming to the conclusion that I have to conjure up
a smaller version of the Help file to deal with these external processes,
but I don't really like the idea of "Product Help" being a toolbar menu
entry just above "Microsoft Help." Has anyone found themselves in a similar
predicament, and discovered a solution that they found pleasant.

Thanks in advance for any insights you can provide. I subscribe to the list
in digest format, so feel free to e-mail me directly with your solutions if
something pressing comes to mind. Otherwise, I'll tune in later and see what
trouble I've stirred up...

------end message------

Jeffrey L. Barnes
Training and Documentation Specialist
MDT Software, Inc.
Phone: 678-297-1029
E-mail: jlb -at- mdtsoft -dot- com

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