By Carol Macbain
Chris Boucher, Principal Technical Writer at S1 Corporation, spoke at the April Boston Chapter STC meeting on "New Ways of Developing Help: Using JSPs, Tiles, and Struts." S1 is a global provider of brandable e-Finance software solutions that allow current or prospective customers to receive[RF1] quotes, view documents, request changes, and complete forms online. The challenge was to find a way to make it easier to brand and maintain the product.
In the past, the S1 documentation team used a copy-and-paste method to reuse content. They lacked [RF2]a quick way to upgrade content [RF3]during implementation. Their current method of using Java Server Pages (JSPs), Tiles, and Struts allows global replacement of customer names, logos, headers, and other dynamic content. The implementation process was reduced from a period of three to six months, to a period of one month.
The new S1 approach consists of:
Chris stated that using the new system of JSPs, Tiles, and Struts makes branding easier because all configurable Help strings are in one location. The number of files has increased but maintenance is faster due to the unique content and smaller file sizes.
For more about this topic, Chris recommends the following Web sites and publications:
|Official Struts Web site||http://jakarta.apache.org/struts/|
Cedric Dumoulin's Web site
|"UI Design with Tiles and Struts"
by Prakash Malani
|Programming Jakarta Struts
|by Chuck Caveness|
|Struts in Action
|by Ted Husted, Cedric Dumoulin, George Franciscus, David Winterfeldt|
Primus Knowledge Solutions sponsored the April meeting. The Primus eServer knowledge base enables company support staff to continually capture, create, and refine solutions and make them available to anyone with access to the knowledge base. The Answer Engine searches for answers to typed questions in corporate documents and databases, including reporting tools for tracking usage patterns.
|Doug Mann at Primus table|
Primus representative Doug Mann answered members' questions at the Primus information table.
Carol Macbain is a technical writer interested in working with international users and developers. You can reach her at