Binding existing Flare projects using PushOK SVN plug-in

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Binding existing Flare projects using PushOK SVN plug-in

Postby Graham Campbell on Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:00 am

****NOTE: The 6.1 patch resolves the issues I was facing with PushOK in Flare v6. I can confirm the following post now works with both v5 and v6.1****

A couple of people have requested my notes on binding projects to SVN from within Flare using the Push OK plug-in.

There's some preamble to this, first of all with some assumptions and declarations:

    These steps assume you're using version 1.6.3.x of the plug-in, which is what I have;
    I installed on Windows Vista SP2. If you're using some other flavour of Windows your mileage may vary;
    I use Flare 5, but I assume that the binding functionality is the same back to at least 3.1 when I first looked at source control binding;
    I also use Tortoise SVN already as a source control solution outside of Flare. You don't need to have this installed yourself, but some way of identifying the repository names in SVN is crucial. TortoiseSVN is what I use in these steps. Swap in your own SVN management software in the steps that mention Tortoise.

In this example I'm going to bind the My Program User Guide project. This uses a "My Program User Guide.flprj" file that lives in the SVN module User Guide inside the SVN repository My Program, as follows:

-svn
--\My Program
---\User Guide
----My Program User Guide.flprj

NOTE: At no point do you specify the .flprj name anywhere in the binding process. The repository and module names immediately above it are the key to this working.
NOTE: Assuming you use a user name and password to access SVN, you'll be asked to provide these during the following process. You need to have these to hand.

Binding existing Flare projects

1. With the project already open in Flare, go to Project > Project Properties > Source Control and click Bind Project.
2. In the Bind Project dialog box select the Source Code Control Plug-in option.
3. Choose PushOk SVNSCC in the Provider drop-down.
4. Click Browse. The following dialog box is displayed:

pushok-details-thumb4.png

5. You need to supply the SVNURL (the field at the top of the dialog in the above screenshot). The easiest way to get this is to browse to your local SVN directory (i.e. the one on your computer) and open the top-level directory for the project you want to bind, in this example the My Program repository.

    NOTE: Do not go so far down the directory tree such that you're in the same directory where the .flprj file lives. You need to be one level up from there.
6. Right-click in the directory and choose TortoiseSVN > Repo-browser to display the repository browser with the SVN URL at the top. If you don't have TortoiseSVN installed, use whatever means you would normally to get at the SVN URL.
7. Copy this URL into the SVNURL field in Flare.
8. Click Check to have Flare confirm the URL is good.

    If it fails at this point, you need to check your connection to SVN is good and that the URL is correct.
9. Click the options button (the one with ... on it) next to SVN MODULE and select the project you have open in Flare currently. In this example, I’m using the User Guide module.
10. Click Check to have Flare confirm the module name.

    Again, if it fails at this point, check the module name is correct and that your connection to SVN is still up.
11. Click OK then Yes to dismiss the message.
12. Click OK on the Bind Project dialog box and watch Flare as it churns through the process of checking the files.

At this point, I’m utterly confused as to the slew of warning messages and other dialog boxes that are displayed complaining that the project is already under version control or that it can't check out files correctly etc., because it all works perfectly. I've bound half-a-dozen projects now, each generating the alleged errors and displaying messages to alert me, and yet each project remains perfectly bound to the correct SVN repository.

Simply either accept or dismiss the error messages as they come (there shouldn't be more than 4 or 5, although this will depend on how large your project is) and you'll find, on looking in Content Explorer, that each topic file now has a little tick to indicate that it is correct under source control and has been checked out.

At this point I refer you to MadCap's own excellent help system for Flare to decipher what each source control icon means (the topic About Source Control and Multi-Authoring has what you need there).]

Apologies for the clunky layout. This forum's formatting options aren't as free as Flare's! :wink:

I hope this is of help to some folks who are interested in using Push OK. Feel free to ask me anything and I'll do my best (with no guarantees) to answer positively.

Graham
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Last edited by Graham Campbell on Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:41 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Binding existing Flare projects using PushOK SVN plug-in

Postby doc_guy on Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:19 pm

Question: are you using 64-bit or 32-bit OS?

I upgraded to Win 7 64-bit, and I can't seem to get PushOK's SVN SCC 64-bit to even be recognized by Flare.
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Re: Binding existing Flare projects using PushOK SVN plug-in

Postby Graham Campbell on Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:41 am

Ah yeah, good question. I'm using the 32-bit version of the plug-in. I can't speak to the 64-bit version, sorry.
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Re: Binding existing Flare projects using PushOK SVN plug-in

Postby Andrew on Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:06 pm

doc_guy wrote:Question: are you using 64-bit or 32-bit OS?

