1 Reply Latest reply on Nov 15, 2007 12:42 PM by ginafromtampa

    implementing airplane help--a few questions

    Laura Sala Level 1
      We are attempting to implement "airplane help" with our application, so that when our users have an internet connection, they'll get a live help file (webhelp) that we have sitting on a server, and when they're not connected to the internet, they'll get a local version of the help file (.chm file) that we deliver to them with our application.

      In RH's online help, it says to "Ask your technical writer which window(s) to call." I guess I was assuming these "windows to call" would have a file extension on them, but as far as i can tell, they don't...they just have a name and that's it...no extension. So...with regard to the .chm file, I suppose we just use the name we designate as the "Default Window" when we generate a chm file? Ours is called "main" (we don't use any customized windows or skins for the .chm file). For our webhelp file, we use the skin called XP Blue; so I assume that's the window we should call for Webhelp?

      Just wondering how other people who are using "Airplane Help" deal with different versions of your Help file. I assume you must keep multiple versions of your help file on a server so that each level of software you distribute to your end-users can call the right help file? Our situation is even more complex than just needing multiple versions of one help file to correspond with the various software levels that our end users are on...we also have multiple help files (i.e. one for retail stores, another for automotive parts distributors, etc.).

      Lastly, are there any “best practices” for implementing Airplane Help? e.g., what if there is a delay in figuring out that we’re not able to get to remote help, is there a way to force the "local" help file?

      Thanks much,
      Laura
        • 1. Re: implementing airplane help--a few questions
          ginafromtampa Level 1
          Laura,

          We also wanted to create airplane help like Microsoft Word Professional 2003. For those who haven't seen it: In Word, press F1. From the help pane, under See Also at the bottom, click Online Content Settings. In the Service Options dialog, de-select Show Content and LInks from Microsoft Office Online. (You can turn this on and off). Now when you search, it will only go to the in-product, airplane help (we call it offline help).

          The developer that I work with takes my FlashHelp output files, adds a .asp file that contains Visual Basic code that he wrote to call the help files locally from the user's computer. This is then placed on our support Web site's Knowledgebase that our customers can access. They are given instructions to download the zipped files to the server where our software application is installed, and they have to change some of our software's configuration files to point to this "offline help". The problem is, they can't just click a checkbox like you can with Microsoft. They have to go back into our software configuration's files to reset it back to go to our Web server for the Web-based FlashHelp.

          Hopefully the RoboHelp product manager or another RoboHelp customer will respond to your e-mail.