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Automation Techniques In Documentation


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Automation Techniques In Documentation

  1. 1. Automation Techniques in Documentation
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Why Automation </li></ul><ul><li>What is Automation </li></ul><ul><li>Automation Scope </li></ul><ul><li>Case Studies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Doc Validator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FrameScripts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Benefits of Automation </li></ul>
  3. 3. Why Automation? <ul><li>Do you need: </li></ul><ul><li>a quick way to convert your files from one format to another? </li></ul><ul><li>a custom command in FrameMaker or Word that does things the way you want them done? </li></ul><ul><li>your unstructured FrameMaker files converted to structured Frame or XML files (perhaps DITA)? </li></ul><ul><li>help setting up a single-sourcing solution for your documentation? </li></ul><ul><li>assistance connecting your application with context-sensitive Help? </li></ul>
  4. 4. What is Automation? 3
  5. 5. What is Automation? <ul><li>Is the use of programming techniques and tools to alter the structure and content of documents based on specific requirements. </li></ul><ul><li>For example, creating rules that enable you to insert or delete elements of text based on specific criteria. </li></ul><ul><li>Or </li></ul><ul><li>Converting a FrameMaker file to a format that is readable by some customized application. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Automation Scope <ul><li>Tool Automation </li></ul><ul><li>Scripting </li></ul><ul><li>Online Help </li></ul>
  7. 7. Tool Automation <ul><li>Focuses specifically on enhancing the capabilities or features of a specific tool such as FrameMaker, MS Office suite, and so on. </li></ul><ul><li>FrameMaker Automation </li></ul><ul><li>Automation (formerly OLE Automation) </li></ul>
  8. 8. FrameMaker Automation <ul><li>If you need to automate actions in FrameMaker, your choices are .. </li></ul><ul><li>The FrameMaker developer's kit (FDK). A set of C libraries that let you develop plugins that can automate any series of actions in Frame that you can do through the UI. Once a plugin is developed, you can install it on all of your computers. (Free download from Adobe.)   </li></ul><ul><li>FrameScript. A FrameMaker plugin that lets you write VB-like scripts to drive FrameMaker. To run a framescript, each computer that you want to run it on must have a FrameScript license. ($150 per license.)   </li></ul><ul><li>FrameAC. A FrameMaker plugin that lets you write actual VB scripts (in the Visual Basic IDE). Also, one license per system that you want to run the scripts on. (150 euros per license.)   </li></ul><ul><li>fmPython. A FrameMaker plugin that lets you write scripts using the Python language. This plugin must be installed on each system in order to run the fmPython script. (Free download.) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Automation <ul><li>Automation (formerly known as OLE Automation) is an inter-process communication mechanism based on Component Object Model (COM) that uses scripting languages – originally Visual Basic – to manipulate various Microsoft Office applications. </li></ul><ul><li>Automation makes it possible for one application to manipulate objects implemented in another application, or to expose objects so they can be manipulated. </li></ul><ul><li>OLE Automation was designed with the ease of scripting in mind, enabling support for languages such as Visual Basic for Applications to end users, allowing them to control automation objects via scripts. </li></ul>
  10. 10. OLE Automation Contd. <ul><li>OLE Automation is available for a variety of languages, including: </li></ul><ul><li>C </li></ul><ul><li>C++ (directly or via a library like MFC or ATL ) </li></ul><ul><li>Visual Basic and Visual Basic for Applications </li></ul><ul><li>Delphi </li></ul><ul><li>Microsoft .NET languages </li></ul><ul><li>APL (most Windows versions) </li></ul><ul><li>Java (only with third-party tools) </li></ul><ul><li>JScript and VBScript </li></ul><ul><li>Open Object Rexx </li></ul><ul><li>Perl </li></ul><ul><li>PHP </li></ul><ul><li>PowerBuilder </li></ul><ul><li>Python </li></ul><ul><li>Ruby (via the 'win32ole' library included in the standard Ruby 1.8.x or later distribution) </li></ul><ul><li>Tcl </li></ul><ul><li>Visual DataFlex </li></ul><ul><li>WinBatch </li></ul>
  11. 11. Open Source Scripting <ul><li>Use of open source scripting languages for automation by converting the binary files to open standards such as XML </li></ul><ul><li>PHP </li></ul><ul><li>Perl </li></ul><ul><li>Python </li></ul><ul><li>JavaScript </li></ul>
  12. 12. Case Studies-Doc Validator <ul><li>Automating Production Edit process using open source scripting </li></ul><ul><li>In this example, .fm files are converted to .mif (maker interface format) files. </li></ul><ul><li>A free plug-in is used to convert these .mif files into an XML format called the mifml. </li></ul><ul><li>Then using xml parsers that are freely available on the web, a JavaScript based application is developed that processes these .mifml files based on specific criteria. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Doc Validator Application
  14. 14. Benefits <ul><li>Enables you to address specific requirements such as: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>fixing brokenlinks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>automatically applying relevant markers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>changing URL addresses based on a specific criteria to name a few </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Increased Accuracy – Documents will contain correct information. </li></ul><ul><li>Consistency – Ensure that consistent terms and language are used. </li></ul><ul><li>Enforce Standardization – Enables standardization of document terms, best practices, and overall look and feel. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Benefits Contd. <ul><li>Enhanced Productivity - Dramatically reduce the time required to troubleshoot and fix formatting issues </li></ul><ul><li>Improved Processes – Better understand and re-engineer processes through Automation. </li></ul><ul><li>Better Job Satisfaction – Allows writers to focus on more challenging and satisfying tasks rather than repetitive, time-consuming formatting issues. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Questions