Hi folks! Hopefully by my asking this and having others review it, it will help others in their upgrade efforts!
I'm the only "real" technical writer at my company (full-time/titled) and need some support from the community on my grand(iose?) plans. We're upgrading our KB's from RH7 to RH8 to allow more "authors" to come on board to support me - their basic responsibility is content editing and updating.
I'd like some input on this plan and see if I'm missing anything BIG or if there's a "gotcha" I didn't mention. I didn't see anything else on this particular type of upgrade... I think mainly because I dove into the multi-author environment head first and never looked back.
Current Environment: Running a front-line support KB in RH7, 4 authors and myself, RSC 3.1 running source control on a database server as project "X".
Project size and characteristics: 2300 topics; 480 variable, 120 snippets. Four SSL's for different audiences. Output is WebHelp on DFS based servers (replicated to remote sites for business continuity - think "mirror" if on web);
Usage: 60-100 users daily;
Generation/Publishing: daily when updates occur.
End State: RH8, 6 authors, RSC 3.1 running source control on database server as project "Y" (this is to allow us to parallel the RH7 and RH8 releases and retire the bloated RH7 database (two years of changes).
Procedure: (I will perform these steps unless otherwise noted).
- Copy source files onto separate machine with RH8 installed (with 8.0.2 update).
- Lockdown (partial) database (no changes except emergent).
- Open and convert project - denying access to RSC for the project. (We must still keep RH7 up and running to do emergent updates and backout in case of failure at the end).
- Tweak project files (known design changes, templates/master pages, snippets, variables, etc.).
- Customize SSL's for testing
- Save project as new name and create/rename starting page,
- Test Generate and publish all SSLs.
- Check publishing. Repeat above until correct.
- Place project into version control.
- Test Check In/check out.
- Update SSLs to PROD servers.
- Update content changes since "partial lockdown".
- Generate/Publish/Check content
- Announce to users (will have new URLs).
- Upgrade existing authors in series. including: Deleting old project from hard drive, uninstalling RH7, installing RH8, installing 8.0.2 update, retrieving new project (always a fun time!).
- Upgraded authors test check in/check out.
- Unfreeze content changes - all changes in RH8 - no changes in RH7 version.
- Parallel content for one week.
- Remove RH7 generated WebHelp system from PROD. Replace landing page with redirect.
- Archive RH7 database and remove from RSC server.
- Bring new authors on individually.
One additional note. There is a strong push to add about 3,000 new items to the KB. I say items because I have not evaluated content and do not know if "items" corresponds to topics. Could be a 1:1; likely a 1:3 (i.e., 9,000 new items). These items would probably be limited to only one SSL (group). Should I put these additional items in a separate project (start afresh) for performance sake?
Thanks in advance.