RE: Online help access question

Subject: RE: Online help access question
From: "Robart, Kay" <Kay -dot- Robart -at- tea -dot- texas -dot- gov>
To: John G <john -at- garisons -dot- com>, Suzette Leeming <suzette -dot- leeming -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2016 15:28:44 +0000

It sounds like they're talking about a knowledge base. I have no opinion on the proprietary information/intellectual property angle, although I would point out that most companies that have a knowledge base require a password to access some or all of the content, even Microsoft.

My wider comment as a user of software that has gone from delivering Help to a knowledge base is that I find the knowledge base much harder to use for locating specific information. You almost always get far more search results than you need or even can comb through. I have often been looking for a particular piece of information, maybe for something that I just forgot how to do in software that I am otherwise familiar with, only to be deluged by thousands of search results. Many times, this has resulted in my not finding the answer I needed and having to comb through the software myself to try to remind myself how that thing worked. Sometimes the knowledge base is more useful, particularly when you have an unusual problem you're trying to solve and other people can contribute solutions, but most of the time, it's more confusing and difficult to use.

Kay


On Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 9:32 AM, Suzette Leeming <suzette -dot- leeming -at- gmail -dot- com>
wrote:

> I'm looking for opinions and/or examples. Here's my situation:
>
> I create browser based help for a suite of financial applications,
> generally used by banks, credit unions, etc. A suggestion has been
> made that we put all of our documentation online, wide open for
> everyone who wants to access. I disagree, since I feel it contains
> proprietary information and represents intellectual property. Our
> competitors could very well look at it and say "we can do that
> better", or use information they see there against us when competing for the same business.
>
> We're not the same as Microsoft Office or even Sage Accounting (which
> were examples given to me) because we are not dealing with retail, off
> the shelf applications; ours is enterprise software in a highly competitive industry.
>
> My proposal is to restrict access somehow, perhaps requiring user
> accounts, or verified IP addresses, etc. I note that none of our
> competitors make their documentation freely accessible.
>
> Have any of you come up against a similar situation or have any
> thoughts/ideas on how I can best present my case?
>
> Suzette Leeming
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Online help access question: From: Suzette Leeming
Re: Online help access question: From: John G

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