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Welcome to our community, OC Tech-writer
Okay, I'll bite.
Background: I worked with earlier versions and I recall that when we were finished with our projects, we would transfer the help directory in a zip file (to the publishing or tech services dept) with the filename that a hook would call to launch the help system. That was then, now with RH7 something seems to have changed. I do not see the same subfolder structure.
I have seen many odd things in my career with help authoring. So there's no counting for the ingenuity of developers when it comes to using files. However, what you describe would seemingly be impossible. To deliver your help in .ZIP format and leave it that way. I'm guessing that .ZIP format was used for ease of transfer. Providing a single file to distribute. Then along the way, someone down the line unzipped it and linked it up.
- Check with Adobe about Flash help in online system (self contained or do users require the flash plug-in?)
I'm assuming you have settled on FlashHelp as your desired output? Indeed, your users will require an ability to play Flash content. In a FlashHelp output, the TOC, Index, Search and Glossary are all presented to the user via Adobe Flash. And that requires an ability to play Flash.
- Can we use a 3rd party CSS for RH7, we want to match the colors and button styles of our software?
CSS is simply a set of rules for governing appearance. Yes, you may use any .CSS you want! RoboHelp doesn't confine you to only the .CSS it supplies.
- Can we deploy RH7 projects on Win 98, Win 2000, and XP without any special config issues (some of our clients may have some legacy issues and still be on Win 98)?
RoboHelp is capable of producing WebHelp, FlashHelp (these are cross browser and presented in a browser) as well as compiled HTML Help (also known as a Compiled .CHM file - pronounced Chum) I think it was Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 that ushered .CHM format into the world. So I'm thinking you should be safe with either type of output.
- Check with Adobe on how to wrap up/transfer RH 7 projects to a server (I can't seem to launch the online help system without launching the RH program. How do I package and move the project to a server)?
Usually this is as simple as configuring the Publishing options from inside RoboHelp. Then publishing once you have generated. Of course, there are other ways too. To get to the bottom of this is probably worthy of another thread devoted entirely to that question.
- What are the server requirements?
Depends on what you are creating and doing. If you are using basic WebHelp or FlashHelp, any server will do. The only time server requirements are usually a factor is if you have opted to purchase and use the RoboHelp Server component. Many folks mistakenly purchase this component when all they really want is to just deploy simple WebHelp or FlashHelp. So be certain of what you want before you buy into more complexity and expense than you need.
- Are there any IIS conflicts to be aware of?
Not sure what you mean by conflicts here.
- I discussed with Dev about writing a hook attached to a Help button that would call up the help file (located on the server with the program software).
There are different ways to accomplish this. Again, fodder for a different thread.
Have you considered training? All these questions and more are normally covered in a RoboHelp class.
Thank you Captiv8r for the detailed response and the links.
Yes, the tech services dept would unzip and place the files on a server. That made it easy for the writers because we just created the help system and let others coordinate the publishing. At my current job, Dev is asking for info, tech services is asking for specs, so this is a learning experience for me.
We have not settled on flash yet. I would like to use flash help because it is the latest and greatest. However, the plugin is a concern because some clients may not want their user workstations to have flash. I may have to go with WebHelp, or even HTML Help! Clients must have IE6 or IE7 to use our software, so I think I would be ok with WebHelp. No plugins required for WebHelp, right?
Thanks for the info on the server requirements. The Director of one department wanted to know if I could direct him to a web page that would detail those specific requirements related to RH7. Do you know of one?
I will start new threads for those questions you said should be their own topics.
Thanks again for the info. This was very very helpful to me and our organization. I will probably spend a lot of time zooming through these threads for info.