Re: Documentation behind a login

Subject: Re: Documentation behind a login
From: Helen Mullally <helen -dot- mullally -at- alfresco -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 20:02:54 +0000

Thanks for all the replies. It's interesting hearing your views.


I totally understand the point about doing what we're asked, either from the business in general, or specifically, Product Management. We are providing the best for our customers but it is also about what is right for the business.


We are not likely to put all of the content behind a login, but possibly some additional information that is for enhanced features of the product. So, the idea is that it becomes an up-sell tool.


I have heard people express concern about the reverse engineering of software from documentation but I work in an open source company, so we have never restricted the distribution of the documentation. On the contrary, we have always had a principle of free and open documentation too.


Is a really good point about the searchability of the docs via Google though. There is a risk of losing customers/prospects because they cannot use the standard search mechanisms. There is a strong likelihood that competitors will "fill in the gaps" that we have not made public. This is a very powerful argument against using login.


This is all very useful discussion material for when I meet up with the Product Manager. Thank you to everyone.


Cheers

Helen



________________________________
From: techwr-l-bounces+helen -dot- mullally=alfresco -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com <techwr-l-bounces+helen -dot- mullally=alfresco -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> on behalf of Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
Sent: 20 January 2017 18:44
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: Documentation behind a login

At my current job, as at the previous two, the docs were distributed
only under nondisclosure. That's pretty common for complex enterprise
software.

Currently I publish to online help distributed with the server (also
distributed only under NDA), to PDFs downloadable from the customer
portal, and to articles in Zendesk.

A major advantage of this approach is that we don't have to worry
about people using third-party documentation because there is none.

Whether we'll ever make our docs world-readable I don't know, but I
keep that possibility in mind.

On Fri, Jan 20, 2017 at 3:58 AM, Helen Mullally
<helen -dot- mullally -at- alfresco -dot- com> wrote:
>
> I'm interested to know what people think about putting documentation behind a login screen, for example to offer extra documentation for paying customers.
>
> I wonder what views you have about about giving all documentation freely available online. Do you see the restricted access to some documentation as a business opportunity or an annoyance/hinderance to the wider readership and prospects?
>
> I don't know whether there is a yes or no answer to this but it is more about the principle.
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Documentation behind a login: From: Helen Mullally
Re: Documentation behind a login: From: Robert Lauriston

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