RoboHelp – A journey from a Dead product to a modern Innovative product

I joined Adobe almost eight years ago. I still remember that they gave me a cool looking poster along with some other goodies along with the offer letter. The poster read – “Time flies like an Arrow”. I feel the same today.

As you are aware, RoboHelp had some turbulent time in the past. It was neglected for almost three years. But the time has changed, I love the quote that I received today – It stated – “Adobe RoboHelp is a modern innovative product showing the world what Help would be in Web 2.0 era.”

When I took up the RoboHelp Product Management responsibilities in year 2006, the most frequently asked question was – “What is the future of RoboHelp?” Even before I could start answering the question, the questioner would continue saying that they believe it was DEAD. I had a hard time explaining everyone that RoboHelp was NOT DEAD and that it has a very bright future. However the skepticism continued.

On January 16, 2007, we launched Adobe RoboHelp 6 – the very first release of RoboHelp from Adobe. It was a very short product cycle. The goal of the release was to put an end to the “RoboHelp is dead” fears. And we were successful in accomplishing the goal. However, soon after the release, everyone started bombarding me with a list of features that they wanted in RoboHelp. We were successful in regaining the lost faith and with this we started chalking out the roadmap for a significant release – Adobe RoboHelp 7.

Adobe RoboHelp 7 was very special, primarily for two reasons – 1) We had the complete team and infrastructure in place for shipping RoboHelp and thus could concentrate on just building features and 2) We had a clear vision of Adobe Technical Communication Suite. Eventually, the dream came true and we released Adobe RoboHelp 7 and a brand new Adobe Technical Communication Suite on September 25, 2007. This was a new beginning. There were praises all over the web which clearly stated Adobe RoboHelp 7 to be the biggest release in the product’s entire history. I was swamped with messages congratulating and thanking for a phenomenal release which made me believe that everyone liked the release. I thank everyone for showing such warmth.

This Monday, we release “RoboHelp Packager for Adobe AIR”. This is a brand new utility that converts WebHelp generated from Adobe RoboHelp 6 and Adobe RoboHelp 7 into a single installable Help file. The Help is based on Adobe AIR, and has the best of both worlds – desktop and web, and provides customers the power and flexibility of sophisticated, modern, branded Help systems. I don’t think I can explain you the power by writing more about the same, you will have to experience it yourself. So visit http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/robohelp/, download the utility free of cost and experience what Help would look like in Web 2.0.

And today, I received a personal note from a customer, who quoted RoboHelp as a Modern Innovative Tool.  

It’s been a very nice journey – resurrecting a Dead product to a one that is perceived as a Modern Innovative Tool and I am happy to be an integral part of it.

I thank everyone who has supported us all along the way. It wouldn’t have been possible without your support – THANK YOU.

Akshay

Akshay Madan

Akshay Madan

Akshay Madan was the Product Owner for the Web segment of Technical Communication Suite – RoboHelp HTML, RoboHelp Office, RoboHelp Server and FrameMaker to Web publishing from 2006 to 2009.

4 thoughts on “RoboHelp – A journey from a Dead product to a modern Innovative product

  1. I like initiatives very much! This is what revived RoboHelp for sure! It is a shame that lots of good products tend to disappear from the market all of a sudden. Amongst them is a CMS tool called HelpServer (do a Google find). This product had a good start but it seems as if it is going to die very soon due to the lack of marketing initiatives. It’s a pitty!

  2. At WritersUA in Palm Springs in April 2006, I was thrilled to hear that Adobe was rejuvenating RoboHelp and taking it to new heights. After teaching RoboHelp since its inception in the early nineties, I was worried it might be on the way out because of all the false rumors.As I write this, I am in Newport Beach, California teaching RoboHelp. My technical writing students and I thank you for your leadership and that of the Adobe team in bringing RoboHelp back to life….and, we ain’t see nothing yet!John Daigle———————————–Reply:Hi John,Thanks a lot for your kind message. I just want to tell everyone that you are one of those persons who contributed in a big way in resurrecting RoboHelp. It wouldn’t have been possible without your help.Thank you so much.Regards,Akshay

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