4 Replies Latest reply on Sep 3, 2008 6:59 AM by PippaCohen

    Creating help for different access levels


      I am having a real mental block, so please forgive me if I'm asking something that is blindingly obvious.

      I have been asked to create a help system for a Windows based application. I have not yet seen the application, but I know it has a range of 'areas' - for example - email, project tracking, invoicing, resource management, etc. Access to these areas is determined by the user login - so User A might simply have access to email, User B might access everything, etc.

      I'm using Robohelp 7 and am trying to think of the best way to approach this. Is it reasonable to have one large help file that covers all areas? Or should I create one CHM for every 'area' within the application? The second option would require a separate 'help' option in each area though, and I don't know if this will be available.

      Many thanks!


        • 1. Re: Creating help for different access levels
          Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP
          Welcome to our community, Pippa

          You should investigate using a merged approach. In this approach, you create one project that serves as a "Master", to which you add subordinate projects that may or may not be included in the output.

          I think before we go further though, we need more information. For example, what is your output type?

          Cheers... Rick
          • 2. Re: Creating help for different access levels
            PippaCohen Level 1
            Thank you Rick :)

            The output will be compiled HTML. I have a fair bit of experience using Robohelp for this, but have thus far never had the need for merged projects, so I know pretty much nothing about them - how might they help in this scenario?

            • 3. Re: Creating help for different access levels
              Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP
              Hi again

              Well, here's the way it may work for a compiled .CHM setup. If you are using compiled .CHM files, I'm guessing your software is modular. Meaning that at the time it is installed, the user has options of choosing between the following modules:

              Module 1
              Module 2 - 9
              Module 10

              In this setup, you would create help that is generic that all modules would need. That one would be the Master. Then you would create separate projects for the remaining modules. You would then provide it all to the person that handles the installation program for your application. That person would then handle configuring the installer application so that only help for the actually installed modules is installed. If a module has been excluded, help is not installed for that module and doesn't appear and is not available to the user.

              Hopefully that makes sense to you. If not, ping back and I or someone else will take a stab at another explanation.

              Cheers... Rick
              • 4. Re: Creating help for different access levels
                PippaCohen Level 1
                My that was fast! Thanks so much.

                Your approach sounds very logical, but they don't call me Miss Worse Case Scenario for nothing! I am certainly thinking (and hoping) in modular terms, but I have a nasty feeling that I might turn up and find that it's one monolithic application, with access rights handled in some other way.

                In this instance, I'm guessing we could only install one help file, and so that file would have to contain everything... ?

                I'm confusing myself again ;)