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Using databases with JavaHelp

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Anonymous

I've read the JavaHelp 2.0 System User's Guide and I've searched the forums, but I'm uncertain whether the idea we have for implementing JavaHelp on our project is going to work the way we think it will. So, I'm throwing the following question to the community at large for general comment.

We have a J2EE application with dual interfaces, a desktop swing based gui for the core users, and a web (applet) based interface for remote users. The users understandably are asking for a help system. Static help pages would constitute a maintenance problem we don't want to get involved in. So, here was our, ok I'll admit it my idea, store the help information in Oracle tables and provide entity beans to provide the help information, including the preformatted html and dynamic html on demand.

Basically the question at hand is how feasable is this as an implementation of JavaHelp, and what kinds of pitfalls can I expect to encounter in the implementation?

All comments gratefully accepted.

Regards,

Jason

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Roger Brinkley

> I've read the JavaHelp 2.0 System User's Guide and I've searched the
> forums, but I'm uncertain whether the idea we have for implementing
> JavaHelp on our project is going to work the way we think it will.
> So, I'm throwing the following question to the community at large for
> general comment.

I hope that others will comment as well as I might not have the only
opinion in this area.

> We have a J2EE application with dual interfaces, a desktop swing
> based gui for the core users, and a web (applet) based interface for
> remote users. The users understandably are asking for a help system.

And JavaHelp V2.0 provides support for both the java based GUI and web
based GUI.

> Static help pages would constitute a maintenance problem we don't
> want to get involved in. So, here was our, ok I'll admit it my idea,
> store the help information in Oracle tables and provide entity beans
> to provide the help information, including the preformatted html and
> dynamic html on demand.

1. From the looks of things you're help pages are as static in the
Oracle tables as much as they are in a traditional helpset.

2. Unless I'm mistaken the storing of help information in Oracle tables
is going to be as much if not more of a maintenance problem than the
traditional helpsets. This is especially true for the "preformatted html".

Keep in mind that your helpset changes with application, whether it's
web based or swing based (I assume you're using something like Java
WebStart).

So maybe you could explain why there is a maintenance issue and why you
need dynamic help or what you mean by dynamic help.

> Basically the question at hand is how feasable is this as an
> implementation of JavaHelp, and what kinds of pitfalls can I expect
> to encounter in the implementation?

You're in for a long uphill battle because JavaHelp doesn't support the
acquistion of data in this maner. Dynamic updates was something we
looked into early in JavaHelp V2.0 but didn't implement. To do so would
be an extensive update to the JavaHelp libraries to support this,
especially from the Oracle database.

Binky

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