A documentation suite for dot-nets?

Subject: A documentation suite for dot-nets?
From: stephanie -at- storerunner -dot- com
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 14:08:10 -0700

Are there other techwhirlers who are part of a dot-net company? I need
some ammunition (if I turn out to be right, that is) <g>

My company started off as a dot-com. That is to say, our sole purpose was
to have a really awesome destination site on the web.

Now we are sinking into the B2B pool, and our company heads have
officially touted (over and over again) that we are now a network...hence
the dot-net alias. This means that our own website becomes merely a
display of our capabilities, and our revenue is now generated via
partnerships with other sites. We become the invisible techonology that
allows other sites to be cool.

I agree with this business strategy. It makes sense for us. But I am
||this close to sending an email to the CTO saying "Hey! Wait a minute!"
I am the ONLY tech writer here. We have 6 proprietary tools that need
user help and training; plus requirements are withering on the vine --
leading to development havoc in our eng dept (I have offerd to help, but
they just keep running around in circles, saying "yeah we want to bring
you in but there is no time right now [blech])

So, "fine!" I've thought. "At least we dont have outsiders trying to make
sense of this stuff! At least it is only our own people who are neglected,
ill-advised, never having complete documentation!" (Oh, I forgot to
mention..they've only asked me to document 1 of the tools; other than that
they have me analysing and communicating work processes - I have become an
add-water-and-stir business analyst)

But now here we are. Standing on the mountain top and roaring: partners
come this way; we are dot-net.

I want to speak out...how on earth can we claim to be dot-net, when we
have no API documentation? No "how to use our service" documentation?
Nothing! Our information share stops after the sales pitch, and the
partner is dumped into the engineering/development abyss, to be later
'maintained' by a single (company-wide single) professional services

I am a novice, so I don't know precisely what I would document for a
network partner; but I have learned enough that I am sure that *something*
should be written. Are there experienced dot-netters out there who can
vouch for this? Shouldn't I, as the tech writer, be preparing a "suite"
of documentation for our partners? Can any of you list the typical
documents comprising such a suite?

What I am thinking:
1.) API
2.) hyperlinking

What else....?


StoreRunner Network Inc.
stephanie -at- storerunner -dot- com

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