we are currently evaluating an option to include customized help into the ILM standard help system.
I am wondering if anyone of you can give me input how you today create custom help text (in your environment), and which tools you use to maintain it. From PTC point of view this customized help might come out of Integrity Process Director directly.
I am pretty sure that such a "Customized Help System Redirector", like it is briefly described below, can be implemented easily.
Here is the draft concept:
Related PTC Windchill Solution
There have been several requests from multiple customers who want to customize the in-product help, such as:
- Ability to include entire pages within the help, which also appear in the search
- Ability to include hyperlinks (possibly going to another resource internal to the the customer's environment such as a Sharepoint page)
I can give you a list of the customers interested in this functionality if you like.
This is something that is always requested by users and I struggle with.
The main challenge is to provide just-in-time relevant help in a proactive way.
Typical questions that need answers are "what do I do now", or what happens if I click here.
So my main point is that the customized help system must not be just a static reference help, but highly dynamic.
Also, users must be able to contribute easily, so everyone can contribute to the knowledge base.
I currently use Integrity items and hyperlinks. I can show you if you want or I'll add a screenshot when I have a little time.
Thanks a lot for your replay.
What I have reqlized is that the Integrity Help is a feature based help. This means the menus are exaplained, and all the functions that composes the Integrity Lifecycle Manager itself.
But, this is only one part of the documentation a user needs.
The other part is a process driven documentation, which means: a defined business use case is part of a process and shall have also a documentation.
Depending on what the customer wants to see, the help should offer him both: a feature help and a process help.
A tools that could offer process help is for example the PTC Integrity Process Director.
A valid question from my side is now: what is the best approach to link PTC Integrity Process Director help into Integrity Lifecycle Manager, that a user can get the option for both?
As a workaround for this, currently we have created a "Help" tab on almost all types in which we provide general customized help,
It will be great, if we can enable custom help within the standard help and i would like to know more about it.
This is an important struggle for me, so let me add a few more details:
Out of my 200+ users, I think maybe 5 maximum have looked at the help system, probably advanced users looking for some CLI details. For example, a word like "query" does not even register with them, so they don't even think of looking for help on that subject. Even a flowchart like the one above that lets the user select a topic is not enough (it doesn't help if you don't know which topic to choose).
That's because most of their questions are not tool-specific (generic help), but process-specific.
To help them in a proactive way, I need to be able to answer questions like this: "I've been assigned a Change Request with attributes X, Y and Z set at values A, B and C relevant to state S. What do I do now?"
I want my answer to be First) process-wise, you need to set X to A' and change the state to S', or assign this to someone else. Then) tool-wise, if you don't know how, this is what you do to change field X and the state or re-assign the CR.
I hope this helps.