In his recent post on industry trends, challenges, and Adobe RoboHelp 9, Ankur Jain (Product Manager, RoboHelp) lists eight workflow solutions that RoboHelp 9 offers. The first of them is the review and collaboration workflow. Let’s see how this workflow can benefit today’s writing departments, which are lean yet expansive.
While writers are the ‘owners’ of Help projects, they work with a large number of stakeholders to put together the content. In today’s content creation models, the stakeholders are not just restricted to product development teams; even the user community is a valuable participant. The changed scenario, therefore, requires authoring tools to support efficient review and collaboration workflows.
Adobe RoboHelp 9 provides several ways to review and collaborate:
Reviewing projects in Tracked Changes mode – Ideal for reviewers who can work on the source files. Typically, these reviewers are members of the writing department.
PDF review – Ideal for reviewers who are geographically distributed and do not have access to the source files or RoboHelp. If authors have Acrobat X Pro installed along with RoboHelp 9, they can enable commenting in the free Adobe Reader or set up a shared review on Acrobat.com or a network location. (Technical Communication Suite 3 includes both RoboHelp 9 and Acrobat 10 Pro.) To test-drive a PDF review hosted on Acrobat.com, go here.
Authors can import comments from reviewed PDFs and manage comments and tracked changes from the Review Pane pod.
Collaboration in the Adobe AIR Application output – Users familiar with RoboHelp 8 already know that they can allow users to comment on the topics if they generate the output in the Adobe AIR layout with the output type Adobe AIR Application. This collaboration capability is exponentially enhanced in RoboHelp 9 to support a host of additional features and benefits:
- End users can rate topics
- Comments and topic ratings can be maintained in a network folder or on a RoboHelp server
- A network folder as the collaboration hub is ideal for trust-based setups – users are not authenticated before commenting
- A RoboHelp server as the collaboration hub is ideal for secure and distributed setups – users outside the corporate network can also comment
- Both setups support comment moderation
- Capability of toggling between commenting and moderating UIs
- End users can modify several author-specified SSL settings through [configuration_filename].xml and settings.xml files