IMSI/Design Introduces New Online Help & Documentation System
With the release of TurboCAD 18.1, IMSI/Design is pleased to announce that it is rolling out a new online help and documentation system. Based on a Wiki format, this new system will serve as both our context-sensitive help, and as the primary documentation for our future products. We feel this will provide superior product documentation for you. Why? For the following reasons:
As an online resource this documentation can be updated at anytime from anywhere. Traditional help and documentation comes in two forms: compiled electronic, and print media. Those old formats meant documentation could only be practically produced at the time the product shipped, errors and all. Updates and corrections had to wait for the next release. Now, with the new system the documentation can be updated every day if necessary. Additionally traditional documentation is much more cumbersome to produce. Even if there are multiple sources, eventually one person has to collate, edit, compile and produce the final product. With our new system multiple selected sources will have direct access to make changes, add information, correct errors and produce updates. Result, more documentation, more accurate, more rapidly.
Because the new system is live and online it is designed to grow. Older formats of documentation are limited to a specific tier and version of a product, or at most all tier of a specific version . This new format will allow us to retain the old while adding the new. Now you will be able to compare features across product versions top-to-bottom, side-to-side. This will give a greater depth and texture to the documentation, exposing the more subtle aspects while simultaneously expanding the range of solutions.
Use it anywhere you have web access. Traditional paper documentation meant you had had to lug a big book everywhere. Traditional compiled e-documentation meant you had to have the product, or at least the docs, installed on your computer, and you had to lug that computer around if you wanted to peruse the docs. Those days are gone. Now you can access the documentation from anyplace or tool that has web access, at home, an internet café, a friends computer, a tablet, even your phone. And you will have the benefit of knowing that it is the most up-to-date documentation available.
Lean and Green
This form of documentation is better for the environment, and the pocketbook. Traditional paper documentation is costly to both. In reality much printed documentation becomes “shelf filler” material. After all a user manual isn’t a novel, it has a definite lifespan of utility and then it is just so much waste material. Material that eventually winds its way into the recycling plant, or worse the landfill. Wasted energy, wasted resources, wasted time, and a greater hit to the environment. Not to mention, a greater hit on your wallet. As new technologies come on line, and as material and energy costs rise, the cost of print documentation follows. A cost we must pass on to our customers if we want to stay in business. In order to reduce per-unit costs manufactures make bulk orders, if fewer units are sold the remaining books are disposed of, at a price, but those costs are still passed on to the consumer. Going green means we can keep those costs down, and keep your wallet a little more green.
Wait! What about people who just must have that printed book? For those people we will offer Print-on-Demand. This means you can pay for a book when and if you need or want it. Those using Print-on-Demand books will also benefit from this new system. The Print-on-Demand books will be generated periodically directly from the online help system. We can do this with much greater frequency that normal print distribution. So even the printed docs will be more current, more accurate, and more useful.
Author: Brian Carter, Senior Director, IMSI/Design