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I would have replied directly to the list but I still haven't gotten
around to re-subscribing with my new @macromedia account.
This is a snippet from an old post I made on the HATT list, but
hopefully it helps. Feel free to post it if you think it has value.
For those .NET purists out there, yes this is an over-simplification,
but I find it helps most people come to grips with Help in a .NET world.
As complex as .NET can be for developers, it can be simplified into
three categories for Help authors.
WinForms - Think of these as traditional Windows-based applications that
just happen to be created with one of the .NET tools. WinForms are
usually documented with the traditional compiled Microsoft HTML Help.
Any tool that creates .CHM files can be used.
WebForms - WebForms are stand alone web applications created with one of
the .NET tools. Microsoft has no current standard for user-assistance or
Help for supporting WebForms. Your options are to use one of the
browser-based Help formats generated by a HAT, or get some developer
assistance and "code-your-own" Help solution.
Web Services - This is the high end of .NET (and what most people think
about when you mention .NET). Web Services are components which are
designed to share and exchange data with each other (even when from
different vendors), and can be linked together like building blocks to
create larger applications. Providing Help for Web Services can be
handled at two levels.
The traditional browser-based help formats can be used (but these do not
run as Web Services, they would be traditional Web technologies sort of
hung on the side of your Web Service), or there is RoboHelp Office Pro
for .NET which (to my knowledge) is the only third party Help solution
to actually run as a .NET Web Service, or, once again the option of
I hope that this break-down helps,
Mike Hamilton | Product Manager | Macromedia Inc.
mhamilton -at- macromedia -dot- com | www.macromedia.com