The bloody Documentation

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Martin_US
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The bloody Documentation

Post by Martin_US » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:34 pm

Hi Guys,

before this Forum is going the way of the Dodo, I thought I contribute something else.

What has always bothered me, is the way documentation for modifications is done.
Mostly not or if, never updated and most of the time, if some has been made, no where be found.
Next to the fact that it is usually the first thing that drops off the Best Practice list cause it is time consuming and code is always self explaining anyway.

Ok, banging my head against the wall to come up with something easy to find, maintain, distribute, multi language etc. I poked around with SAP GUI XT and a server based solution.
Now, if you want the details, let me know, I have a nice document for that, but here is the outline:

If you use GUI XT you can add additional Icons to the SAP screens without modification.
You do that in a transaction/screen dependent GUI XT script.
Within that scrip you can determine the transaction and the user language.
With that information you can point to a file on a server (or web server) where the user help resides.
If you are nuts enough, you can do that even down to field level.

So, clicking on the help icon can easily bring up modification specific help for the user.
This has the advantage that the user is one click away from help and doesn't need to leave SAP to browse for documentation elsewhere. Which in effect no one will do anyway.

Now, depending on how wisely you build that documentation (Word, WinHelp, HTML) you can add many features like search and indices, references etc. You can provide [server] path information to those responsible for maintaining the help or change history and technical documents, thus making those documents easy to find AND change/amend.

Having a good help system that is integrated in SAP and doesn't require massive changes to SAP itself should be key and the easier it is for the user to get to it, the lesser is the burden on training, colleagues or helpdesk. Plus, providing the technical people with an integrated systems that also takes their needs into account raises the acceptance for maintenance quite a bit.

After I had this all figured out from the technical side in GUI XT and SAP, it took me only a very short time to come up with a standard HTML concept for the help. Have an include for the header and bottom of a page where the content changed dynamically and if you aren't a lazy bum you can even do some database integration i.e. acronyms.

But again, key is that the help is integrated and easy to find and to maintain.
If that goal is missed, don't even bother doing any documentation, because it will be obsolete/outdated within 6 month.

If you want to know more, let me know here or in private.

Martin

VLozano
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Re: The bloody Documentation

Post by VLozano » Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:05 am

This post seems dangerously to a SAP related one... You are lucky we are being extinct and we will accept anything that keeps a live this board for five more seconds :mrgreen:
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Squarebear
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Re: The bloody Documentation

Post by Squarebear » Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:56 am

I think that post should be allowed for this reason and this reason only.
Martin_US wrote:If you want to know more, let me know here or in private.

Martin
Martin is using the subject of SAP documentation as a cover to proposition other forum members for sex. A brief scan of the forum rules reveals that this is not only permitted but an activity that ought to be actively encouraged.
Possibly the most modest person in the world.

Martin_US
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Re: The bloody Documentation

Post by Martin_US » Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:05 am

Pffffttt

SAP is only part of it, the lesser almost. In part it's technical, in part HTML, WinHlp or Word, than if you will Project Management or Change Management, Training and Education, ... phew.

Now that doesn't even go under "SAP other's"

And where is the sex part? I am seriously missing something! :cry:

Gothmog
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Re: The bloody Documentation

Post by Gothmog » Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:27 am

There is always an implicit sex part.
Except when the sex part is explicit.
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Martin_US
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Re: The bloody Documentation

Post by Martin_US » Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:55 am

Well,

at least now I know who's mind is in the gutter and not focused on documentation :D

Gothmog
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Re: The bloody Documentation

Post by Gothmog » Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:51 am

The gutter is quite comfortable, full of interesting people, and that's a well documented fact! :mrgreen:
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Rich
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Re: The bloody Documentation

Post by Rich » Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:52 am

Documentation is a big part of the job and should not be relegated or dumped because of time. (oh Sh*t! I'm being serious here)....

Always document your data elements in SAP - that gives the user context sensitive F1 help straight away. And then develop tools to help you do the same documetnation tasks over and over again. Makes the process less painful.
Regards

Rich

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Martin_US
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Re: The bloody Documentation

Post by Martin_US » Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:44 am

Thanks Rich,

if you enable the user to help him/herself with adequate and easy to access documentation you keep the training time down and relief the helpdesk.

Plus new hires have it much better.

In my experience, documentation is one of the first victims of any implementation war.
And if for no other reason, but having a bad concept on how to manage all the various document types.

Of course, no one will even listen and feels comfortable in the gutter. :lol:

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