Re: Planning modular help for software packages

Subject: Re: Planning modular help for software packages
From: "Suzette Leeming" <suzette -dot- leeming -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "Fugalli, Claudia" <cfugalli -at- csstars -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2006 14:44:37 -0500

I don't know if this helps, but....

I currently create help for a modular financial system. We have base modules
that everyone gets (client management, desktop tools, system administration,
etc.) plus modules that clients can purchase individually such as Loans &
Mortgages, Term Deposits, Investment Management, Retail Delivery, Office
Link, Agent Management, etc. We also have an Accounting package. If a client
does not purchase the Accounting package, they are given an Accounting
Interface module as part of their base system.

Here's what I did..

I create help for each module separately. Depending on which module a
customer is in when they click help, they will get the help file that
relates to that particular module. This required 5 minutes of a programmer's

I can link from each help file to any of the help files for base modules,
but not vice versa, for reasons already given.

We have an individual responsible for delivering our software (and updates)
to clients, and she wrote a script that gathers the help files for the
purchased modules to send to the client.

In our Accounting module, we used a bit of code to tell the system to check
the system parameters to see if General Ledger is authorized (which would
mean they purchased the Accounting module). If not, then help opens the help
for the Accounting Interface.

Desktop Tools is not really a module, but affects all parts of our system,
therefore I included that help in each of the other modules. I'm using Help
and Manual and it allows me to include other help files. When compiled, they
present as one help file.

I hope some of that helps,

Suzette Leeming
Stouffville, Ontario

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Planning modular help for software packages: From: Fugalli, Claudia

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