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Hello tech writer
Have you looked into Conditional Build Tags?
You can set them up per client to exclude those topics not included in their license agreements from the build.
Hope this helps,
Hi there tech writer
I know that Brian suggested Conditional Builds, but I'm thinking that you may be more interested in creating modular help. In this case, you define a master file that knows to combine others with it when it is displayed. You would then insert common topics in the master, then have your installation routine add only the help modules that apply to the license.
This could prove a bit on the tricksy side to achieve. You may wish to consider whether the help could be used instead as a sales tool. If the customer sees something in the help that they don't have, they may opt to purchase additional functionality.
Just a thought... Rick
My guess is that accomplishing this is somewhat dependent on the software versioning repository and build systems used by your developers. I don't think you can make this decision independent of your "build master" and if your company has done this in the past (as opposed to it being a brand new task that has been assigned to you), there may already be a solution available.
My suggestion would be to talk to whoever is in charge of making the builds for your company's products to see which of the suggested solutions (conditional build tags or merged projects) is the most viable.
As someone who does both the help authoring and installation package for our company, I would follow Rick's advice and use the modular help. It just makes more sense to have this as part of the installation.
However, it really depends on the number of modules you have and how many combinations there are. If you have just two options, there would be no problem in generating two builds. If you have five indepenedent modules (meaning they could install any or all of them), you are looking at 32 different builds using conditional build tags as opposed to five installation packages (or five serial numbers in one package).
BTW, I do exactly what Rick suggested - one help file with all the information. Our users choose one of four hardware packages but the help file has all four. Context sensitive help from the software directs them to the right instrument topic, or they need to make the correct instrument choice from the TOC. I don't think this has ever confused anybody, although there could be some confusion if a page is reached through searching for a generic term.
That was really amazing to get suggestions from you all. Rick's idea is very thoughtful. My manager doesn’t want to hide any topic to the end user as a case of business tactics. But being a tech writer, I want to know about the conditional build tags. I went thro online help in Robohelp. But it’s still vague to me. Can anyone give me a practical, step by step guideline to do this? Guys, thank you very much for your valid suggestions and timely ideas. Looking forward for more..
Hi Tech Writer - BIQ
I think you will find that the Adobe forums are some of the best and most responsive you have ever seen. I suppose it's partially because of the nature of what we do. Help authoring. We like to help!
Anyhoo, check out the following articles and see if they help any. Post back if anything needs clarification.
Article number one (From my personal site)
Article number two (From the Adobe Developer Center)
Im back again. I tried out the build tags and here with some of the doubts. Please clarify. It goes like this..
1. I created three tags namely administrator, super user and user. These tags were created based on the user's access to the application.
2. I compiled the output using the 'AND' condition using all the three tags.
3. How do i view each of the output individually?
4. Can i save each of the outputs in a separate name?
5. I can assign tags to individual topics and not for the book. But these empty books are displayed in the final output. How do i eliminate these empty books in the output?
6. How to apply a tag to all the topics at one click or one go?
7. Is it possible to assign tags to the folders in the project tab?
Please help me. And Rick.. your reply was very useful. But the second link is hard for me to follow. Waiting for your replies..
Before you start generating, create three layouts and name them so that you know what each contains. For example use the tag names in your scenario so one output for administrator, one for super user and one for user. Then in each set the required build expression and point each one to a different folder.
The ability to apply tags to a folder and book came in RH6. It enables you to apply the tag to all but you have to remove individually. Also you have to apply it to subsequently added topics in the folder book.
Empty books should not appear if all the topics have been excluded, at least, to the best of my recollection.