Words and Software

Technical writing/user assistance in Microsoft.Azure Intelligent Systems Service (ISS). (old: Data Protection Manager and Operations Manager)

July, 2010

  • Which user role(s) can perform this task?

    The content team is busily ramping up on doc plans for the next version of Operations Manager. (And I'll be very careful not to reveal anything about product changes, features, etc.) I'll be owning the operations content, so I'm working on new outlines and identifying current gaps.

    As I was going through the current content, it seemed like we mention user roles in a few places but don't really integrate them in the rest of the content. I'm thinking for v.Next, I should add which user roles can do something for every task/procedure. So, if I'm a Read-Only Operator looking at the operator's guide, I can immediately see whether I can do this thing I'm looking up or not.

    I don't know yet whether to include it at the beginning of each topic ("this information applies to the Operator user role"), at the end, preceding each procedure...somewhere consistent, definitely.

    What do you think, would user roles be a useful addition to relevant topics? Or are user roles easy enough to understand that it isn't necessary?

  • Would you use an Operations chm for SCOM?

    Currently, we post all of our Operations Manager documentation for download in doc format, and also post it on TechNet. And lately I've been thinking about whether we should also post .chms for download.

    I know .chm is a rather old-fashioned format, but personally I like it. I like the left nav for browsing, I prefer the .chm search to Word's, and unless it's a long narrative, I find it easier to read. I'm more comfortable following internal links in a .chm than a .doc because it's easier to find my way back to where I was. I also like the freedom of the offline experience (that's in comparison to TechNet rather than .doc format).

    For operations, Operations Manager has a User's Guide and an Administrator's Guide. If a .chm version of each of those guides was offered for download, would you download it? Would you find it useful?

    I haven't worked out all of the how-to details yet, but with a local .chm, you can create a console task to open the .chm from inside the Operations console. Is that something you would be interested in?

    If you are in favor of .chms of our operations content, what other content would be more useful to you in .chm format?

    Leave a comment or email momdocs@microsoft.com!