Oxygen WebHelp-based site for an enterprise's entire set of products?

Graham Hannington
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:23 am

Oxygen WebHelp-based site for an enterprise's entire set of products?

Post by Graham Hannington » Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:41 am

Suppose that:
  • I have several dozen software products
  • The product (user) documentation is in DITA
  • The documentation authors use Oxygen XML Author
  • I want to publish the documentation for all of these products—in fact, for the multiple supported versions of all products—on a single website
For an example of what I'm talking about, see IBM Knowledge Center:

http://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/

I want to treat each combination of product and version (down to the granularity of major.minor version)—for example, Product A 1.1.x and Product A 1.2.x—as a unit of deployment; a "content plugin". (A content plugin might include one or more pre-built PDF files that correspond to the HTML-format topics. The HTML topics might contain links to those pre-built PDF files for download.)

Publishing a new content plugin, updating a content plugin, or removing a content plugin should not affect the availability of other content plugins.

I want a more integrated solution than simply publishing separate WebHelp "sites" for each product/version combination, and then having a parent site as the single point of entry to those (sub-)sites. For example, if I want to change the body text font family for all content plugins, I want to edit only a single CSS rule.

I want a single entry point for each product, and then for the user to select their product version, or just go to the latest version of the product (with a corresponding "latest" URL that always goes to the latest version, whatever that might be). Perhaps even, while browsing a topic, switch to the same topic for a different version.

I have many more detailed requirements, but that will do for now. In a nutshell, my requirement is this: I want WebHelp for multiple versions of multiple products, where I can manage (publish, update, remove) each product/version documentation set separately.

Is this within the scope of future Oxygen WebHelp features?

Suggestions welcome.

Radu
Posts: 7145
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2004 5:18 pm

Re: Oxygen WebHelp-based site for an enterprise's entire set of products?

Post by Radu » Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:39 pm

Hi Graham,

We have plans to approach such portal-like functionality in a future WebHelp release, we have an internal issue registered for this but we have not yet analyzed what it would take.
But there are other companies like "Fluid Topics", "Zoomin", "Oberon Technologies" which can generate HTML-based documentation from DITA and integrate that in some kind of portal. So in a way that's the beauty of using a standard, you may find other companies which can create such portals from DITA content.

Regards,
Radu
Radu Coravu
<oXygen/> XML Editor
http://www.oxygenxml.com

Graham Hannington
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:23 am

Re: Oxygen WebHelp-based site for an enterprise's entire set of products?

Post by Graham Hannington » Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:52 am

We have plans to approach such portal-like functionality in a future WebHelp release
Any update on this? No worries if not, but I'm curious.

ionela
Posts: 343
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:08 pm

Re: Oxygen WebHelp-based site for an enterprise's entire set of products?

Post by ionela » Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:44 pm

Hi,

Unfortunately, this feature is not scheduled to be implemented in the short term.

Regards,
Ionela
Ionela Istodor
oXygen XML Editor and Author Support

Graham Hannington
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:23 am

Re: Oxygen WebHelp-based site for an enterprise's entire set of products?

Post by Graham Hannington » Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:18 pm

Understood, thanks. In the meantime, how about an Oxygen blog post demonstrating how to create a search page that searches the indexes of multiple instances of Oxygen WebHelp Responsive? Such a multi-WebHelp search would be one of the key components of a multi-product documentation portal. That, combined with a simple "product index" page (or index of WebHelp instances), could be the basis of a portal.

Costin
Posts: 711
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:04 pm

Re: Oxygen WebHelp-based site for an enterprise's entire set of products?

Post by Costin » Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:19 pm

Hi,

Yes, we have this logged and I've added your comment to it.

We will let you know when this functionality will become available.

Regards,
Costin
Costin Sandoi
oXygen XML Editor and Author Support

Graham Hannington
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:23 am

Re: Oxygen WebHelp-based site for an enterprise's entire set of products?

Post by Graham Hannington » Thu Sep 24, 2020 1:12 pm

Thanks! In the meantime, for any other users interested in this, and with apologies if this is stating the obvious, "one WebHelp instance per product version"—that is, all of the "publications" ("books") for a product, at a particular version, in a single WebHelp instance—might be the way to go, so that users can easily search across all docs for a product, at that version. This is where "search scope" would be useful.

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