1 2 Previous Next 43 Replies Latest reply on Jul 22, 2010 1:29 PM by karenp4

    RoboHelp Server 8

    tuls.garg Level 2

      I am starting this thread to give an introduction to RoboHelp Server 8. Any comments and questions are most welcome.

      RoboHelp Server 8 is completely rewritten in Java and is much more stable and robust than previous versions.
      Installation is much more simplified now.

      One major difference from earlier versions is now RoboHelp Server 8 does not need IIS Server. Instead it uses tomcat server.

      You can download RoboHelp Server 8 trial version from http://www.adobe.com/downloads/

      Prerequisite for installing RoboHelp Server 8
      • Java Runtime Environment (JRE) 1.5 or higher
      • Tomcat 6.0.14 (or 6.0.16)

      Steps to install RoboHelp Server 8
      1) Install JRE and Tomcat.
      2) Verify tomcat is up and running by visiting url : http://localhost:8080
      3) Launch setup.exe of RoboHelp Server 8
      4) RoboHelp Server 8 should get installed. Launch Config Manager from the desktop.
      5) Select the database you want to use for RoboHelp server 8 installation.
      6) Click save and then close Config Manager.
      7) Now open RoboHelp Server web admin url in browser: http://localhost:8080/robohelp/admin
      8) Web Admin login page should get opened up.
      9) Use default user name “admin” and password ”admin” to log in.
      10) RoboHelp Server 8 web admin should get launched.

      I shall talk about new features of RoboHelp Server 8 in follow-up thread.
      If you run into any issues while installing RoboHelp Server 8, please post your queries here.

      RoboHelp Server Team.
      Adobe Systems.

        • 1. RoboHelp Server 8
          tuls.garg Level 2

          I would like to introduce the "Enhanced Search" feature of RoboHelp Server 8.

          RoboHelp Server 8 has two modes of search.
          In one mode of search, RoboHelp Server uses the search-index generated by the RoboHTML client which is published to RoboHelp Server when the project is

          In the other mode, RoboHelp server re-generates the search-index at server. This is the default mode of indexing used by RoboHelp Server 8.

          Server Side indexing (reindex=true) vs Client Side Indexing(reindex=false)

          Advantages of Server side indexing as compared to Client Side Indexing-

          a) This mode has better support for unicode search like CJK languages.
          b) This search also supports wildcard search.
          c) Its more efficient and robust.
          d) Server Administrator can schedule reindexing of server documents at specified time. Any additional documents in pdf, doc, xls, ppt or txt format can be added to project folder on server machine explicitly at anytime and when scheduled indexing happens these documents will be indexed too and show up in search results.
          This gives admin the flexibility to add documents other than RoboHTML published format to RoboHelp server and make them available to their end user via this search functionality.

          Limitation of Server side indexing as compared to Client Side Indexing-
          a) Project synonym list, phrase list and stop list is ignored while re-generating search index at server side.
          b) Topic context is not shown in searh results.

          However new search enhancements introduced in RoboHTML 8 like keyword search, ranking, excluding topic from search result are supported in both the modes.

          To change the mode of indexing, user can follow these steps
          -go to <RHServer8 installation path>/WEB-INF,
          -open robohelp_server.properties file in notepad.
          -set reindex=false (by default it is set to true).
          -Restart the server(restart tomcat service)

          Depending on their requirement, user can choose either mode of search.

          • 2. Re: RoboHelp Server 8

            I'm sorry but we are not finding the installation of RoboHelp Server 8 simplified nor easier as being promoted by Adobe. In fact, it's completely the opposite. Customers using IIS will be faced with figuring out and installing JRE and Tomcat, and for some companies, this may be the first time either of these technologies have ever been used. Neither JRE or Tomcat is included with the RoboServer 8 installation and forces the user to go out and find these resources, download them and try to figure out how they need to be installed. Why in world were they not included with the RoboHelp Server 8 installation and why weren't they automatically configured for the user? Additionally, the documentation on how any of this works is vague at best and extremely confusing. We have yet been able to get all of this to work!

