Browse Prior Art Database

Environmentally Aware Help Content

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000132125D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Dec-01
Document File: 3 page(s) / 96K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Current documentation/help content does not tailor itself to reflect the environment it is used in. Where the content must be different based on the presence or absence of certain components (such as other pieces of hardware or software) the dependent text is prefaced with "If xxxx is installed...." or "If xxx is present". Environment Aware content will automatically determine the environment that it is being applied to and will automatically display only the relevant content and will hide the irrelevant content.

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Environmentally Aware Help Content

Documentation that offers content based on the state of the system it describes is desirable because it gives the user accurate and specific documentation about their system. Currently documentation is either static, or is created at compile time from the set of compilation options specified. These methods do not reflect changes made to the system after compilation.

For example, if a user is setting up a software product that uses a database and wants to configure it to work with their Oracle database, he or she sets the configuration options for that database and their documentation reflects it. Or the software product being installed may not make any changes to the content at all and offer conditionals inside the documentation for the user to follow if he or she has a certain setup. If the organization decides to move off of their Oracle Database and onto DB2 instead the documentation does not reflect this change, resulting in a confusing user experience.

Environment Aware content will examine the environment where it is hosted, meaning other software that is present, hardware that is available, and any services or machines available on the local network. The user will need to specify both the machines that they want this system to examine and the services that are relevant on those machines. The system will alter the content, the presentation or both. This process will be executed at each runtime so it will provide up to date...