Anyone tried context- and ROLE-sensitive help

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Anyone tried context- and ROLE-sensitive help

Postby royj on Thu Sep 25, 2008 12:08 pm

We're working on an application built in SharePoint, and would like to be able to show different topics to people who log in as Admininstrator, vs. all the rest of the site users. For example, an Admin is able to do more things on Page A than a User; therefore, the Page A help topic displayed to the Admin needs to show more information than the topic shown to the User.

Has anybody ever implemented something like that?
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Re: Anyone tried context- and ROLE-sensitive help

Postby RamonS on Thu Sep 25, 2008 12:14 pm

I'd do that by creating two sets of help. The application knows if the current user is an admin or not and thus can issue different help calls. That is way easier than scripting the hell out of the help itself and making it work.
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Re: Anyone tried context- and ROLE-sensitive help

Postby mamarachel on Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:06 am

We have managed to do both context and role sensitive help with a single web help project. As the help author, I have created two topics, say, Welcome Administrators and Welcome Agents, each with its own identifier and value in the alias file. Then I tell the developer that value 1 is to be used with application page xyz when the user is logged in as administrator and value 10 is to be used with the same application page xyz when the user is logged in as agent.

Below is a snippet from the developer's email in which he is describing to me how he makes this work on his end.

The way I do it(without getting too "techy") is not overly complicated, but the application has to have set user designations in-place.

For example, with our application when a user logs into the site, we track what kind of user they are through session variables. We can access these variables on any page within the site. So we know what kind of user someone is(admin, agent, etc.). Your help system is built pretty nicely, in that I can just switch the number value I pass in to call on the fly. So I do a quick check at the top of the page to see if the user is an admin or not (by referencing those session variables). If they are an admin, I set the value passed to the URL to one thing. If they are not, I set it to something else.

Hope that makes sense. I guess it really depends more on the system around it. But I assume anyone looking to set up the help system on a per user basis would have the designations in place and accessible.
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Re: Anyone tried context- and ROLE-sensitive help

Postby RamonS on Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:00 am

But does that take care of admin only results showing up in the search and index? Making two different calls based on the session variable is easy.
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Re: Anyone tried context- and ROLE-sensitive help

Postby mamarachel on Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:11 am

Yep. You got me there. I didn't try to implement what you are describing.
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Re: Anyone tried context- and ROLE-sensitive help

Postby royj on Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:54 am

For now, we're going to build two different help systems. Users will see a help button in the upper-right corner of the screen, which will launch User help. Admins will also see that button, but they'll also have a link to Admin help that appears only for them.
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