7 Replies Latest reply on Oct 1, 2010 6:10 AM by MichaelWClark1

    RoboHelp & RoboInfo. Time to upgrade?


      Our company is using RoboHelp and RoboInfo versions 5. We use this system to create and publish our Policy manual to our intranet. I have been tasked with getting info on the upgrade process as our search functions are starting to fail and other misc issues are coming from this no longer supported system. From what I have read so far the RoboHelp system is now Java based and runs on Tomcat (Apache). This worries me because we are a strict Microsoft shop here and would be VERY reluctant to install a seperate web server just for our policy manual. I need to know a few things before we take the plunge and do this upgrade.


      1. What functionality, if any do I lose by opting to use IIS rather than Tomcat?

      2. How easy is the data migration from RoboHelp/Info v5 to the Current RoboHelp Version 8?

      3. What else should I know going into this upgrade?



      From what I have been told about the system I gather that the Indexes/search functions operate through a SQL server. Are these easily migrated with the upgrade? Is the upgrade process all inclusive or am I going to be tasked with manually moving data over to the new systems?

        • 1. Re: RoboHelp & RoboInfo. Time to upgrade?
          Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Welcome to our community, Michael


          There is a lot of confusing terminology here. So I'll try to help you sort it.


          RoboHelp exists as two distinct products that constitute the authoring component.


          • RoboHelp for Word (where Microsoft Word is your editor)
          • RoboHelp HTML  (where RoboHelp HTML has it's own built in editor)


          The output from these is used in different ways and possibly with other RoboHelp type components.


          You have RoboSource Control (used to allow a source control mechnaism where multiple authors may participate in editing the same projects)

          You also have RoboHelp Server (This is installed on your server and the RoboHelp editing components publish the "Pro" versions of the output to the server)


          Unfortunately my fellow Community Professional John Daigle is off SCUBA diving in another country. What you really need is for John to advise you on whether IIS may still be used or if you must switch to a feline brand.


          Typically upgrading a project is as simple as opening the new version of RoboHelp, then opening the older project. RoboHelp handles the upgrades for you. But things do sometimes go wrong so it's always advisable to have a backup on hand. Fellow Community Professional Peter Grainge has lots of good information on RoboHelp 8 at his site. Click the link below to visit.

          Click here to visit grainge.org


          One of the more common pain points for folks upgrading has been with Lists and CSS in general. This is because RoboHelp 8 works with your topics in a new way that is more common among web authoring tools. Earllier versions of RoboHelp did some odd things to overcome limitations that existed back in the day.


          Hopefully something here was helpful... Rick



          Helpful and Handy Links

          RoboHelp Wish Form/Bug Reporting Form

          Begin learning RoboHelp HTML 7 or 8 moments from now - $24.95!

          Adobe Certified RoboHelp HTML Training

          SorcererStone Blog

          RoboHelp eBooks

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: RoboHelp & RoboInfo. Time to upgrade?
            RoboColum(n) Level 5

            Hi Michael and welcome to the RH community. Let me start by saying that I think you are getting confused between RoboHelp and RoboHelp Server.


            • RoboHelp is the authoring tool which has been competely written in Java but that should not stop you from running it on a Windows platform. Just as you can have Windows apps programmed in C++ or VB, Java apps work just fine.
            • RoboHelp Server is a portal application for a specific type of output generated from RoboHelp. In a nutshell it gives you various statistical usage info on the help system's usage. It can run on Tomcat or IIS


            If all you want to do is upgrade your RoboHelp authoring appliction to RoboHelp 8, this should be straightforward enough. I'd just recommend taking a backup, installing RoboHelp 8 and openign your project. You'll find a lot of additional functionality in the next release that was not around when your source was originally created but that shouldn't matter.


            Do feel free to come back with any additional questions.


