Hopefully johndaigle will see this and pop in to advise. But as I understand it, RoboHelp server provides special reporting capabilities so you can learn what topics are accessed most often or not. I believe t also offers other options such as a management ability to control sections and restrict them to certain user groups.
As for the "was this helpful" sort of thing, that may be only possible if you are using RoboHelp Server with AIR based output. Perhaps John will shed more light on that too.
For most of the basic functionality, a typical web server does just fine.
While we're waiting for johndaigle (or anyone else) to chime in, I have another question about RH's handling of typical KB behaviours:
Obviously RH can handle related articles - but is there any way to display recently viewed topics (with or without RHServer)? I don't think this is a show-stopper, but want to evaluate RH and KB tools on the same criteria.
I'm not John, but I hope he won't mind me popping in.
RoboHelp server primarily serves as a platform to host the help so that you can get metrics and have access control for projects. The AIR help has some more options, but it is an older layout and isn't receiving much love. I would personally not invest in AirHelp if I can help it. You can allow user comments with Airhelp, but you could also use a free platform like Disqus for that (https://www.wvanweelden.eu/blog/2014/09/02/add-disqus-commenting-robohelp-output ). I've tried the Airhelp comments, but I wasn't able to get it to work.
You can run a knowledge base without RoboHelp server without a sweat. For features like 'was this useful' you can build a few HTML forms or features into a layout and use that.
The big difference between RoboHelp and FAQ tools is that for FAQ tools (or open source CMS systems. check them out too!) is that they are database driven. If you need the power of a database where you can create new links immediately without having to publish, then you have something RoboHelp isn't very good at.
A department at my company was looking for an FAQ tool as well. I helped them out with RoboHelp, but it didn't suit there needs because they wanted to add articles dynamically and change the search order of topics based on how often they were used. (And there were some requirements I forgot about.) They ended up quitting RoboHelp and going towards Zendesk.
Thanks for the response, Willam, and for the link to the Disqus commenting, I've filed that away for other projects if not this one.
Re your comment about RH not being suitable for changing the search order of topics based on how often they were used - this makes me think that my earlier question re "Recently viewed" topics would similarly only be served by a database solution, not possible in RH. Is that a fair conclusion?
Yes. Recently viewed is not possible in RoboHelp AFAIK. But perhaps John has a hidden nugget that I don't know about.