            We are extremely disappointments in the direction RoboHelp Server 8 has taken and the time, energy and resources being spent on getting it to work has left a lot of doubt in our minds about its future.
            • 3. Re: RoboHelp Server 8
              johndaigle Level 4
              Whoa, Todd. My experience was just the opposite. After years of fighting that ugly IIS-only "RoboEngine", the new RoboHelp Server 8 was a dream to install. I am an author, not a developer or an IT network person. Yet, following the documentation, I downloaded Tomcat first and installed it on the default port 8080 (a single Windows .exe to install and fairly simple actually) Then I installed RoboHelp server and set up users and protected areas. It worked "as advertised."

              I agree I was anxious at first because I had never installed Apache anything. I'm pretty much a Windows guy for good or ill. It took awhile for me to go to the Apache Tomcat site, but I figured out what to download pretty quickly. I don't know, but I think the reason Adobe doesn't include Tomcat in the install is because Tomcat is an open source software and constantly changing on their own timetable. Also, there might be support issues on non-Adobe software. Obviously, if it could be packaged as a single install, they would be definitely be more convenient.

              Meanwhile, for a fumble-fingers, non IT guy like me, I was pleased with the outcome. So far I've installed it on three machines without a hitch. Maybe I was lucky? What I might do is create a Captivate movie on the install process so folks can see the procedure more clearly.

              • 4. Re: RoboHelp Server 8

                Did you ever get yours working?
                • 5. Re: RoboHelp Server 8
                  toddmyers Level 1

                  Tulika helped us get RoboHelp Server 8 running last Friday (3/20/09) but unfortunately, our help system still is not functioning because there appears to be some problem with the content that's preventing RoboHelp Server from running. Specifically, Tulika says:

                  "The problematic characters are : < (less than), > (greater than), " (quote), & (ampersand), ‘ (apostrophe) Scan your:
                  1) topic names
                  2) topic file names
                  3) toc book/page name
                  and remove any occurrence of the above mentioned characters."

                  Tulika and other Adobe support staff thought we could resolve the problem by upgrading the client version of RoboHelp to version 8. However, that did not solve the problem and we need to scan literally hundreds of help files for the above characters. These "problem characters" of course have always worked in the previous versions of RoboHelp (since v4) and we believe the RoboHelp client should trap for characters if they are not supported on RoboHelp Server 8.

                  John I'm really glad your installation has gone well because I can definitely say ours has not. Yes, I'm sure much of this has to do with us not being familiar with Tomcat and JRE but I also don't believe we should be required to figure out how to find, download and configure these applications when, in our opinion, they should be part of the install. My tech guys tell me Adobe has used Tomcat before in a product called Version Cue but it was completely transparent. Meaning, Tomcat was installed and configured as part of the CS3 installation, which is exactly what we would have love to happened here.

                  To give you some idea of what it has taken to get this installed here is our time-line:
                  - Purchased RoboHelp Server 8 on 2/4/09
                  - Tried to get it running internally for 2 weeks.
                  - Engaged Adobe Support on 2/24/09
                  - Meeting w/ Adobe Support Engineers 3/2/09
                  - Meeting w/ Adobe Support Engineers 3/3/09
                  - Meeting w/ Adobe Support Engineers 3/4/09
                  - (Little to no response from Adobe during these 2 weeks.)
                  - Called Support on 03/16/09 and wouldn't get off the phone until I talked to a Support Manager. Well, I had to get off the phone but Jeri did promptly call me back.
                  - Meeting w/ Adobe Support Engineers 3/18/09
                  - Meeting w/ Adobe Support Engineers 3/20/09
                  - UNRESOLVED, SUPPORT SYSTEM STILL DOWN (problem with "content")

                  Additionally, there has been dozens of e-mails going back and forth between Adobe and our company, literally begging them for help. We came to our breaking point last week and finally demanded Adobe escalate this issue to their engineers/developers. That's when we hooked up with 2 people that really made a difference: Shawn Cormier and Tulika Garg. Both of these people are top-notch and are the ones who got the server running for us on Friday (3/20/09).

