Help Toolkit and Help Source Files for Microsoft NAV 2009

Help Toolkit and Help Source Files for Microsoft NAV 2009

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The Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 Help Toolkit and the Help Source files are now available for download from PartnerSource.

We're making the source files for the core Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 Help available to Partners so that you can customize the Help to enhance your add-ins or to match the solutions you sell. You can edit the source files and recompile the Help files, or you can copy from the source files into your own Help or other documentation. The source files for the Group 1 countries (Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States) have been released. We will make available the source files for the other countries after NAV 2009 ships for those countries. 

In a post in September, I mentioned that we were updating the NAV Help Guide and the tools in the Help Toolkit we provide to assist you in creating help. This release of the Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 Help Toolkit includes a completely re-written Help Guide, with How To topics, walkthroughs, and guidelines for creating Help and transforming Help for the Classic client into Help for the RoleTailored client. We've also replaced the GATE tool with Help Builder, which is a more robust tool for processing source files and compiling Help files. We've also fixed some bugs in the Generate HTML Help batch job that you can use to generate Help topics for tables, fields, forms, pages, and reports.

If you have any questions or comments about these two releases, please send an e-mail to navhelp@microsoft.com.

We continue to be interested in hearing what your needs are, so we can ensure that we are improving the process for customizing and extending Help. You can add your comments below or e-mail us at navhelp@microsoft.com. Here are some questions to get you started:

  • How do you use the content that we provide?
  • What types of Help do you provide to your customers to assist them in using your solution?
  • If you don't provide your customers with customized Help, what are the main reasons for not doing this? How does this impact your support costs?
  • How will you use the source files for all of our Help, in all available languages? Will you customize these CHMs? Repackage Help into another format? Or do something else?
  • Do you extend Help with information about the changes that you have made to Microsoft Dynamics NAV, such as new tables, forms, pages, etc.? How important is it to be able to extend Help? What would make this scenario more efficient for you?
  • Have you used the Help Guide? How well did it help you accomplish Help customization?
  • Do you know that we removed Company Notes in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 5.0 and why? Were you using Company Notes? What worked for you about this solution? What didn't work?
  • If you customize the content that we provide, how do you determine what has changed from version to version?

It's important for us to ensure that we are providing an efficient way for you to customize the documentation. We're looking for volunteers to test our new Help processes, and provide us with feedback on how well these solutions meet your needs. In return, we'll offer extra assistance in using these processes. If you would like to participate, please e-mail navhelp@microsoft.com.

 - Paul Chapman

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