              The RoboColum(n)   @robocolumn   Colum McAndrew
            • 3. Re: RoboHelp & RoboInfo. Time to upgrade?
              MichaelWClark1 Level 1

              Thank you for the information! You have cleared things up a bit more for me which is a step in the right direction! I am still a bit confused on a few things but I am confident I am in the right place to get it all sorted out. As I said the main reason we are looking to upgrade our systems is because the search functionality is no longer preforming properly. In looking through our system I found


              "Powered By:WebHelp Pro v5.50

              Generated By:RoboHelp HTML X5"



              Will RoboHelp 8 be the appropriate upgrade for this type of system? What information is in the SQL database and what requirements are there for migrating to the new version? Is WebHelp a component of RoboHelp? Is it a part of v8 or do I need additional software when this upgrade is complete?

              • 4. Re: RoboHelp & RoboInfo. Time to upgrade?
                Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                Hello again


                The RoboHelp editing applications (RoboHelp for Word & RoboHelp HTML) are sort of like Microsoft Word. As Microsoft Word works with .DOC or .DOCX files, it also allows you to output other file types. For example, you can take a Word document and create .HTML output, .RTF output, .PDF output and others.


                I like to describe RoboHelp as being similar to a kitchen. You use the kitchen to prepare all sorts of dishes. WebHelp is one of the dishes that RoboHelp can produce. I compare WebHelp to being like Chocolate Chip cookies. Other outputs are:


                Microsoft HTML Help (CHM format and similar to a cake, because a cake is a single distributable)

                FlashHelp (similar to WebHelp, but uses Flash to present the TOC/Index/Search and whatnot. I compare FlashHelp to Muffins)

                AIRHelp (a new format that may be a single file or a collection of browser based files.)

                Printed Documentation (Used to produce a Word document that may also be converted to a PDF)

                "Pro" outputs (WebHelp & FlashHelp both offer a Pro output. These outputs are intended to be used in conjunction with the optional RoboHelp Server)


                So the base product does all this. If you are using RoboHelp for Word, you make your edits in Microsoft Word and the project is largely a Word document with special coding added for RoboHelp. If you are using RoboHelp HTML, you are editing using that application and you are working with HTML pages.


                Hopefully this helps a bit further and doesn't muddy the murky waters too much more.


                Cheers... Rick



                Helpful and Handy Links

                RoboHelp Wish Form/Bug Reporting Form

                Begin learning RoboHelp HTML 7 or 8 moments from now - $24.95!

                Adobe Certified RoboHelp HTML Training

                SorcererStone Blog

                RoboHelp eBooks

                • 5. Re: RoboHelp & RoboInfo. Time to upgrade?
                  Jeff_Coatsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  WebHelp is one of the flavours of help output from RH HTML; the Pro variant is used with RH Server. There's no SQL database that needs migrating in RH Server AFAIK, but others may have more idea - Colum?

                  • 6. Re: RoboHelp & RoboInfo. Time to upgrade?
                    RoboColum(n) Level 5

                    OK so the output from RHX5 was WebHelp Pro and the RH Server application must have been used to host it. You can very easily upgrade your RHX5 source files to RH8. We did just that when RH8 came out. We also implemented a RH Server 8 solution although we weren't using the previous versions.


                    The undelying architecture in RH Server 8 is very different from earlier versions of RoboHelp Server. If you want to migrate your existing SQL database to the new version, I can't see a problem with this. Part of the installation is the creating of a database so you'd just have to point the RH Server application at the existing SQL database.


                    If it helps, my blog has a number of posts about our experiences of migrating from RHX5 to RH8 and implementing RH Server. You can access it from my signature below.

                      The RoboColum(n)   @robocolumn   Colum McAndrew
                    • 7. Re: RoboHelp & RoboInfo. Time to upgrade?
                      MichaelWClark1 Level 1


                             Thank you for answering my remaining questions regarding this upgrade. I had assumed that adobe made the upgrade as seamless and painless as possibly as they are usually good about these things. I just needed conformation from someone who had experianced an upgrade first hand. Since they give an option to point to the existing SQL I think I will be able to save myself from manually importing anything into the new formats *sigh of relief.* I will browse your blogs if I have any issues preforming the required tasks .


                      Thanks again everyone for all the help. I must say that this is one of the most helpful and professional forums that I have used recently!