                  As of this writing, Tulika is still trying to pin-point exactly what file in our RoboHelp project is causing the problem with the server (yep, we zipped up our entire project and sent it off to Tulika). We're hoping for two things: (1) she can find it so we don't have to spend hours/days debugging this problem and (2) what we sent her will help Adobe fix the client and server software so others don't run into the same problem.

                  This post is not meant to disparage Adobe or their support staff, engineers, etc. in any way and I hope it ends up being useful to someone out there (Tulika actually asked me to post this for you – which I thought was pretty big of her).

                  Good luck to all.
                  • 6. Re: RoboHelp Server 8
                    toddmyers Level 1

                    Ok, our RoboHelp system is up and running again. The problem was definitely with the naming of the files, which were not playing nice with RoboHelp Server 8.

                    Tulika helped us solved the problem, here's what she said and did:

                    *** "I upgraded your project to RHT 8 and replaced “&”, “>”, “<”, “ ’ ” with “_” just in the file names and the project worked just fine after that. I didn’t change it anywhere else i.e. the topic names and toc entries still contain ““&”, “>”, “<”, “ ’ ” and the project was successfully published to RoboHelp Server 8 and I can view it from Web Admin page as well." ***
                    • 7. Re: RoboHelp Server 8
                      KHuntington Level 1

                      I'm hoping that since you were successful with RS 8, you can help us figure something out. Basically, we're evaulated version 8, but still trying to publish our version 7 robohelp projects. It did take some IT folks with Tomcat experience to get everything setup, but it appears to be working. We were able to publish our version 7 WebHelp Pro project to the server (after some touch and go trying to figure out exactly what the server string had to be, etc.


                      What we cannot figure out is the URL that we are supposed to use to view the webhelp? That's the main thing. But we also get a message on the Troubleshooting tab that "No default project has been defined" along with the date. But we don't see the project in the list on the Projects tab.


                      Thanks in advance for any help. (P.S. We are trying to launch this as part of our pilot on Friday so need to figure this out ASAP!)


                      • 8. Re: RoboHelp Server 8
                        tuls.garg Level 2



                        Can you please share your tomcat logs? They are located in "<tomcat-install-dir>/logs".



                        • 9. Re: RoboHelp Server 8
                          KHuntington Level 1

                          Thank you, Tulika, for taking the time to help us! Attached are the latest log files. Please let me know if you need other specific ones (we had about 10 of them, but I can only attach 3). I appreciate your help.



                          • 10. Re: RoboHelp Server 8
                            KHuntington Level 1

                            Thank you so much for your help. Can I email these log files to you? I'm getting an error message when I try to attach them. Thanks!


                            • 11. Re: RoboHelp Server 8
                              KHuntington Level 1

                              They are attached. Thanks so much!

                              • 12. Re: RoboHelp Server 8
                                KHuntington Level 1

                                Can you please clarify something that our IT guy just heard from Adobe help when he called. They told him that the topic name and file name cannot contain any spaces. I understand that is true for the file name...it always has been that spaces are replaced by the underscore. I cannot believe that the same would suddenly be true for the topic name. That would make RS8 a no-go for us.




                                • 13. Re: RoboHelp Server 8
                                  Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                  Hi Kristen


                                  I'm sure this was probably directed at someone else, but I'd be totally shocked if that were true.


                                  Keep in mind that Adobe Support is a call center. And what you get from a call center will likely vary. You have folks that are well versed in products and other folks that aren't nearly as well versed.


                                  I stand to be corrected on this, but I've never known Topic Titles to have any effect on things other than what they display to the user.


                                  Sincerely... Rick