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Yes, you can have RoboHelp Server 8 and still use source control - either a third party one like those you mentioned, or the free RoboSource Control that comes with RoboHelp itself if you choose to install it. However you should not confuse RoboHelp Server with source control since RoboHelp Server is strictly output and not "source". So a common scenario might be to:
- Have RoboHelp HTML 8 (the authoring client) that uses RoboSource Control (or third party) for backup and version control.
- Publish from the RH authoring client to the RoboHelp Server 8
There is no hosted RH Server service offered by Adobe (or anyone that I know of.)
Hope this helps.
Adobe Certified RoboHelp and Captivate Instructor
Thanks, John, I was confusing source with output.
What about the actual hosting? Does Adobe provide hosting, installation, maintenance, etc.with RoboServer?
another question re: server environment: is it possible to use a third-party search engine with RoboServer 8, in order to have search across projects, as well as search within projects? and search across any kind of traditional web site into which one may integrate the Robo Web Help?
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Adobe do not offer any hosting solutions. They do offer support for installation and product usage although you'd be better off posting those sort of queries here.
As for searching across projects, this is not an issue if the projects are merged. If they are seperate entities, it maybe possible to have a third party search tool that sits on the physical server although I've not heard of anyone doing that. Perhaps others could chip in here. Peter Grainge has an article on his site about using ZoomSearch. He has it set-up to work with WebHelp rather than WebHelp Pro output but in essence it should still work with RH Server output.
Search works across projects if you are using RoboHelp Server and leave it at the default configuration. Perhaps you publish 20 different projects to the server. All 20 will be searched unless you have turned that feature off.
Helpful and Handy Links
Thank you Colum. Yes, that was my idea.
I'm thinking a whole informational Help/Support web site, of which RH projects are only a part, i.e., when the content lends itself well to a cohesive "guide" vs. atomized info. I like having search within a RH project/guide, but must have site wide search including all RH projects, and I don't want to go down the merged project/guide path as this will not integrate well with web site/other related content idea.
Has anyone done this with search engine also using RH Server 8?
Thanks for the Peter Grainge link. I was thinking siteSearch Pro (gold), though it looks like ZoomSearch does it all as well.
Thanks, Captiv8r. There's no way to have both though, -- Intra RH project and across all projects -- in RH Server 8?
Well, sort of. Note that basic WebHelp and FlashHelp are capable of being merged. This allows a search to occur across the merged set. As I said earlier, merging can be automatically enabled or disabled in the RoboHelp Server. So theoretically, you could turn off merging at the server. Then you could publish ten projects. Perhaps you want two of those projects to be isolated islands where search only occurs in them individually. But for the other eight, you want a search to be performed across the eight projects. You could create a standard merge in this case and publish to the RoboHelp Server and have a search work across the eight merged files. You could also open each of the eight individually and search only that file set.
At least that's my understanding of how it works. Perhaps fellow Adobe Community Professional and fellow Adobe Certified Instructor John Daigle will pop in and offer some clarification if I've muddied the waters.
Helpful and Handy Links
Rick has basically got it. Whether using search in merged WebHelp on a regular web server or merged WebHelp Pro on the RoboHelp Server, the end user is always searching across all merged projects. It's all or nothing.
Though not very practical, the only thing I can think of at the moment is that you could publish a merged site for merged searching and re-publish each project to what RH Server 8 calls an "Area" that is not merged. Then each project would be accessed and searched separately. But I don't see this a really practical solution because users would not "see" the other projects in the full TOC and this is probably not what you want.
It might make a nice feature request though! Here's Rick's link to the wish form.
Following up on what Colum said, there is no Adobe-sponsored (or third-party) hosting for RH Server 8. To answer your earlier question about "installation, maintenance, etc.with RoboServer," I do offer assistance with installation and configuring the server. Email me offline at the address in my profile if you are interested.
Adobe Certified RoboHelp and Captivate Instructor
Captiv8tor and johndaigle, thanks.
However, apart from a "new feature request" that gets accomplished for RH Server 9, both of your posts rely on merging, a thing I am looking to avoid.
