Developer asking for a Merge Module

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Developer asking for a Merge Module

Postby bobmoon on Thu Sep 11, 2008 7:50 am

I'm delivering a small WebHelp system, (probably one or two pages of content). The Developer asked me if I can create a merge module so that he can include the help in the installation for the UI.

I'm not familiar with merge modules, though from what I can see in the forums, it looks like you use it to install the Flare Help Viewer.

Can anyone help?

Thanks,
Bob
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Re: Developer asking for a Merge Module

Postby RamonS on Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:31 am

I don't know what a merge module is either, but the help files are to be deployed like any other file. The installer package only needs to write them to the correct location so that the application can find them.
A description about merge modules is available from here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa369820(VS.85).aspx . Appears to me that this is a task the developer / build engineer is supposed to do, not the tech writer. Just watch out, tomorrow he will ask you to provide the application code for the software that your help file covers. :lol:
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Re: Developer asking for a Merge Module

Postby scgraff on Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:00 pm

We use merge modules to package our web help. The developers in charge of packaging/deployment generate the merge modules, we just provide them our web help output. Merge modules compress our web help down to one file which is then included in the program install package. The merge module is then re-extracted to the full web help when the program install package is run.
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Re: Developer asking for a Merge Module

Postby bobmoon on Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:06 pm

Merge modules compress our web help down to one file which is then included in the program install package. The merge module is then re-extracted to the full web help when the program install package is run.


Thanks, that helps. I had already replied to the developer that he should just compress the help into a zip file and then extract that zip file into the file system. I think that's just a low-tech version of what you're describing.

Do you know what they use to generate the merge module? I'd expect that's something included in Visual Studio or an equivalent tool.

Thanks,
Bob
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Re: Developer asking for a Merge Module

Postby RamonS on Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:11 pm

The article I posted the link for comments on that. There are apparently various tools available.
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Re: Developer asking for a Merge Module

Postby scgraff on Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:16 pm

Our developer uses a tool in InstallShield to create the merge module.
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Re: Developer asking for a Merge Module

Postby bobmoon on Fri Sep 12, 2008 4:42 am

The article I posted the link for comments on that.


Ramon, the link you posted doesn't work for me. I get a "Content Not Found" page.
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Re: Developer asking for a Merge Module

Postby RamonS on Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:17 am

Ooops, phpBB didn't pick up the entire URL. I fixed it in the post above.
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Re: Developer asking for a Merge Module

Postby trent the thief on Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:29 am

So how did this work out?
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Re: Developer asking for a Merge Module

Postby bobmoon on Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:48 am

I think the developer is going to use my suggestion of including a zip file of my content in his installation. I'm not sure what benefits there are to using a merge module, but, he's developing a one-screen application, and I only have one html page of help, so it's not a big risk.

Bob
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Re: Developer asking for a Merge Module

Postby trent the thief on Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:54 am

When I had help to deliver I never got involved with it much beyond making it available to the release team. I'm not sure how they packaged it, so I was curious.

We're going to begin providing a help system for a massive java-based system. Details, details. I hope the release guys here already know what to do :-)
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