RE: Flare questions

Subject: RE: Flare questions
From: Jennifer Randel <jennifer_randel -at- khsd -dot- k12 -dot- ca -dot- us>
To: 'Melissa Nelson' <melmis36 -at- hotmail -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 6 Aug 2010 12:07:22 -0700

Hi Melissa,
Congratulations! My employer purchased Flare for me just over a year ago and I still do not consider myself an experienced user. I hope you won't mind me replying to your message anyway.

Training: Before Flare, I created all of our docs in FrameMaker. I had never worked with .CSS or creating online help, so I've had a severe learning curve. I've taken a couple of the MadCap training courses: Flare Basics/Intermediate Training and Flare Advanced CSS Training. One of the courses was with Scott DeLoach and I would very highly recommend him. He was extremely knowledgable about Flare, his pacing was great, and he made sure that my questions were completely answere--even those I had the week after training was over.

Maintenance plans: When we purchased the software, we had either gold or platinum. When it was time to renew, my boss decided to go for the bronze and I am a little sad about it. Gold would be perfect for me. I've never had to make a call to support, but I like the higher level plans because they give you dedicated priority email support. A few weeks ago, I'd submitted an email inquiry, for what I considered to be a small issue and it took 8 days from the time I submitted it, got a response, responded to that, and then got the final answer. I was a bit annoyed about it, so I mentioned it to the MadCap manager who sold me the software. He responded with all sorts of apologies and had solid reasons about why it might have taken so long (vacation schedules and such). The next time I emailed tech support, I had a _final_ answer later that same day! I'm not sure if you know about their user forums, but that's probably where you'll get most of the help you need. I know that I sure do.

I think your company made a good move. I'm pleased with the software and even more pleased with my interractions with them. They're just good people who really seem to care that you're pleased with their products.

Good luck and let me know if you have any more specific questions that I didn't touch on.

~Jennifer

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+jennifer_randel=khsd -dot- k12 -dot- ca -dot- us -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+jennifer_randel=khsd -dot- k12 -dot- ca -dot- us -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Melissa Nelson
Sent: Friday, August 06, 2010 11:35 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Flare questions


HI All,

First of all, thanks to everyone who answered my earlier questions about Flare and I am excited to report that my company is purchasing Flare, to build our new Knowledge Base. I have a couple more questions for any experienced Flare users.

1- If I have never used Flare, but have used Robohelp and Help and Manual and feel pretty comfortable with my expertise in both of those tools, how long do you think I will need to get the hang of Flare? I am trying to budget training time into my project plan. I know there is a learning curve to Flare, but if I was able to quickly pick up H&M and RoboHelp..should I also be able to quickly pick up Flare?

2- What types of training did you use to learn Flare? Any experience with the training that MadCap offers?

2- Does anyone have experience with the MadCap support and their maintenance plans? Is it worth paying the extra money for the unlimited inquiries feature? It is an extra $449 to get the unlimited inquiries? Both plans have unlimited email support..how are they at answering emails?

3- How would you rate Flare's ability to convert Word Docs into Online Help as compared to RoboHelp and H&M?



Any help, would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks again for all the earlier suggestions!

Melissa
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Gain access to everything you need to create and publish information
through multiple channels. Your choice of authoring (and import)
formats with virtually any output. Try Doc-To-Help free for 30-days.
http://www.doctohelp.com/

LavaCon 2010 in San Diego Sept 29 - Oct 2 is now open for registration.
Use referral code TECHWR-L for $50 off conference tuition!
See program at: http://lavacon.org/


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References:
Flare questions: From: Melissa Nelson

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