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Wiki-like Functionality for Documentation
We have been considering how to handle procedural documentation to help users use the system, especially in our environment here in Japan where there is a mix of people with English or Japanese needs, and we have done a few different things:

* added collapsed HELP or PROCESS sections to forms, where you can expand it to see either text or graphical (served via Setup, Application, Resources) explanations
* use the popup ? icons extensively in forms, to give people guidance per field just by hovering their mouse
* done some dynamic display of help on the entry form in terms of read-only labels, when a particular selection is made or when a particular value is entered
* added a table with uploads of PDF manuals, with screenshots and step by step explanations

All this adds up to pretty good self-documentation, but, even still we have to add PDF manuals. We were thinking that it would be quite nice if we could somehow avoid creating PDFs in some external DTP program, or Word as it were, and document procedures within the apps themselves.

So we were wondering if we could not get Teamdesk to act as a wiki. I think, the prerequisites would be:

* ability to have a multiline text field be a "page".
* ability to easily upload and reference an attachment, showing an image if it is an image, and showing a download link, if it is a different file.
* ability to easily reference / link to, another page.

We are pretty close, even today, but there is no concept of a textarea acting as a page, and, it is pretty clumsy to upload files, then reference them within the multi-line text areas set up for markdown.

Has anyone found a good way to handle this within or without Teamdesk?

Kind regards,
Rick Cogley
ID
402
Category
User Experience
Author

Rick Cogley
Date Created
12/29/2010 7:41:51 AM
Date Updated
10/8/2014 8:46:51 AM
Status
New Idea
Score
30
Promoted By
Michael Ver DuinbasenineRick Cogley
Comments
Rick Cogley 12/29/2010 7:50:44 AM
Illustration showing what we are doing now:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/81796435@N00/5303394008
Rick Cogley 12/29/2010 8:01:27 AM
A second illustration showing what we are doing now:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/81796435@N00/5303416152
Michael Ver Duin 10/7/2014 10:16:24 AM
I would love to have a "Wiki" associated with my Teamdesk application that was under the same log in. It could/would extend to processes beyond Teamdesk also, like personnel training.

In my perfect world we would have a 'Help' Table tab at the top of our system and that would take you to the company wiki. That way I know it is available, editable and secure from non-employees.
The list of Views would auto-propagate based on the Article number and the Title of the Article.


Michael Ver Duin 10/7/2014 10:19:35 AM
What was this: http://www.teamdesk.net/help/6.5.aspx
written with? That would be perfect.

I particularly like the sidebar navigation, search and the presentation of the article.
Kirill Bondar  Staff  10/7/2014 1:44:56 PM
@michael: help pages are transformed from a Word file using homegrown converter.
Michael Ver Duin 10/7/2014 1:47:59 PM
That's too bad. I think I am going to try to set up a wiki as a table somehow with a dashboard...
Rick Cogley 10/7/2014 4:56:41 PM
Using the extended text fields set to Markdown, is working well enough for us. It's not as "fluid" as a real wiki, because you have to struggle a bit to link other pages, but, it's pretty good.

We set up associated data like links to other "Documents" and links to "Files". Then we show the URLs of these in the related data at the bottom, so it is a little easier to use the []() syntax to link them.

Our main key is, it's all in the one database.

Michael Ver Duin 10/8/2014 8:46:51 AM
>Our main key is, it's all in the one database.

That's the key. That's the most important thing right there.
My biggest issue will be trying to get the "menu" to auto populate so I don't have to remember to link a new topic or check every link every year.
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