Technical writers and training developers have historically relied on desktop apps to design, write, and compile their materials.
These environments range from very simple - with a single tool or two that can create online help systems, manuals, slideware, etc. – to complex content management implementations with heavy database back-ends and sophisticated source code management and compile processes. Blogs, news feeds, wikis, and social networking sites have paved the way for agile content creation and syndication, but for some reason technical documentation has lagged behind until recently.
There are now a number of providers focused on technical content development that is entirely hosted on the Internet. These systems include many great features that satisfy our nerdy content development needs, such as push-button publishing to different outputs, content reuse, variables, and more. They also deliver a modern, attractive, and robust user experience.
At iovation we are pioneering exciting new ways to deliver technical documentation and educational materials to our users. All of our content is "live" all the time on the Internet – as soon as we finish new content, we can share it with our users. We use an Internet-hosted content management solution, MindTouch, to provide an ever-growing knowledgebase. This enables content development processes that skip right past conventional desktop tools.
This spring we launched our Help Center—based on MindTouch technology. It’s a powerful resource to help our clients find the information they need, when they need it. Our goal was to build an easy to use, fully searchable information resource with a mix of text, images, and video. We are steadily expanding the Help Center into a complete library of technical content, including getting started information, integration and API documentation, introductions to new features, and suggestions to get the most out of iovation’s device-based intelligence.
With the Help Center our clients can:
- Always get the latest documentation directly from the Administration Console – just open a link to the Help Center from the Admin home page, or from the Business Rules Editor.
- Get robust navigation and search to quickly find the content they need 24/7.
- Provide feedback on topics so that we can expand the content.
- Easily create PDF versions of any content – and any combination of content – is available at the push of a button, so you can download and share whatever you need.
- Download current SDKs at any time.
We are continually expanding the content based on insights from our customers and our internal teams. As a technical writer I’m thrilled that cloud-based content management has finally found its way into the technical documentation field.