Archive for May, 2011

WebWorks ePublisher Announces Native Toolbar Integration with Adobe FrameMaker and Microsoft Word

Posted on: May 17th, 2011 No Comments

Leading multi-format Help documentation delivery software continues to increase efficiency of technical communication teams, enable greater connection with end users.

MAY 17, 2011, AUSTIN, TEXAS: WebWorks®, a leading multi-format Help documentation delivery software company, today announced the latest release of ePublisher, 2011.1, which includes native toolbar integration for Adobe FrameMaker and Microsoft Word.

Native toolbar integration enables users of ePublisher to easily access conformance reports and single-click output previews, increasing overall user efficiency.

WebWorks® CEO Tony McDow says the latest ePublisher release is in line with the company’s goal of enabling help documentation to connect with their intended end users in any environment.

“Our ultimate goal is to build an easy-to-use tool that allows technical communication teams to easily get content in the hands of their end users,” says McDow. “In order to do that, you have to keep authoring environments clean and simple, and of course, provide output to formats that your users actually use day-to-day. Toolbar integration is one piece of that puzzle. You can expect many more enhancements in the future that emphasize providing clean and simple authoring environments.”

Over the past 18 months the company has maintained a strategic focus on the importance of keeping content produced by technical communication teams in front of the end users for which it was designed.

In January 2011, the company released WebWorks® Reverb Help, the first help authoring tool format designed to leverage the speed, social and data mining functionality of the internet—making it easier for end users to find companies’ help pages and individual help topics via search engines.

Reverb differs from presently available browser capable help formats such as MadCap Flare and Adobe RoboHelp by offering support for user communities with social plugins such as Facebook, Twitter and Disqus.

Reverb also includes Google SiteSearch integration and Google Analytics—giving them the ability to pinpoint hotspots and areas for further review based on usage history.

Current ePublisher customers with active maintenance and upgrade agreements will receive access to the ePublisher 2011.1, as well as WebWorks® Reverb Help as part of the continual growth of the ePublisher product. Companies seeking assistance with deploying Help content via browser or to mobile devices can learn more at www.webworks.com/Products/ePublisher/Latest_Release.

About WebWorks®
WebWorks ePublisher is the industry leading multi-format Help documentation delivery software that is quick & easy to use, gives companies the flexibility to write in their preferred software with the power to customize their output, scales as the needs of the business grow, and delivers information in a way that connects with end users and builds customer loyalty. ePublisher outputs to HTML, Help, Reverb Help, wiki, PDF, mobile devices and other technical publication formats. ePublisher is used by Fortune 100 companies, technical communication
professionals and software development teams worldwide. For more information visit www.webworks.com

The Reverb Effect

Posted on: May 15th, 2011 No Comments

I’ve worked at WebWorks for nearly 14 years.  In that time, content delivery costs and methods have changed significantly.  WebWorks Publisher enabled technical writers to escape the joys of hand coded WinHelp files.  Browsers opened up the web and enabled sophisticated HTML help run-times.  Google made it possible to find your heart’s desire in the world wide world.  Today, the Social Web lets you find what you need with the help of people you trust.

So all you have to do is put your content on the web…

Right?

Well…

Perhaps there are a couple of more things to consider.  Lessons learned and validated by what we experienced here at WebWorks: The Reverb Effect.

(more…)

Intermittent Issues

Posted on: May 3rd, 2011 No Comments

These are always a challenge. What can make things occur at one time and not the other, and more importantly yet more confusingly why? There does not seem to be an online guide that can instruct someone on any product how to go about troubleshooting for an issue that happens sporadically.  My guess is that these happen mostly at the software level. (Don’t worry:  Engineering and Development. We still like you).  So, in my role, the process of investigation begins. In researching this subject, I realize that in the world of Software Support, that in addition to taking a mechanic’s role, we often take a bit of an investigative role.  I don’t usually have a specific order of questions, but one could say it is a 4W (minus the “Who”, because it is obviously happening to you) approach.  So, let’s begin with “Where”.  The accompanying question to where would be to be able to isolate it to where it occurs, and does this occur on just one or more systems.

Next we follow up with “When”. Inspecting the log becomes essential at this point. On the log screen you will see various stages of output generation.  Let’s say that you run across issues during the Image pipeline. If your inconsistent errors are consistently happening at the Image pipeline, most likely there is something going on with the graphic generation, which leads into the “What” question. So, in our example we determined that it happens at the graphic pipeline.  So, what aspect of the graphics are we trying to isolate? Is it an issue with the Rasterizer? These are things that can be tested by using by-reference images in your input.  Once you determine what is the cause of the graphic culprit, you can begin to ask the final question, “Why?”.  These can be as simple as needing to close a dialog box, however if you cannot figure out why it occurs, then chances are you will not be able to resolve this.  Sometimes, you might get lucky and the issue goes away, but we want a better success rate than chance.

Ultimately, the goal in Support is being able to reproduce and isolate issues. Given system specific issues, isolating is an absolute must.  How can we fix something that we know nothing about? If you have submitted a case, and it seems like we are asking many questions, there is a reason for it, and the reason is that we are trying to help you as quickly as possible.  Also, feel to share any troubleshooting insights that you have.