1 Reply Latest reply on May 25, 2010 10:58 AM by Joe ... Ward

    Distributing AIRHelp via Help Viewer

    StephenD1957

      I have a question regarding how to distribute an AIRHelp system using the AIR Help Viewer. The viewer I have created will provide access to three different help systems. I have created my RHA files, which are stored presently on my hard  drive. I've created the HELPCFG file pointing to those RHA files. There  is my air installer for the viewer, which is in another location. I run  the installer, which creates the necessary folders and help executable  in C:Program Files. I then copy the HELPCFG file into the folder with  the executable. When I run the executable, the viewer comes up and  everything works as it should.

       

      Now I want to provide this combined help to a  user and I'm not sure of the best way to do this. To install this system manually, a user would have to run the AIR installer, which creates the executable in  his/her Program Files. But he/she doesn't have either the HELPCFG file  or the RHA files at this point. So in order for the Help Viewer system to work, the user will also have to copy those other files to the local drive manually.

       

      Is there a way to package all the necessary  files so that everything can be copied to its proper place without the user having to go to some location and copy all the files manually? Ideally we would like the user to be able to download what he or she needs from our web site and run the necessary installer. I don't want the  user to have to manually copy files from one place to another.

       

      Is there some sort of installer or packaging program that Adobe provides or that someone has developed that we might use to solve our problem? I've contacted Adobe support and they suggested I post this question here.

       

      Thanks,

      Steve

        • 1. Re: Distributing AIRHelp via Help Viewer
          Joe ... Ward Level 4

          The RoboHelp application doesn't provide a solution for actually distributing the help files?

           

          I'm not very familiar with the Robohelp product, but I can give you a general idea of what's possible in AIR (although not necessarily with the AIR Help Viewer that you are using -- if you don't have the source code).

           

          You basically have three options:

           

          1. Pacage the help files and the help viewer as a single application. This is the simplest, but has some drawbacks. The help viewer and the help files are inextricably bound. To update one, or to add another set of help files, you have to update everything.

           

          2. Have the help viewer download the help files to a suitable location on the user's hardrive. If the help viewer doesn't support this and you can't modify it, then you can't do this, of course. This is probably the best option if you are distributing via the web anyway, if you can do it.

           

          3. Create custom native installers. This would install the help application and the help files separately. Adobe doesn't provide any tools for building such an install package, but there are plenty of 3rd-party solutions (InstallAnywhere, etc.). This may be the best option if you are distributing via CD. You can also signup for the AIR redistribution program, which allows you to include the AIR runtime in your installer, in case a user hasn't installed it already.