Re: Hosted Help - server specs?

Subject: Re: Hosted Help - server specs?
From: Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
To: Julie Stickler <jstickler -at- gmail -dot- com>, Technical Writing <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 2013 09:54:29 -0800

You should not need to authenticate each help call. Either the help
calls and files are part of the application (most common practice), or
you set up single sign-on between the application's web server and the
help web server (seems like a waste of resources, but IT may have its
reasons).

On Thu, Dec 5, 2013 at 7:41 AM, Julie Stickler <jstickler -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
> I've argued for having the Help visible to everyone, especially since
> several of my former employers have all of their doc available online. The
> last thing I wanted to do was restrict our Help to a limited number of
> users (one of the suggestions was to host on SalesForce, but not all of our
> customers have access to our Support site).
>
> It needs to be locked down because one of our products is just
> transitioning from beta to GA, and I got the "we don't want the competition
> to be able to see it" when I tried to argue for opening the docs to
> everyone. Which I can kinda understand, since that product is all new
> features at this point. So we're looking at ways to pass the license
> information or the user authentication with the Help call.
>
>
> On Wed, Dec 4, 2013 at 8:13 PM, Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>wrote:
>
>> There's no architecture, really. Web help is just HTML and JavaScript.
>> You dump the files in a directory. You don't need anything but Apache
>> or some other standard web server. Send the IT manager some sample
>> output. Here's the information on making the help calls:
>>
>>
>> http://webhelp.madcapsoftware.com/flare7/Content/CSH/WebHelp_CSH_Calls/CSH_Calls_WH_WHP.htm
>>
>> I strongly recommend using alias files rather than letting developers
>> hard-code calls to specific pages.
>>
>> If you want to limit the help to registered users (what's the
>> marketing case for not letting prospective customers see it?) then
>> just put the help files in the application, or if for some reason you
>> want to use a separate server, use the same authentication method you
>> use for access to the application. If the help is password-protected,
>> then I don't think you can use Google Analytics.
>>
>> On Wed, Dec 4, 2013 at 2:10 PM, Julie Stickler <jstickler -at- gmail -dot- com>
>> wrote:
>> > The subject line says "server specs" because our IT manager replied to my
>> > initial inquiry with "We may have to build a new server for it. It all
>> > depends on how this thing is architected." I've usually had to maintain
>> > help that was already coded into the product, so being asked "how this is
>> > going to be architected" rather baffled me. The application makes a call
>> > to the Help URL (Welcome.html or some such). The call might include some
>> > sort of token or password if we're locking down the Help to registered
>> > users only. What else am I missing here?
>> >
>> >
>> > On Wed, Dec 4, 2013 at 3:53 PM, Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com
>> >wrote:
>> >
>> >> The subject line says "server specs." Hosting web help generally
>> >> requires relatively little additional horsepower from a web server
>> >> that's already handling a SaaS application.
>> >>
>> >> You might look into replacing Flare's default web help search with
>> >> something more robust, such as Google or a Google Appliance.
>> >>
>> >> You'll probably want to use Google Analytics or something similar for
>> >> metrics.
>> >>
>> >> On Wed, Dec 4, 2013 at 11:43 AM, Julie Stickler <jstickler -at- gmail -dot- com>
>> >> wrote:
>> >> >>Web help is not very resource-intensive as web applications go.
>> >> >
>> >> > Not sure what you mean by this?
>> >>
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > --
>> > Julie Stickler
>> > http://heratech.wordpress.com/
>> > Blogging about Agile and technical writing
>> >
>> >
>> > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>> > New! Doc-to-Help 2013 features the industry's first HTML5 editor for
>> authoring.
>> >
>> > Learn more: http://bit.ly/ZeOZeQ
>> >
>> > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>> >
>> > You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as robert -at- lauriston -dot- com -dot-
>> >
>> > To unsubscribe send a blank email to
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>> >
>> >
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>> >
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>>
>
>
>
> --
> Julie Stickler
> http://heratech.wordpress.com/
> Blogging about Agile and technical writing
>
>
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> New! Doc-to-Help 2013 features the industry's first HTML5 editor for authoring.
>
> Learn more: http://bit.ly/ZeOZeQ
>
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>
> You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as robert -at- lauriston -dot- com -dot-
>
> To unsubscribe send a blank email to
> techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
>
>
> Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
> http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources and info.
>
> Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online magazine at http://techwhirl.com
>
> Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
New! Doc-to-Help 2013 features the industry's first HTML5 editor for authoring.

Learn more: http://bit.ly/ZeOZeQ

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
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Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online magazine at http://techwhirl.com

Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives


References:
Hosted Help - server specs?: From: Julie Stickler
Re: Hosted Help - server specs?: From: Robert Lauriston
Re: Hosted Help - server specs?: From: Julie Stickler
Re: Hosted Help - server specs?: From: Robert Lauriston
Re: Hosted Help - server specs?: From: Julie Stickler
Re: Hosted Help - server specs?: From: Robert Lauriston
Re: Hosted Help - server specs?: From: Julie Stickler

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