Our product consists of multiple modules, say, modules-1 thru’ module-8. We may sell all 8 modules or some of them – in different combinations to different customers. I’ve been developing the online help along the same lines, viz., in modules, help-1 thru’ help-8. Each help module has its own TOC. Depending on the requirement for a particular customer, I would integrate the requisite modules, build the main TOC using the existing mini-TOCs for each help, build the browse sequence and compile. This has been my routine till now.
Now the Product Development team wishes to automate this process: for instance, they want me to provide the help output for the 8 help modules in integrated form, along with separate TOCs for different combination of modules for different customers, like, help modules 1-to-8, 1-2-3, 1-5-6, etc. They feel the moment this TOC is dropped into the help output, it should automagically start functioning - without compiling!
I explained the process used in developing Robohelp projects, how the TOCs are built, etc., but they want to know if there is a work around, so that when a customer requires modules 3, 7 and 8, they can immediately drop the TOC (for 3-7-8) into the project output and it should function – without compiling or anything of that sort. I tried Google and Adobe Forum, but couldn’t find anything suitable.
Do we have a workaround? A solution to this issue?
What you need is merged help.
You generate a parent and all the child projects. You always install the parent and then whichever child projects you require. The TOC, search and index automatically adjust. See the pages on my site.
Note though that many people take another view to your Product Development. Show all the help and then people see information about something and realise they need it!
See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips
Thank you Peter. Merged help is definitely the way forward for me and fits my requirements to a T.