5 Replies Latest reply on May 1, 2008 8:30 AM by LRowan

    Problems with VSS and RoboHelp on second machine

      Hi all,

      We chose to use Visual Source Safe as our source control tool to use with RoboHelp. To build the VSS database containing the help project on the server, we successfully used the version of our help project on my machine. I have had no problems using it for the last several weeks. Everything works great. Files are retrieved, checked out, and checked back in with no issues.

      The problem is we have been unable to successfully set anyone else on the team up with the VSS-RoboHelp source control. Since we're not building the database from scratch, the way we did with mine, we're trying to "get" the version from VSS on the server and place it on her machine. I'm guessing this is the way to do it, but we don't know how. When we try to get the version in source control, only the top level of .htm topics are retrieved, not anything that is nested in child folders. Then, when we attempt to open the help project on her machine, we get all sorts of errors ranging from "corrupt .cpd" files to "invalid characters" to "the local version is different from the version in source control" (DUH!). We tell it to get files from RoboHelp when we try to open the help project on her C drive, but it doesn't download them correctly, and invariably RoboHelp crashes.

      Has anyone successfully used VSS with RoboHelp, and if so, how do you get a new computer set up with an existing RoboHelp project that is already in VSS? I need exact steps, if possible, since it's not intuitive (or since we're just clueless).

      I really appreciate any help anyone can offer!

        • 1. Re: Problems with VSS and RoboHelp on second machine
          Hi Lisa,

          I use VSS and RH as well. Sounds like you have a couple of issues related to VSS. 1). When you "get" a file, you are simply copying a Read-only file to the other computer. RH expects them to be writable (which is what happens when you check out files). 2) When getting or checking out files, you need to select the Recursive check box to get/check out the files in the child repositories.
          Try having her check out those project she'll be working on (which guarantees that no one can overwrite her changes). Or, if you don't want her to "own" them but do want her to have usable copies on her computer, simply "Get" them, then select all the files in Windows Explorer, right click, select Properties, and unselect the Read-Only check box.
          Hope this helps. I'm not exactly an expert on VSS or RH, but I'm managing to limp along....
          • 2. Re: Problems with VSS and RoboHelp on second machine
            LRowan Level 1
            Hi Kathy,

            Thank you for your response. I'm not sure we're on the same page, but it just may be because I'm so new to this. The problem isn't with checking in or checking out files -- It sounds like you might be at step 5 and we're still at step 1. The problem is with getting the entire help project down from source control to her machine the very first time. For example... Imagine a new RoboHelp author who has just started with the company and has just gotten RoboHelp and VSS installed on her machine. We now need to get the project down from VSS to her machine. We can't check out or get anything yet because the project hasn't even come down to her machine yet. RoboHelp on her machine doesn't even know about this help project out there. We open RoboHelp, and there's nothing on her C drive to browse to because the project isn't even there yet. I believe our infrastructure guy (who has been trying to get her set up with this, but is as much in the dark as I am) was trying to somehow "get" the files from VSS to her C drive from within VSS, but obviously that didn't work because it only grabbed the top-level files. I don't know if any of this makes sense. I thought there'd be a way, in RoboHelp, to tell it that we have something out in source control, and "please go get it." It doesn't seem to work that way.

            If you and I *are* on the same page and I just don't understand, I apologize, in which case do you mean she's supposed to check out files or get files from within VSS? Apparently that's what the infrastructure guy did, and it didn't work. She needs to be able to work on these help files just like I do, so she needs to be able to get, check out, and check in. Or do you mean we need to check out or get files from within RoboHelp?

            Color me confused... :P

            • 3. Re: Problems with VSS and RoboHelp on second machine
              kmaddox1 Level 1
              Hi Lisa,

              Oops...I just realized you asked about VSS, which is what I used at my old job. I now use Surround. In either case, I've never used the Version Control option in RH to check in or check out files. I do things directly from the source control program instead. That is, from Surround (or VSS), I check out the files I want and to put them where I want. Then, I open the project from RH. At the end of the day, I check the files back in. Note that I'm sure this isn't the "right" way, but it works. Sorry I can't help more....
              • 4. Re: Problems with VSS and RoboHelp on second machine
                In my experience with RoboHelp and VSS, I have found the following:

                Getting the initial copy from source control can be time consuming but not hard.
                Most likely, you only got the top level folder because the "recurse" (or "recursive", I don't remember off the top of my head) checkbox was not checked in VSS.
                • 5. Re: Problems with VSS and RoboHelp on second machine
                  LRowan Level 1

                  Your steps made it work! Thank you so much! I'm still having problems with the CPD file, but I've posted another message about that elsewhere, since that's not a source control issue, but a RoboHelp issue.

                  Many thanks again!