22May

How to Build Online Help Pages in Bulk using Merge Tool.

Explains how to build online help pages in bulk for 2013 R2 version of NAV using merge tool. It includes detail of creating content from an excel sheet to building online (HTML) pages in bulk using Merge tool.

The following are the steps which will be followed to build online help pages.

1. Firstly we need to write contents in an excel sheet with table number and name, field number and content (or description) of the online help. Once the excel file is ready, we need to prepare the contents written into format which will be input for merge tool.

The following are the steps which will be followed to format the content in the excel sheet into CSV file format (format which will be input for merge tool).

a) Firstly we need to trim the contents written in the description field (help content) using TRIM (Column) function.

b) After trim the contents, copy only trimmed values into next column.

c) After copied the contents, concatenate the contents with content start and end delimiter to hint the merge tool for begin and end of the content for a field or a table. For example: CONCATENATE(“^”,Column,”^”);

d) After concatenate the contents, copy only concatenated values into next column, once contents are copied, the excel file is ready.

e) Now save the excel file in CSV format and then remove the special characters such as “” if any (was added while concatenating) in the file.

 The following figure shows the excel file which contains contents in excel (.xlsx) format.  

Shows Contents in an Excel Format

Figure 1: Shows contents in an excel format.

2. Once we done with contents, we must import merge tool objects into development environment, which contains objects for developing online help pages using merge tool.

3. After we have imported merge tool objects, export objects for those we are going to build online help pages in a text file format.

4. Once we done with all the above steps we are now ready to build online help pages in bulk.

The following are the steps which must be done before building online help pages.

a) Once CSV and objects text file are ready, now fill up the help version page (MGT Help Version) with the following mandatory information. The help version page provides interface where user can fill up destination folder path and file name to save generated online help pages. They are

I. Specifies the Help data directory and name fields for storing the generated online help pages.

II. Add current version code, which contains objects text file to map the contents. Where you add the tables to which you will have generated online help pages by importing objects text file. To import objects text file click the action “Import Object Text File. For more information please look at the figure 2 and figure 3.

III. You must specify the table objects and fields range for online help pages creation in the page.

The following figure shows Help Version page to add details of online help pages generation.

  Shows Online Help Version Page

  Figure 2: Shows Online Help Version page.

Shows Action to Import Text File

Figure 3: Shows the action to import objects text file.

b) After we have done with above step, we need to create help tokens, which are identifiers for each field in a table to map the contents for those. For example: if table id is 50000 and field id is 6, then help token will be T_50000_6, this id will be used to map the content for field 6 in the table 50000. To create help tokens click the action “Get Help Tokens from Objects” on the page, which will generate help tokens for all the objects. If you wish to look atthe help tokens generated, click the action “Help Tokens”.

c) After we have generated the help tokens we have to map help contents for them, to do this import the CSV file by the report (Batch Job) “Update OnlineHelp Token” which will import and insert (map) contents for each token. This report (or batch job) not available in merge tool objects, we must develop this batch job in the manner it inserts contents written into help tokens with their corresponding id’s, the tables are: 1. MGT Help Token and 2. MGT Help Token Line.

d) Once we have done with all these, we are now ready to generate HTML files for 2013 R2 version in bulk using merge tool, so you are just need to click the action “Export HTML and Other Files”, which will internally generates the html files from help tokens those have help tokens id with content for help pages.

 Shows Action to Generate Online Help Page (HTML)

 Figure 4: Shows the action to generate Online Help (HTML) pages.

e) After the program generates the help file, go to destination folder specified in the Help Version page, then copy and paste them into folder where the Help server has been installed, for instance: C:\inetpub\wwwroot\DynamicsNAV71Help\help\en.

f) Now open help for a page or field with press F1, online help will open in a browser with your content written for.

Conclusion:

To generate online help pages in bulk using merge tool, we need to consider the following things must.

  1. Need Merge tool and Help objects of merge tool.

  2. We need to create a batch job which inserts (map) the contents into help token tables.

 

If you wish to discuss regarding this Online Help Build blog, please feel free to drop me an email to dileepa.b@ecanarys.com.

 

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