Recommended OS/database combinations for RoboHelp Server

RoboHelp Server supports and interfaces with several combinations of enterprise and middleware platforms. The table below summarizes the recommended OS/database combinations on which you can install RoboHelp Server 9. It is recommended that you don’t install RoboHelp Server 9 on combinations marked with X in the table.

Note: Click the table to view it full-size.

What’s new in RoboHelp Server 9

RoboHelp Server 9 rolls out a host of much-requested new features. The first change that you’ll notice is the fresh, aesthetically-appealing user interface.

There’s plenty more.

Reporting enhancements

  • Functionality to filter reports by area
  • New, intuitive names for the reports
  • Improvements to the graphical representation of reports
  • Functionality to export report data to the CSV format
  • Flexibility to customize reports by showing/hiding columns. Column layouts can be saved across sessions.
  • Fine-tuned numerical data in reports

Configuration Manager enhancements

You can now perform the following additional tasks using the RoboHelp Server Configuration Manager:

  • Migrate context data from RoboHelp Server 8 to RoboHelp Server 9
  • Deploy a context in the root context
  • Delete contexts
  • Set up an admin account for RoboHelp Server using LDAP authentication or database authentication
  • Configure LDAP settings
  • Configure search indexing settings

Search-related enhancements

Project stop list for server-side indexing: Unlike RoboHelp 8, the stop list specified in a RoboHelp HTML project is now used for server-side indexing.

Project synonym list for server-side indexing: Unlike RoboHelp 8, the synonym list specified in a RoboHelp HTML project is now used for server-side indexing.

Synonym highlighting: Synonyms for a keyword being searched for are highlighted in the search result list. This enhancement is available only for WebHelp Pro output published using RoboHelp HTML 9.

Dynamic context in search results for server-side indexing: RoboHelp Server now displays dynamic context along with search results. Apache Lucene, the text search engine library powering search in RoboHelp Server, displays the relevant words around a keyword as context in the search result list. This feature is available only for WebHelp Pro and FlashHelp Pro projects published to RoboHelp Server with server-side indexing enabled.

  • For keywords within topics, words in the immediate vicinity of the keyword in the topic are displayed as context.
  • The static context of the topic is displayed for user-specified keywords. The first few words of the topic comprise static context.
  • In the case of external resources for keywords, the URL description of the external resource is displayed as the dynamic context.

Other technical enhancements

  • RoboHelp Server logs are now created in a consolidated log file (robohelpserver.log) under the <Tomcat Home>/logs folder. All RoboHelp Server-related exceptions and warnings are logged in this file. This new log file is generated using the Apache log4j logging framework.
  • You can now host RoboHelp Server over HTTP Secure (HTTPS) to ensure secure communications between the server and clients.
    • Authors can publish their RoboHelp HTML projects using HTTPS
    • End users can view projects on the server over HTTPS
    • The RoboHelp Server Web Administrator and reports can be viewed over HTTPS as well

Looking for more information? Check out these useful community resources:

RoboHelp Server: An introduction

As technical communicators, one of our key responsibilities is to optimize the value of the user-assistance content that we deliver. What defines the value of content? I focus on the following key indicators:

  • The topics should be search-optimized and populated with the right keywords. Users should be able to reach the right topics when they search using the relevant keywords (if not close to relevant keywords!).
  • Once users reach a topic, they should be able to quickly find answers to the most pertinent questions that they have in that product area.
  • Based on the Web traffic details for a topic, key documentation areas must be identified and optimized.

For optimizing content in alignment with these indicators, we need specific information about our users’ content access patterns. This is where RoboHelp Server proves valuable as a powerful application for hosting, tracking, and managing RoboHelp output in multiple formats.

The many reports that RoboHelp Server provides help identify how users navigate user-assistance content and the product areas where this content needs to be strengthened:

  • Search Terms with No Results: Search terms that returned no results and the number of times users searched for them
  • Frequently Searched Terms: Frequently-searched keywords and how many times users searched for them
  • Frequently Accessed CSH: Frequently-accessed context-sensitive Help topics and how many times they are accessed. The report is arranged by the context IDs of the CSH topics.
  • Frequently Viewed Topics: Report on Topics that end users view most often
  • Usage Statistics: Chronological graphical report of the number of hits to the Help system as a whole. Pages searched for and not opened reflect in this list. The usage statistics report has three additional tabs:
  • Page Views: Number of pages viewed over a given window of time. The window of time is determined by the labels along the X axis.
  • Pages Per Visit: Number of pages viewed per visit. Every instance when a user opens the project is considered as a separate visit. Visits from different Web browsers are counted separately.
    • Browser: Comparative data about the Web browsers in which users viewed the Help content
    • OS: Comparative data about the operating systems on which users viewed the Help content
  • Search Trends: The percentage of search terms that returned no results. The detailed view of this report gives the total number of search terms and how many of them returned results/no results.
  • Help System Errors: Error messages encountered by the current logged-in user

Ankur Jain, Adobe’s product manager for RoboHelp, shares his perspective of the business relevance of these reports in an excellent blog post titled, Create What They Want to Read.

For the while, I’ll leave you with some other insightful community content for RoboHelp Server:

Explore these links and do come back later for more information and tips. Happy reading!

Search enhancements in RoboHelp Server 9

Tulika Goel from the RoboHelp team has posted a useful article on search enhancements in RoboHelp Server 9 at the Technical Communication blog.

Starting with RoboHelp Server 9, authors can continue to leverage strengths of Lucene Search Engine and also retain control over the search results. RoboHelp provides a number of constructs like Synonyms, Stop List and External Keyword Search; using which authors can controls search results for specific words.

Read the complete article here.

If you’re looking for RoboHelp Server 9 documentation, you can download the PDF from this URL. The Adobe RoboHelp Server 9 Reviewer’s Guide is here (PDF).