FrameMaker 11 and 9 - Doc Team expansion, help.

Subject: FrameMaker 11 and 9 - Doc Team expansion, help.
From: Simon Thomson <sthomson -at- rapiscansystems -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2012 16:23:13 +0000

Hi All,

Would appreciate any help, comments with the below and know this is one the best places to come for help - many an hour spent lurking here :).

I'm currently the sole tech writer in 'Product A' team, however I have a contractor starting in v soon (yippee), to help produce & finalise publications - typically just PDF printed books, with & next to me, on the same site.

So I'm rapidly sorting his resources i.e. hard/soft ware, desk, phone etc..

My problem, or query is what version of Adobe FrameMaker (FM) should I advise the the company, a global electromechanical manufacturer to purchase, for the new starter? I'm currently running Adobe TCS2, using Adobe FM9 daily - purchased way back in 2009 (wow.. really :|).

I've priced the initial costs of moving myself to FM11 with a TCS upgrade, starting the contractor with FM11, and then add other minor additions such as Acrobat Pro to which the total exceeds £2000 ($3200).. ouch.

I could simplify things buy just purchasing from a retailer, an older version of FM9. Though seems a) missed opportunity & b) slightly foolish to purchase an unsupported version now (I think?).

I'm hesitant to move to FM11, as another product group in the company, (will call them Product B team), is considering moving to FM9 - they've got the s/ware & licenses all paid up - but haven't made the leap. Yep, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make' m drink it :)).

So the question really is what's the back saving options and support like in FM11 for working on shared FM9 source content using multiple version of FM?

I can foresee the problem when working with the existing FM9 files, such as updating & publishing, with the new persons version (FM11) - they'd naturally save as FM 11, unless otherwise specifically back saved, to MIF 7? (Locking the older FM9 user out.. opps)

Is there an obvious, easy way to have both version FM9 and FM11 working in harmony, on the same shared files (& more importantly) FM books, from the same network server folders (no CMS)?

Does any functionality 'drop out' of the FM9 files, if opened, updated/changed with FM 11 then back saved using the Mif7 file format for the older team players on Product A and B teams on FM9?

Is the above the preferred method, or is there other ways? With or without FM or Third party Add In's?

(The FM 9 version files for product teams A & B, are relatively advanced, though are only unstructured non DITA currently - but contain & use Cond. Tags (15+), Variables, Multiple Master pages (40), Cross references (20), and Content Insets, to single source Tech data, Revision tracking tags and Ext. references (artwork images etc ).

I would be really interested in hearing from anyone whose got experience of sharing FM files with multiple versions of FrameMaker (FM)?
And ideas/experience with multiple user licensing - if cheaper than buying each s/ware product separately?

Or do you have to move all members of an Authoring team to a uniformed version (FM11), and take the greater cost on the chin, for the pay off in efficient file sharing/usage?

Thanks in advance,

Simon Thomson
Email: sthomson -at- rapiscansystems -dot- com<mailto:sthomson -at- rapiscansystems -dot- com>

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