I upgraded to Win 7 64-bit, and I can't seem to get PushOK's SVN SCC 64-bit to even be recognized by Flare.

It's pretty common for mixed "bitness" plugin / program combos to fail. Can you use the 32-bit version and see if that works?
Flare v6.1 | Capture 4.0.0
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Re: Binding existing Flare projects using PushOK SVN plug-in

Postby meggs on Fri Feb 19, 2010 2:02 am

Hello Graham,

I successfully bound some projects to our SVN out of Flare using your tutorial above.
But I can´t get them checked out of the repository again if I delete my local working directory. Neither my colleagues can.
With Tortoise it´s no problem, but we would prefer using Flare for that.

I use the "Import Project From Source Control Wizard". With the Browse-Button i define the folder of the working directory (local) and the remote-repro/module. "Verify connection" repeats SVNURL is OK, Module is OK (everything´s fine).
If I confirm with OK, the computer is processing a little, after that there is the window with the browse-button again, but without an entry of the project file.
The local working directory is empty except a hidden .svn-directory.
It´s the same with the PushOK-Plugin and the TamTam-plugin (as described at viewtopic.php?f=68&t=9202&p=52592&hilit=tamtam#p52592).

Using Flare v4.2.1, SVN-Server v1.5.1, PushOK-plugin v1.5, TamTam-PlugIn v1.2.25, Tortoise v1.6.3

Anyone the same problem or suggestions?

best regards, meggs
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Re: Binding existing Flare projects using PushOK SVN plug-in

Postby Graham Campbell on Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:43 am

Folks, just a note to say that the 6.1 patch resolved the issue I was originally facing with using the PushOK plug in with v6. I can now confirm that Flare v5 and v6.1 both work (for me) following the above procedure.

Meggs - did you ever find a solution? I've not used v4 for some time now so I can't really help you out myself. I recommend contact MadCap support directly as I did.
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Re: Binding existing Flare projects using PushOK SVN plug-in

Postby verisof on Tue Aug 17, 2010 1:53 pm

I'm completely new to MadCap Flare and trying to set it up with version control. Does anyone have a link where you can download the PushOK plugin for SVN version control? Thanks in advance. . . .

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Re: Binding existing Flare projects using PushOK SVN plug-in

Postby andrewransom on Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:38 am

I've managed to use the PushOK plugin to bind my project to SVN source control, though I haven't quite wrapped my head around reconciling the check-in/check-out model of Flare/Microsoft's SCC plugin framework to SVN's update/commit model.

My main concern now, as several other people have also indicated, there seems to be some serious flakiness about managing content (moves, renames, etc). I've failed to find anything that describes a robust way to manage this. Can anyone point me to such a thing?

verisof: At the risk of sounding snarky: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=PushOK+SVN+Plugin :D

Much obliged,

-- Another Andrew
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Re: Binding existing Flare projects using PushOK SVN plug-in

Postby Graham Campbell on Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:58 am

My main concern now, as several other people have also indicated, there seems to be some serious flakiness about managing content (moves, renames, etc). I've failed to find anything that describes a robust way to manage this. Can anyone point me to such a thing?


Andrew, you're absolutely right. There is a little bit of flakiness you need to take when it comes to file rename/move/delete operations to otherwise enjoy the features the plug in provides.

I've found a couple of ways round the problems I was suffering when it came to dealing with this problem. Hopefully they will help you as well:

First, and most obviously, is to check the file into SVN before doing anything else to it. I've found that if I attempt to move/rename/delete a file that I've not yet checked in to SVN Flare complains and throws up all manner of useless COM error messages that don't mean anything to poor Tech Authors like me. However, having the file checked in means that SVN can handle it correctly and take the appropriate action.

Second, is to deselect the check box that appears on the dialog box when you delete or rename a file:
delete-source-control.png


(Note, the option appears disabled in this screenshot because I don't currently have the plug in installed. New machine and all that! :) )

If you're plug in is configured correctly it'll manage this for each file you attempt to delete, as long as you do it from with Flare's Content and Project panes. I can't confirm it'll handle it if you just delete the file from with an Explorer window, although I suspect if you have the project open in Flare it'll pick this up.

Hope that helps!
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