Re: choosing the right format for documentation

Subject: Re: choosing the right format for documentation
From: "Steven J. Owens" <puff -at- netcom -dot- com>
To: jcmorel -at- hotmail -dot- com
Date: Tue, 21 Dec 1999 10:07:34 -0800 (PST)

J.C. Morel writes:

> We are developing a new application in the CRM (customer relationship
> management) solutions marketplace. I am hopelessly trying to get
> information on what is the minimum amount of documentation expected with a
> product and in what formats (paper, PDF and HTML).
>
> This is a _very_ configurable and modular system. Users are marketing people
> and business analysts. We have come up with the following:

Your definition of your product is far too vague for me to make
recommendations. I've spent a good chunk of the last ten months
working with several different CRM packages, all of them very
different, not to mention coding a specific, targeted CRM application
in java. One is a webserver, another is a DB2 database with 3270
terminals. CRM is a goal, not a technology.

One thing I can say with great certainty is, make a strong
distinction between the docs meant for the marketing guys and the docs
meant for the programmers. One tool I've had the misfortune to work
with treated CRM concepts like some sort of proprietary software
module, mingling them interchangably with the actual software
components in the documentation. This made it extremely difficult to
get any value out of the documents - you could never tell whether they
were talking about a real command or program, or some concept they
thought they invented.

Steven J. Owens
puff -at- netcom -dot- com





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