11 Replies Latest reply on Jun 17, 2014 6:15 AM by paintchic42

    Product Documentation on Jive

      Hi all,

      My company's website that hosts product documentation is fairly antiquated and needs to be replaced.  In sync with our strategy of making SBS the clients portal to all of our company's web-based applications, I am working with our product documentation team to explore putting documentation (.pdf and maybe wiki docs) directly on SBS.  I've identified a few pros, cons, and questions on this idea and am interested in hearing from anyone who has attempted it (successfully or unsuccessfully).



      • in same place, same search engine as other community content.  Will be able to easily reference and link to documentation in community discussions and blogs
      • use of multiple categories means users can drill down different paths
      • no new purchasing needed
      • DocVerse previews - don't have to download docs to view



      • Jive doesn't even use Jive for their own product documentation.  Am I missing some key element that will make this project, as proposed, fail?
      • We have around 60 products - is Jive scalable enough to organize them all logically?  How would we organize using communities/sub-communities/categories/tags?


      Any feedback, stories, strategies, lessons learned, etc. would be appreciated!


      Best regards,


        • Re: Product Documentation on Jive

          Hi Suzanne -


          I know that SAP uses Jive for their documentation - they call it Docupedia. It is pretty robust and allows for community input on the documentation: https://cw.sdn.sap.com/cw/community/docupedia/docuinfosite


          Zenoss also appears to use Jive for their documenation. I like their Table of contents and prev/next navigation elements: http://community.zenoss.org/docs/DOC-10086


          My company has planned to use Jive for an interactive documentation portal. Our current doc site is a static set of PDFs. We worked with Jive partner company Syncapse and they provided us with a working Proof of Concept module that takes our documentation source, loads into our Jive instance, allows for nice forward/back navigation between chapters, and comment ability for the readers. We have not yet implemented this solution.


          We have five major product lines with thousands of pages of documentation total. We do not anticipate any issues with scalablilty and plan to organize the docs by product line. Older versions of the docs will be archived - they will need to at least be available in read-only mode as not all of our customers upgrade to the newest version.


          I hope this is helpful!



          1 person found this helpful
            • Re: Product Documentation on Jive


              A very belated thanks for your response and thoughts.  My company's documentation team did decide to use Jive for product documentation.  They currently have PDFs only as well although I am encouraging them to take advantage of wiki documents.

              I like how SAP created the tree framework that allows easy navigation among topics.  Do you know how they did that?

              The Zenoss method of creating an index with links to other docs is another interesting idea.  Categories + tags should theoretically automatically create an index - one that doesn't have to be updated.  But then it's not always in order.  I wish Jive would add sorting to the headers in each content area.


                • Re: Product Documentation on Jive

                  Hi Suzanne - You are welcome, glad to help! And I'm glad to hear that your company is using Jive for the product documentation. Unfortunately I don't know more information about the SAP and Zenoss implementations. You might ask your Jive rep to see if they can provide some contacts at those companies? I would imagine that both of these implementations required a substantial customization.


                  Yes, it would be so great if an index could be dynamically generated from a set of content - maybe pulling the document titles, for example? Have you checked in the Feature Discussion area? This might be a great topic for a new thread. Maybe a Jive app developer will come along, build it, offer it in the Jive Apps Marketplace?


                  Wishing you a happy new year!



              • Re: Product Documentation on Jive

                Any additional thoughts on this excellent question so far?

                As you mentionned, the portfolio which is a mix between marketing content and documentation is always requesting a structured repository as well as a clear taxonomy to simplify isitor expectations.


                @Trisha: are you able to share the current status about your PoC with Syncapse?

                  • Re: Product Documentation on Jive

                    Hello Jerome - Sadly, our documentation plan with Syncapse has been on hold. My company was acquired by HP recently and we have been seeing how to best fit these plans into the overall company integration. The good news is that our Syncapse PoC has been demonstrated to the HP team a few times and was very well received. I am hoping we can move this project forward - it would be a great win for our customers and Tech writers in terms of user experience and feedback loops.

