Collaborative authoring, production, and CMS?

Subject: Collaborative authoring, production, and CMS?
From: Rigo Vangheel <rigo -dot- vangheel -at- 4st -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 09 Mar 2010 10:00:07 +0100

****This is a vendor post****

You had the following requirements for your new tool. I added the
answers at the bottom of each one if you would choose HelpServer as your

1) It should be object-oriented (topic-driven), so multiple people can
be indifferent sections at the same time without stepping on each other,
and tomake reorganization easier. Database-driven or file-driven? I
don't have anopinion yet.
HelpServer is object oriented, has automatic and manual checkin
checkout. Reorganizing documents and creating new ones with existing and
new parts, topics and folders is a matter of drag and drop, copy and
paste of topics and folders, not their content, just a link to reuse them.
For consistency you better opt for a data base. It's better to prevent
broken links than being able to search for them because then, the damage
is done. HelpServer garantees consitency. What is used cannot be removed.
What data base? SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle or another one? The one you
like most. HelpServer supports them all.
What platform: All platforms supporting JAVA will do.

2) A relatively simple authoring interface should be available... the developers should be able to jump in and write or edit without learning a
cryptic new tagging method or a radical new interface.
HelpServer comes with a Word like interface for authoring and a windows exlorer type of organization of folders and topics
Simple enough?

3) The publishing method is still being defined... could be PDF, could be HTML, maybe something else.
The authoring environment needs to be able to either spit out multiple formats (as AuthorIT or some wikis do,
for example) or a standard format (HTML or XML that I can transform to what I eventually need).
Publishing is possible in many formats: HTML, PDF, XML, DITA, CHM, Javahelp ...

4) Revision control of some kind.
HelpServer comes with Workflows you can define yourself. For review, reviewers will automatically be notified whenever
'work has to be done' by the built in notification system.
They can use either the HelpServer annotations, change the content in a controlled way using HelpServer authoring
or use pdf annotations whatever is most usefull.

Am I missing anything?
Maybe a management system to control all this content?
Versioning, Feedback, automatic notification when something has changed, Auditing, 'Where is an object used', Project galeries to organize your binary content like images, video, audio, and other types of files
you want to include in your documentation.
These are just a few examples of the HelpServer CMS functions.
More information:



Use Doc-To-Help's XML-based editor, Microsoft Word, or HTML and
produce desktop, Web, or print deliverables. Just write (or import)
and Doc-To-Help does the rest. Free trial:

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