We are in the process of rolling out our online help which was created using Robohelp. In our initial rollout we will provide access to the files via our Client Portal which requires authentication. We are also planning for our next version where we intend to implement Robohelp server functionality.
Our IT team is looking at options on how to configure for High Availability and Disaster Recovery. It seems that Robohelp doesn't have any built-in functionality in this area. In addition we require that our users authenticate. The options for the server version seem to be more internally focused and we would need to solution the authentication using a third party.
Would anyone be willing to share their approach in these areas? Would you be willing to participate in a conference call with our IT Professionals?
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I've been using RoboHelp for 20 years and participating in forums and answering questions about it for perhaps the last thirteen years. And in all that time I've never seen mention of the items you are asking about.
I'm not sure what exactly you mean by "high availability" and "Disaster Recovery".
Sure, I know what these words mean, but I'm totally lost at what you might expect to see by saying "It seems that Robohelp doesn't have any built-in functionality in this area.". What type of functionality would you expect to see?
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My hope was to find someone in the community that has dealt with such concerns in the past. We have a large client base and wish to ensure that the server(s) we configure to house the helpfiles and analytics have sufficient failover should any problems arise. In addition, since the information cannot be made available publicly we require authentication. We believe the next step is to customize a solution and were looking for experiences, perhaps even firms that people have dealt with successfully in implementing.
If you are moving to the RoboHelp Server, it allows you to authenticate users. However if you wanted to authenticate elsewhere (e.g. inside the application) this is also possible. I'm not a developer but I am aware that it can be done. At the back of my mind I remember a conversation some years ago where authentication was passed as part of the help call.
As far as the server hosting and analytics are concerned, you may want to consider using a virtual machine. I've not tried this but again I've heard that it can work. If you had two virtual machines, both with identical configuration and content, it would be easy to switch between them if required.
I see my good friend Peter replied to your LInkedIn post where you cross-posted the same question. For those here that have no clue what Peter stated, here it is:
What are you seeking to recover? Your projects? Your outputs? This sounds like a question more appropriate to Disaster Recovery consultants and far wider reaching than RoboHelp. To me it seems like a question your IT people should be asking direct to such consultants who would expect a fee for their advice.
I would agree with Peter's reply.
I'll also go further and ask what exactly is being done in this realm for the application? Help files generally are there to support an application on the server. So whatever you are doing for the applciation should also be able to be used for the WebHelp, FlashHelp or web based AIR Help files, no?
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Robocolum thank you so much for your feedback. Our IT team is considering using VM’s to satisfy the need. It is nice to hear that others may have been successful here along with the approach to authenticate.
This may be a naïve question, but do most robohelp authors ship their content with the product? Are the files typically stored on a server with the product? In our situation we are looking to have the content stored centrally (more of an ASP scenario). This way it’s easy to push new content without the need to send software or files directly to our clients in between releases. It would also give us the ability to capture analytics from the user community in one location.
I don't think there is a norm. Our customers all require the software and the help to be on their own servers behind firewalls and they do not allow staff internet access.
Clearly your customers are happy to access help that is external. You will need to investigate how to handle authentication when those accessing the help are not part of the network and have no logons. I am not saying RoboHelp Server cannot handle that. Simply that I don't know and hopefully making this point will prompt those who have such knowledge to advise you.
See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips