8 Replies Latest reply on May 3, 2007 6:42 AM by KenY77

    Remote Collaboration in RoboHelp

    KenY77
      I tried to use Robohelp over VPN last night and it was terrible. (The VPN generally tops out at 40kb/sec upload over DSL). We need to use it collaboratively with a client, but VPN is no longer an option. Is it possible to have say, two copies of the same robohelp project; and send updates back and forth by sending part of the project files? E.g., certain sections/chapters?
        • 1. Re: Remote Collaboration in RoboHelp
          RoboColum(n) Level 5
          Hi KenY77 and welcome to the RH community.

          RH uses an underlying Access database and they are not known to run too well over a network. It is highly recommended to hold your source files on a local drive and back up to a network. You can use RH's source control facility to "share" source files but some users prefer to use other tools (e.g. Visual SourceSafe). I would not personally recommend sending updates back and forth as it would be very easy to get out of synch. The other concern I'd have is over licencing. I'm not sure how licencing works when accessed over a VPN but both you and your users would require a licence if sending things back and forth.
          • 2. Re: Remote Collaboration in RoboHelp
            KenY77 Level 1
            Thanks for the quick reply, Colum.

            I understand now why access was so slow over VPN; it was likely the database traffic that was slowing things down. Licencing shouldn't be an issue; everyone using RoboHelp will have a separate license.

            So if sending parts of the project back and forth is a bad idea, and the two parties that need access are separated by geography and remote access is slow, is there any way we can collaborate on the same project?
            • 3. Re: Remote Collaboration in RoboHelp
              CraigCC Level 2
              Hi Ken,

              Have you considered a modular approach? If you break down the work into segments you can allow different authors to work on different segments (split into separate projects and then merge the modules at build time?

              I regularly work with robohelp via VPN without a problem. Just curious, are you experiencing problems with other applications running over VPN. This is definitely not a known Robohelp issue.

              Kind Regards
              Craig
              • 4. Re: Remote Collaboration in RoboHelp
                KenY77 Level 1
                Hey, this is a really responsive community. :)

                The modular approach could work; I'm assuming that you mean creating a parent project then using the merge projects function to add a chapter to the TOC that consists of a separate project. The problem is that there will be numerous links between chapters, and I don't believe Robohelp will be able to track these links if they link to pages in other projects.

                I might not have explained the VPN setup correctly. The project files are located on a server that's connected to the internet via a residential-speed DSL connection that tops out at roughly 40kb/sec outgoing bandwidth. I was trying to open the project from my computer at home, which is also on a residential DSL connection. I think the limiting factor is the outgoing bandwidth of the server.

                Craig, do you know the bandwidth specs on the server that you access the files on over VPN?
                • 5. Re: Remote Collaboration in RoboHelp
                  CraigCC Level 2
                  What flavour of RH are you using RoboHTML and what flavour of help do you hope to create?

                  The modular approach could work very well for you, but the approach will be different depending on the above.

                  Colum is absolutely correct that you should not access the project on a server. Is there no way that you can access a PC via VPN and load and work on the project on this PC? If you do not need to work on the project at the same time, different authors could access this PC via VPN at different times. A bit of people management, but it could be an option.

                  Kind Regards
                  Craig
                  • 6. Re: Remote Collaboration in RoboHelp
                    CraigCC Level 2
                    BTW, I'm not sure about my VPN bandwidth. I need to check that offsite.
                    • 7. Re: Remote Collaboration in RoboHelp
                      MergeThis Level 4
                      quote:

                      Originally posted by: KenY77
                      The problem is that there will be numerous links between chapters, and I don't believe Robohelp will be able to track these links if they link to pages in other projects.
                      =======================================

                      RH will track the links as long as you have [copies of] those "external" (external to the project you're in) projects on your machine. So, a link to "projects/subprojectA" from subprojectB will get converted to "mergedProjects/subprojectA" and will work fine.

                      See Peter Grainge's web site for the most efficient method of constructing your merged project. My experience with it has been very positive. I also believe that VSS is the best product to use with RoboHelp.


                      Good luck,
                      Leon
                      • 8. Re: Remote Collaboration in RoboHelp
                        KenY77 Level 1
                        Thanks for the help, everyone. The remote desktop option is interesting; didn't think of that one.

                        I found out that the transfer really only has to go one way, and only once, but in sections. So I did a bit of experimentation and I think the best way would be if the party that initially creates the documentation sends the other party the files chapter by chapter, and the other party imports them into a blank project one at a time.

                        In any case, the project just got put on hold for maybe 5 months...so I won't have to think about this for a while.