                      • Re: Product Documentation on Jive

                        Hi Trisha, I'm popping into this thread about year or so after your previous reply.  I'm curious to where you are in this process now and if you had a successful attempt at using Jive for product documentation (with or without Synapse).  On my end, we're about to relaunch our public community and we're close to making a decision on placing documentation on a different system other than Jive, followed by a proposed Jive integration.  Seems like a lot of unnecessary work, if in fact Jive can do it all (but I'm still unsure about that statement).


                        PS - It was great connecting with you at the EAB luncheon at jw12!  Such a coincidence that we both lived in Newark, Cali! 

                          • Re: Product Documentation on Jive

                            Hi Myke - So great to see you at jw12 last week!


                            Yes, we did indeed migrate our product documentation into our customer community, just about one year ago. It has been going very well. We went without the integration piece and are using standard features (and elbow grease).



                            • Better search than the old doc platform
                            • Contents of PDFs are searchable
                            • Community members can comment directly on each doc
                            • Faster feedback loop to the Tech Pubs writers and documentation improvement



                            • Docs are manually loaded one-by-one*
                            • No index of doc titles
                              • ... unless we created one manually
                              • we rely on the default "All Content" or "Document" view. The order of the titles can change, since default sort is "Latest activity"
                            • No bulk download of docs offered (unless we packaged and provided a .zip file for this purpose)


                            *Regarding document loading, I understand there is a Bulk Upload Plugin. I haven't evaluated or tested it yet. One concern I have is that the feature would be available to all community members (not just a specific admin group). But I know it would save a lot of manual work for the Docs team.    


                            Overall, both customers and employees are very happy having the Documentation in Jive. Please let me know if you have any other questions!

                              • Re: Product Documentation on Jive

                                Thanks Trisha, this is very helpful and straightforward feedback.  Knowledge is power!


                                The pros you listed out seem very crucial for a community-driven strategy.  I especially like the fact that PDFs are searchable, I actually wasn't even aware of this.  Just to clarify, does this mean Jive indexes words contained within a PDF?  Also, I've heard positive things about allowing community members to comment directly on a doc, especially if they are advanced users who are comfortable using the in-line comments.  I can imagine how valuable this will be for the official doc writers.


                                Fortunately, nothing on the cons list stands out to me as a showstopper.  That's great news.


                                BTW - That Bulk Upload Plugin was built in-house by a member of our Labs team at LivePerson.  It's super helpful and saves so much time.  My experience has been that 99% of users don't realize it's there (or what it does) unless they ask you for the functionality and you point it out.  So you shouldn't have too many random users uploading a bulk of docs.  It also requires that the author first zip their files on their local drive, then upload the zip file.

                                  • Re: Product Documentation on Jive

                                    You are welcome Myke, glad to help! And thank you so much about the information regarding the Bulk Upload Plugin. Very cool that it was developed at your company! Yes, I thought the risk of exposing the feature to all members was low. It was the biggest concern I could come up with (minor - so, that is pretty good! ).


                                    Yes, Jive search can find words inside PDF files. You just need to make sure the Search setting is enabled in the Admin Console.

                                    System > Settings > Search > Search attachments




                                    This feature has been useful for our Support Engineers in searching for specific bug/feature request numbers in the product Release Notes. So, the benefit is not just to our customers!


                                    I see that you have a discussion going over on Re: External Community knowledgebase/document store house advice regarding Knowledgebase (KB) articles and integration. My comments here are specifically for Product Manuals. We have a separate system for the KB which is not integrated with our customer community. I will put further comments about that in the other thread.

                          • Re: Product Documentation on Jive

                            I wish Jive would host the product documentation natively in our application out of the box as an additional "Space". Why should each and every customer have to copy over documentation, link to an external source, or recreate tips and tricks?


                            I have never understood why Jive can centrally manage this and allow us when we take a new upgrade take the 'new release space documentation" along with it.


                            I've shared this with Jive in the past. I'm not sure why this is not part of the plan.

                            • Re: Product Documentation on Jive

                              Anyone have some current examples of product documentation hosting that they can share?   I'm working with a client who's interested in doing this as well, but would like to see some examples as we develop their taxonomy. Thanks!