If you took a look at the DPM 2007 Operations Guide during the beta, you might have noticed that the server chapters have a similar organization:

  • general maintenance
  • management
  • data recovery

And within those sections are parallel topics, such as:

  • renaming the server
  • applying OS updates
  • using Windows maintenance tools

A few times I've questioned whether it would be better to promote the topics and demote the server types:

Server prominent Topic prominent
  • Exchange Servers
    • General maintenance
      • Using Windows maintenance tools
  • General maintenance
    • Using Windows maintenance tools
      • Exchange Servers

I go back and forth on the final organization. But based on conversations with customers, I decided to go with the server-centric organization - thus, a DPM admin who is working with protection of SharePoint servers can find all of the operations content in a single SharePoint section, even if some of that content is the same as in the SQL section or the file server section.

But what I'm considering doing is adding a new section that promotes the topic, as in the table above, so "Exchange & Windows maintenance tools" has two homes. If you're browsing the TechCenter navigation tree, looking for guidance on using chkdsk on a protected Exchange server, you could then find it by going in through the Maintenance node or by going in through the Exchange node.

If I do that and you download the final Operations Guide as a file, it would contain an awful lot of redundancies. But if I optimize for file format, that's really not effective for the discoverability and navigation challenges of the web presentation. So I figured if I wrote it up for this blog, I'd reach a final decision by the time I got to this point.

I'm thinking about it...