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Chet Z
Currently Being Moderated

Upgrading from RoboEngine 3.1 to RoboHelp Server 9

Apr 10, 2012 8:13 AM

Tags: #upgrade #robohelp_9 #roboengine

Old-time user, new ID. My company recently upgraded from RoboHelp 4 to RoboHelp 9. (Yes, we're slow about some things.) I was recently asked to upgrade our WebHelp Pro output, which had been posted to an old RoboEngine 3.1 server. Of course, the new RoboHelp 9 output does not play well with RE 3.1, and I got a "RoboHelp Engine server is not available" message when I attempted to upgrade the output. After doing a little research, I discovered that this lack of backward compatibility began with RoboHelp 7.


Fortunately, I made backups of my old WebHelp Pro output, and our users can still access the Help files. But I've been tasked with researching the upgrade path from our old version to the new one. So here's what I'd like to know:


  1. Is buying RoboHelp Server 9 sufficient?
  2. Is the process of publishing the Help files to the server reasonably similar?
  3. The server that hosts RE 3.1 is a Windows 2000 machine. Will I be able to run RH Server 9 on it?
  4. Will I need to provide new URLs for the Help links inside our Internet-based software after the upgrade, or will the old links, which use the format, still work?


Thanks in advance for your help. Nice to see that Rick, Colum, and Peter are still firing the big guns around here. I feel strangely reassured, as if everything will work out just fine



  • RoboColum(n)
    5,357 posts
    Oct 8, 2004
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 10, 2012 8:33 AM   in reply to Chet Z

    Welcome back Chet. I nearly typed the obligatory "Welcome to the RH forums" greeting when I saw your single post but that doesn't seem right here


    The issue here is that the underlying RoboHelp and RoboHelp Server code was completely rewritten in Java. Personally I'm surprised you managed to get RH9 output running on RE 3.1 at all. It just goes to show what a error tolerant application it is.


    You'd be far better off upgrading both the client and the server applications. I think you'll be surprised at just how easy RHServer is to install and use these days. No more fiddling with permissions. As for publishing, you still have a WebHelp Pro SSL in RH9. It does have some additional options and the UI of the RH Server application will have changed also. There is a lot of new functionality. You may find that the URL for the help is different though. There is an excellent guide that is worth reading called the RoboHelp Server Reviewers Guide. You can find it here and it will answer a lot of your questions.


    One thing you may want to consider is migrating the data from RE3.1 to RHServer 9. The new app has a migration tool that can migrate from an earlier release. However I am not sure if it could cope with data from RE3.1. You could try, and it is doesn't get the data into the new database with SQL.



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  • RoboColum(n)
    5,357 posts
    Oct 8, 2004
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 10, 2012 9:52 AM   in reply to Chet Z

    The reports have undergone a lot of changed in RHS9 so they may be worth another look and the reviewers guide points to how they can prove useful. I've even used them to improve the UI as they allow me (with some lateral logic) to back up why the usability a dialog is poor. However if you decide RHS is not for you, you can just create the non-pro version of WebHelp, publish it to a server or intranet and have it available to your users.

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