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Friday, January 23, 2009

Adobe Technical Communication Suite 2 (For Integrated Documentation)

Adobe Technical Communication Suite 2 consists of Framemaker, RoboHelp and Captivate.

It is meant to create interactive integrated documentation such as user guides. Printed user guides are hard to create because it is hard to create links, you can still do that but it requires thorough planning. So, usually for printed user guides, it is best to do it in a sequential manner (like step by step). But the problem of step by step user guide is that it is not generic and you will need to invest time to keep doing new version whenever new requirement arises.

To do something more generic and worth the investment of time and money, it is best to create content-based documentation (user guides). The challenge of content-based documentation are:
  • Readable with some sort of workflow
  • Integrated with links
  • Scalable
  • Reusable content
  • Accessible through various means
  • Duplicable
  • Collaborated; by having different authors


In short, you actually need a system to create content-based documentation. This is where the Technical Communication Suite 2 comes in. It is more than a content management system.

One example of sequential documentation is this (user guide for Time Attendance System) while a content based documentation can be seen here.

The enhanced suite includes Adobe FrameMaker® 9, the latest version of Adobe’s technical authoring and DITA publishing solution, Adobe RoboHelp® 8, a major upgrade to Adobe’s help system and knowledge base authoring tool, Adobe Captivate® 4, a powerful upgrade to Adobe’s popular eLearning authoring tool, and Photoshop® CS4, the industry standard for digital imaging software and a new addition to the suite. The suite also includes such category leading products as Adobe Acrobat® 9 Pro Extended and Adobe Presenter 7.

Features include:
  • Supports hierarchical books and industry standard DITA 1.1, and makes it easy to author topic-based content.
  • Capability to aggregate unstructured, structured and DITA content in a seamless workflow
  • Easily import and incorporate feedback reducing the time and effort to develop content.
  • Allowing users to access and search for stored content.
    allow technical communicators to easily author XHTML-compliant professional help content.
  • Can publish content to multiple online help formats, including an Adobe® AIR™ application that offers a seamless online and offline user experience and supports rich features such as RSS feeds and user comments


The Adobe Technical Communication Suite 2 is immediately available in North America through Adobe Authorized Resellers and the Adobe Store at www.adobe.com/store. Estimated street price for the suite is RM$7,599.00. FrameMaker 9, RoboHelp 8 and Captivate 4 are available as standalone products as well. Estimated street price for FrameMaker 9 and RoboHelp 8 is RM$3,999.00 for each, RM$3,199.00 for Captivate 4. These prices do not include shipping charges or taxes.

Adobe eLearning Suite and Adobe Captivate 4 are immediately available through Adobe Authorized Resellers and the Adobe Store. Estimated street price for the suite is RM$7,199.00 and RM$3,199.00 for Adobe Captivate 4 as a standalone product. Upgrade and education pricing for both products is available. Both the Adobe eLearning Suite and Adobe Captivate 4 are compatible with Microsoft® Windows® XP with Service Pack 2 (Service Pack 3 recommended) and Windows Vista® Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise with Service Pack 1. Pricing does not include shipping or taxes.

If you are running a productive software company, you should invest on this.

Check out the full details.

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