And I am not sure you are not contradicting each other, either. Captiv8tor says you can merge some, not others, disable the cross-project search in RH Server, then you'll have search across those projects that are merged, while others not merged have search (as usual) within the project only.
johndaigle seems to be saying, no, it's across all or just within each if you have more than one project, whether some of them are merged projects or not, but goes on to describe a possible but impractical exception. Or am I missing something?
In the end, I don't know what to conclude, except it looks like you can use a separate third-party search engine to search across all projects, and leave your projects unmerged to keep the benefit of intra project search only. I wonder if there's a way one might sneak a seach field from the all-server third-party engine into the project as well, or is that essentially what Peter Grainge is doing with zoom search?
Does anyone know of a help/support site example such as I am contemplating, i.e., a custom "pretty jane" web site with all manner of articles and related content, with links to "user guides" (RH projects) integrated into the site? The problem with that is how to get the all-site search to open an RH project to the appropriate page from the Search Results page. Likely not possible.
I'm tempted to just use RH, not the server version, and use it just as an authoring/staging tool, then export it all to XHTML, and use the content files in a "conventional" web site setting, whether with framesets or without, together with a seach engine like zoom. Has anyone else resorted to this approach?
It's a shame none of the HAT vendors are on top of this.
Sorry, Rick and I are not addressing your specific issue. Unfortunately, RoboHelp (WebHelp or WebHelp Pro) does not meet your requirement as you state it. I also agree that it is unfortunate that other HATs have not taken up this idea. I think it is an excellent feature request and that's why I recommended the wish list.
In re-reading your post, I'm thinking you are right to investigate third party solutions. Yes, as you suggested, "one might sneak a search field." In fact last night I did a test using Google's free "Custom Search Engine" which is pretty slick. http://www.google.com/cse/
It allows you to embed a Google search field that brings up results from any number of combinations:
- Individual pages: Specifying www.mysite.com/mypage.html will just include the mypage.html page on www.mysite.com.
- Entire sites: Specifying www.mysite.com/* will include all the pages on www.mysite.com.
- Parts of sites: You can use wildcard patterns to include just certain parts of a site. For example, www.mysite.com/*about* will include only files on www.mysite.com that have about in their name.
- Entire domains: You can also specify an entire domain
In my test, I created a Google Custom Search Engine that searches only a "Books worth" of my RoboHelp WebHelp output and it works. Google's free custom engine results come with advertising, but for as little as a $100 there is a Business solution without the ads. Even with the free solution, they provide a .CSS that allows you to "brand" the search with your color scheme, etc.
Thanks for bringing this up. Sorry, it's not helping your immediate need.
Thanks, John. Very useful information from your google search experiment. I take it you put their code into an RH topic's HTML?
I'm not much for posting to wish lists (my list would be long, and I'd want to send them a bill for services rendered along with it ;-), but go ahead if you'd like to see more flexible search features in RH. There should be a way to custom tag topics as well, whether generic meta tags or within RH keywording/indexing, full feature search customization and optimization if they're going to bother at all.
Anyway, I'm looking into Author-it and Flare as well. My boss is very unhappy with RH specifically because of its search limitations.
See my response to this thread. In addition to the .html class library files mentioned there, we also use the Zoom plugins to include some .doc and .pdf files in the search results (there are at least a dozen or so of these plugins available).
If you must investigate other HATs, you could do worse than Help & Manual (which comes with Zoom Search built in). Management shot us down when we requested buying it a few years ago, only because it was a small shop (made a lot of sense to them, not so much to us).
Thanks, MergeThis. Well worth adding to the list from a preliminary look-see. I like the shared authoring built in.
I have to find something to dissuade boss-man, a developer, from trying to make me contort wiki-ware Confluence + plugins into a help site solution. Talk about mickey mouse companies. Also totally proprietary coding/markup. Revolting, but developers are weaned on wikis. Got to find something, whether RH Server or some other ware to keep from handing complete control over to those beauts and their cult-ware.