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Apr 25, 2012

A Sure Find. Openbravo User Guide.

Openbravo User Guide is in place and is now “working hand by hand with us” getting thanks from the people.

At the same time documentation content is getting high appraisals when someone points to it, saying “read it here”. But would it be much more valuable tool if people around can find materials they want themselves!? Answering this better documentation search is one of the top requirements that appear in the documentation survey results.

So this time together with content polishing we were working on improving documentation outreach and I would like to share several tips with you on how to find your path through Openbravo User Guide. 

1. Follow the same path like in the application itself because documentation structure follows Openbravo application menu.

It is simple to remember but a bit boring and long path, especially now with a Quick Launch options we have in the Openbravo itself. Good news is that User Guide has short-cuts also.

2. So type down window / report / application area name directly in the wiki page URL. All User Guide articles are placed directly at the top level without any additional paths. That means if you need to find information about Goods Receipt or something else just type it:

3. Access documentation directly from Openbravo itself.  Clearly our on-line Help requires significant improvement from content and design point of view but it is a long term task. But having documentation resource that maps directly with the application gives us an ability to link to it from the Openbravo itself. So now (from MP10) on-line help page of each window has a link to the corresponding wiki article.

4. Use improved wiki Search. At first significant clean-up was done with about 130 articles deleted and 200 articles moved to the 2.50 wiki name space. 2.50 name space allows us to set lower priority for search engine for articles placed in it in comparison to articles in the Main namespace. It also gives a clear visual hint to those who read such articles signalling that they belong to the old release. As a result now search output is much more focused on a new User Guide content than on the old articles. Still for some cases it is not yet ideal because old articles inherit good ranking and even with lower priority set by us appear higher than some new articles. But it should improve with time as we use new User Guide. We will also be continuing to tweak search engine.

5. Be always in the context. At the top and the bottom of each article there is a “back” link to the application area documentation to which this window belongs to. This application area document contains a business process diagram (like Order to Cash) and describes the way particular window is used in the functional flow and introduces users to other actions they can do.

6. Dig deeper if required. Manually written documentation contains information about essential fields that are displayed on windows / reports. Common to all windows fields are not explained each time but just mentioned in the Common Concepts section. Self explanatory fields are just skipped. Anyway if you would like to consult full list of fields and their descriptions you can do so using Screens Reference. Now at the bottom of each window there is a link to the corresponding reference documentation. It is worth to mention that this reference contains not only all displayed fields description but also lists all hidden (due to Openbravo out-of-the-box simplified setup) fields.

We do believe all these measures will bring documentation closer to you. As always we are open to hear your feedback.

Finally I would like to say thank you to people who were helping to close this documentation milestone and especially to Asier Lostale who put main efforts on making these changes available.

Stay with us because during nearest weeks we will be sharing for your feedback first How toes on which we are working on.

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