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

Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:41 am
by Graham Hannington
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.

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

Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:39 pm
by Radu
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