I received an email from a RoboHelp developer who was faced with a daunting task. He needed to post a copy of his generated RoboHelp project to three servers within his corporation. His RoboHelp project was large and consisted of thousands of topics, tens of thousands of images and other assets.
The process of copying and pasting the contents of his generated layout (he was generating WebHelp) wasn't a difficult chore, but it was time-consuming. After generating his Help System, he went into the SSL (Single Source Layouts) folder within the project folder, copied the generated Help System files and pasted them onto the first server. After the process was complete, and assuming there were no read/write errors, he went to the next drive and pasted, and so on and so on.
The Help System consisted of such a large number of files, it took a long time for the copying process to conclude. And due to server limitations, he couldn't simply paste the files onto all three servers at one time and walk away. In essence, he had to babysit the publishing process.
Compounding the problem was the fact that when he made even simple changes to any of the topics within the Help System and re-generated, he had to go through the copy/paste routine all over again.
The developer was hoping for a better solution, one that would give him his life back. And I was happy to introduce him to multi-server publishing.
You can easily create multiple servers within RoboHelp and publish your projects to those servers, one after the other. You can accomplish this publishing feat with a minimum of clicks, and without having to babysit the process. What could be better? Actually, plenty. If, down the road, you make changes to any of your topics, regenerate and then republish, only the updated content will be added to the servers.
Here's how you can publish one project to multiple servers:
- Show the Properties of either WebHelp or FlashHelp.
- Click the Next button until you end up on the last screen (the Publish dialog box).
- Click the New button to open the New Destination dialog box.
- If you are planning to drop your Help System files on a drive within your own network, select File System as the Connection Protocol.
- Give the server any name you like.
- Type or browse for a folder on your server where you will be publishing your project and then click the OK button.
- Click the New button again and create as many destination
servers as you need.
- When finished, click the Save button.
- Generate your layout and, when the Results screen appears, click the Publish button.
And Bam! Your Help System files will be published to all of your servers (anywhere in the world), one after the other. And if you want to get totally knocked off your feet, go ahead and make a change to any of your topics. Then generate and re-publish. You'll see that only the files that have changed (and a few support files) are re-published.
Need to learn RoboHelp... and fast? Join my live, two-day RoboHelp class later this week.