Authoring - Overview

Many documents based on files that remain on a desktop file system are prone to mishap sooner or later. Files in a desktop file system can be deleted or removed accidentally. Data integrity is not guaranteed, and content management rapidly becomes expensive and time-consuming if active links and references have to be tracked manually.

With HelpServer you can add all kinds of files and documents from your desktop to a central repository, neatly organize them in folder structures and insert file links in your content. People all over the world can access the files over the Internet using only a web browser.

The files remain under the control of HelpServer's integrity and security mechanism. Active links to files are registered, and files that are no longer referred to are removed automatically.

This a major asset: you do not have to be concerned about what happens with your file references when you move a file object from one place to another since links remain active at all times.

If a file is changed, you simply reload it to the Workbench to refresh the contents in the HelpServer database. Metadata for search and retrieval are automatically created for most types of documents.


Enter HelpServer, a multi-platform solution to manage enterprise content and online user assistance on the web.

With the HelpServer Workbench, teams of authors can create structured content as reusable and shareable objects. This enables them to keep up with the explosion of information and make projects easy to maintain. These projects can support content management, document and file management as well as context-sensitive help for web and desktop applications.

Authors are able to collaborate on projects even when they are geographically dispersed. They can activate new content and changes to existing content by means of a click.

People all over the world can then access that content in real time over the Internet. The HelpServer server engine dynamically delivers the most relevant information based on the user's specific needs.


What do people do when they surf the web and suddenly land on a 404 error page (a standard HTTP response that indicates that the requested URL doesn’t exist)?

For most of them, the immediate response would be to simply leave the current site in favor of another one because people consider broken links to be unprofessional. Broken links also have negative effects on search engine rankings so there is good reason to be proactive in avoiding them to improve exposure and increase site traffic.

In HelpServer, the content is stored as objects in a central database. The server manages these objects from creation through destruction. When you add a new topic, the system allocates it for you, so you work actually with the reference of the new object. If you rearrange objects in a folder, you also rearrange the references. If you copy or cut an object and then paste it, you paste the reference. And if you remove an object, you remove its reference.

Thus, the remove function operates on the reference to a content object and never on the actual content object itself. If, after removal, the system detects that there are still references left to the data object it will not be deleted but only the reference will be removed. This approach ensures integrity and eliminates broken links


As more and more information becomes available on the web, securing that data becomes increasingly important. And when it comes to getting watertight security, each company will have its own requirements.

In HelpServer, you can distinguish public from private content. HelpServer's basic security mechanism protects the private content, so visitors will not be aware of it. If you also have defined specific user accounts, your visitors can still choose to log on and access the private content.

The basic security mechanism can handle a common security profile for the entire content collection. In environments where different people have access to the content, different parts of the content might require an individual security setup. In that case, setting up and maintaining security can become a burden for your business, so that's where HelpServer's extended security feature comes in.

With this feature you can handle multiple security profiles which are needed to control the access to content by different kinds of user communities and/or authors. Each security profile grants the required permissions to the user accounts and is attached to a specific project or a subset of the content objects. The result is a security model that becomes transparent for you and thus easier to maintain and to extend.

Furthermore, the extended security supports features such as smartcontent and notification.


Metadata are chunks of information that are attached to content so that your users can easily find and retrieve topics without hunting for them. The metadata exist apart from the content and can clarify the significance, meaning and use of the content.

Metadata can fall in different categories, but the most common metadata are management elements such as author, subject, project, customer, creator, creation date, and status.

In HelpServer, the metadata are the field/value combinations that you define according your requirements. Settings in the metadata indicate whether it is to be attached automatically to the content or manually when you add new content.


 About HelpServer
 Starting up and logging on
 The basic working principles
 Using the content in help and documentation systems
 Formatting the content
 Searching and replacing text
 Reusing content with shares
 Navigating with hyperlinks
 Navigating with pointerpaths
 Using bookmarks and jumps
 Duplicating content with clones
 Using tables
 Including media files
 Navigating to web pages
 Using embedded chunks
 Including html code
 Navigating with menus
 Using snippets
 Spelling checking
 Using the view mode
 Creating an index
 Creating a FAQ
 Creating a glossary
 Team authoring
 Working with projects
 Setting up structured authoring
 Generating file based output
 Creating printed output
 Importing files and folders
 Importing an entire folder tree with files
 Importing files individually
 Considerations when importing files and folders
 Reloading and restoring files
 Searching for files to reload in the mass
 Opening files
 Loading files in the project gallery
 Converting legacy content
 Including legacy content in real time
 Transferring objects between installations
 Customizing the look and feel
 User accounts
 Working with templates
 Working with metadata
 Workflow management
 Using event exits
 Appendix A: The URL parameters
 Appendix B: The object indicators
 Appendix C: Play Javascript