7 Replies Latest reply on Feb 12, 2009 12:43 PM by rosberg

    Search across multiple help files

    rosberg
      I've run into a situation that's got me stumped --

      My client has three similar product, each of which may be purchased separately, or in conjunction with one or more of the others.

      Each product will have a separate html help system.

      My client would like those folks who purchse, for instance, all three products to be able to have the help search function in Product A return results for Product B and/or C.

      Best simile I can come up with is they'd like to be in MS Word, fire up help, and have information on Excel Pivot Tables appear (while still in Word).

      Is there a way to do this? Does it involved graveyards at midnight, and chicken bones?

      thanks a million for any assistance you can provide!

      john
        • 1. Re: Search across multiple help files
          RoboWizard Level 4
          Hi John

          What you are describing is characteristic of a typical merged setup. These may be created using CHM, WebHelp or FlashHelp as the output.

          The very rough and tumble steps are:

          * Nominate one project as a "Master"
          * Add references to the "Subordinate" projects
          * Generate or compile each project and place them in the appropriate folders.

          Cheers... Rick
          • 2. Re: Search across multiple help files
            rosberg Level 1
            Mr Wiz . . . . please speak slowly, as I'm in deep (for me) waters . . .

            I should have also included the following . . . . if the customer only purchased Product A (and NOT Products B and C), is there a way with this "merged setup," to limit the search results to Product A topics?

            Thanks for the assistance!

            john
            • 3. Re: Search across multiple help files
              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
              It is merged webhelp specific but there is an article on my site that will explain how it all works.

              • 4. Re: Search across multiple help files
                rosberg Level 1
                thanks gents! I appreciate the help -- a quick look at Mr Grainge's site (thanks for all that good data, sir) indicates that one cannot turn the merging off and on for a customer as they add products . . . . . . .

                great stuff, though, and I'm learning a great deal!

                Thanks!
                • 5. Re: Search across multiple help files
                  RoboWizard Level 4
                  Hi John

                  If you were delivering via CHM format, you would likely be dealing with a person managing the installation script. If that were the case, the person managing the install files would know which CHM files to include based on what the customer owned license to.

                  For WebHelp, you could manage this by having an authentication system. Only if the customer was authorized for certain modules could they then see the help.

                  Another tack would be that help might be used as a sales tool. Just provide all the help. If customer doesn't have module X, they still see the help for it. Won't do them a bit of good as they don't have the module it applies to, but if they see what module X is capable of, perhaps they will purchase it as a result.

                  Cheers... Rick
                  • 6. Re: Search across multiple help files
                    Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                    As customers add modules, the help for that module would be added and would then integrate as if it had been there all along. Play around with the demo I have provided and it should become clearer.

                    • 7. Re: Search across multiple help files
                      rosberg Level 1
                      Rick -- you're absolutley on time and target, sir -- I AM delivering via CHM, but this is a first time help system delivery for these guys, and they are desparately trying to transfer all the ju ju and gris gris to the help guy (that would be me) . . . .. . ;-}

                      We are invpolved in that conversation regarding sales potential as we speak . . . . great minds run on parallel tracks.

                      Again, thanks for all your help on, well, help!

                      john