A member on the Online SIG asked the following question. With his permission, I posted it here as well:
My company is looking to single source the documentation my team creates for our products. We need a solution that will be a repository for authoritative versions of documents that many people from several different departments can use to get the documents they need. The solution should also be able to export documents in HTML, XML, Word, PDF, and RTF.
The killer part of this issue is that we would also like to introduce a wiki for our Website support/help pages. So I have been trying to find a single source solution where we can export documents to the above formats, but also import data that is submitted into the wiki back into the "repository" in somewhat of an automated fashion.
I have discovered several single source methods that can produce content in many different formats, but am having a harder time finding a solution that will interface seamlessly with a customer-facing wiki.
Anyone out there had any experience with a single source solution that has a wiki component?
A while ago my friend Clyde posted a link to an excellent review of enterprise-level wikis. The article reviews several and then recommends Traction TeamPage as the best. Traction TeamPage was voted best enterprise wiki of 2007 by InfoWorld, and it does allow you to export the wiki content to Microsoft Word or as a PDF.
Although the most robust versions are costly, Traction recently released a free version that might serve many people's needs. Traction TeamPage5, which anyone can download and use either commercially or non-commercially, is described as follows:
Traction® TeamPage5 is a free version of Traction Software's award winning TeamPage Server product. TeamPage5 supports up to 5 projects (blog / wiki spaces) and 5 named user accounts with individually defined permissions and identities. Projects can also be opened to Visitors (e.g. you can open any space so that anyone on your intranet can read, edit, comment or post). Registration for TeamPage5 provides a personal account on our support server to download software updates, read customer and product FAQ's, and participate in Traction's customer Forum.
Traction® TeamPage5 is simple to download, install and manage. TeamPage software can be deployed on your intranet, corporate DMZ or on the public internet using a computer that supports Java server software, see TeamPage System Requirements. TeamPage5 provides a free way to create a collaborative communication hub which can scale to meet your future needs. You can easily upgrade to TeamPage15 or TeamPage at any time.
If you have another product you think would work well to meet the requirements the reader is looking for, please share it in the comments below.
While we're on the topic of tools, does anyone know of an open source version of Webex or LiveMeeting? I was looking at www.vyew.com today and I think it might work. I want to start doing virtual software saturdays, where an expert would give a 2 hr tutorial on a tool that anyone could join in to watch. I've never used Vyew. If anyone has any feedback on it or a similar tool, please share it with me.
I'm a technical writer / API doc specialist based in the Seattle area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.