YOUR Process Application Help

SBM has come a long way in providing many areas for you to provide contextual help for your users.  In addition to the tool-tips that you have been able to add even back in the TeamTrack versions, now you can add HTML formatted help in the General properties of any state, transition, and workflow.  Even the field end-user help can be HTML.  Another option is to include text boxes on the form it self or buttons that open a dialog to provide users with context specific help.

 

The problem this solution addresses are cases when your process documentation may contain more data than you want to enter in the contextual help.  Perhaps you have some pdfs that you have created to provide knowledge to users about the process.  In my case I wanted to provide a workflow image that illustrated how my multiple process apps linked together.  Now I could have just saved this as an image and included in the workflow process help edit box in Composer, but I didn't want users to have to always be in a form to view the help.  

So what I chose to do was create a pdf and save it in my IIS directory on my Application Engine server. (this could be any internal location that all of your users already can access)  Next I created an external report that contained the link to that pdf file.  Just stopping here does provide access for my users to run the external report and get access to the help.  However I added one more configuration that is available in the latest releases of SBM.  I added it as a default report in the Work Center side bar navigation.  You can do this in your group settings|Group Preferences|Work Center Side Menu.  I added my external report to be displayed in the Reports section. 

Now I suppose I could have added it as one of the reports on the dashboard|system view, but I did not want to always have that on the dashboard.   But that does get me to thinking.....about another idea.  

You can use this external report idea to alert users to newly deployed changes to your SBM system.  Since you are the system admin, you can create an external report with either a link to another webpage or pdf that lists the changes you have made available and make that external report part of the default dashboard for users.  Then when you feel users have been sufficiently notified, you can update that dashboard report and remove it.  But you could keep a history of those external report links in a public folder.  That may entice you to want to upgrade to 11.3 since the folders are now a part of Work Center and are all maintained via the user interface vs requiring administrator access.

 

If you are still reading, here is yet one more idea.  Referencing my blog entry about adding banners to your UI to identify which environment you are accessing.  You could temporarily add a banner for your users indicating you released some new features and in the text of the banner, include a hyperlink to the pdf or web page with your listed changes.  

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