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Technique to dynamically update end user documents/help manuals of a software program/application whenever code changes are committed to the source code control repository

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000238451D
Publication Date: 2014-Aug-27
Document File: 6 page(s) / 84K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

This article is associated with dynamic and real-time update of end user documents/help manuals whenever code changes for the Graphical User Interface (GUI) elements of a software program are committed to the source code control repository.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 41% of the total text.

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Technique to dynamically update end user documents /help manuals of a software program/application whenever code changes are committed to the source code control repository

Background:

The end user documents/help manuals are an integral and indispensable part of any software

program/application. These manuals play a critical role in assisting and facilitating users to learn the features or functions of a software program/application. User documents provide important information on how to use a software program to execute the required tasks, product installation, troubleshooting, and so on.

Good help manuals have tangible benefits and are valued highly by the user community. They accurately describe what the application can do and are of great value for trouble shooting. It is very critical for any software program that the help manual is clear, concise, accurate, complete, consistent, and up-to-date for the following reasons:

Reduces technical support/customer service cost


Lowers training and development cost
Decreases onboard expenses, with programmers and testers using the help manuals to learn about the applications
Contributes immensely to customer goodwill
Improves product sales
Increases profits through reduced customer calls for support /clarification
Helps organizational memory and knowledge transfer

Graphical User Interface (GUI) elements allows users to interact with software

programs/applications. A wide variety of GUI elements exist, such as menus, radio buttons, check boxes, drop-downs, and so on, to work with features, operations, or components of a software program. Through the GUI elements, users run a specific task in the application. The user documents/help manuals describes how to work with the software program by using these GUI elements to execute the required tasks.

Drawbacks:

Though the Information Developers (IDs) and other team members aim to keep the help manuals accurate and up-to-date, there are possibilities that the published manuals for the application might contain defects for the following reasons:

Change is inevitable in this fast-paced and complex business world so are changes to any software program/application. Developers / Programmers need to carry out last minute changes, updates, additions, or deletions to GUI elements of the application and may fail to inform such changes to IDs due to pressing delivery deadlines or by oversight. Information about the GUI/application changes might not reach the IDs if they are working in globally distributed teams or due to time zone differences.

In an agile software development environment, there might not be extensive support documentation, such as specification/design documents to which the IDs can refer to know the latest changes made to the application.

Developers might fail to update the support documents for the changes.

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Communication and collaboration glitches resulting in the development team failing to inform the IDs about the changes.

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