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Concepts, Planning & Deployment Guide for SCCM?

    Question

  • Hi,

     

    Any plans to have a nice printable "Concepts, Planning & Deployment Guide". There's nothing wrong with the content in the Techcenter Library, on the contrary, but the "design" is imo chaotic ... links & links & links ... I get lost all the time.

    Moreover I like to add comments, highlight things, scribble so it would be handy to have a paper version.

     

    Cheers,

    Serge

     

    Friday, September 14, 2007 9:49 AM

Answers

  • Drat! I wrote a response a few days ago, but it seems to have vanished into the mist. I will try again.

     

    When we designed the content architecture, we had to decide whether to optimize for print or for online. With the tools we have, we really couldn't optimize for both. (I went to a technical writing conference last spring, and one ah hah moment for me was just how much our tools impact our content architecture and output. At Microsoft, the writing teams control the actual content, but the tools decisions happen several groups over and away from us.)

    The Microsoft strategy is to optimize everything for online. You can print it, but in three months at least some of that content will be out of date. So we really had to optimize for online, too. And we used a lot of linking, because in ConfigMgr, everything seems to be connected to everything else.

     

    However, our team really hears you about the printing issue. And we know that right now the printing from the TechNet site is "less than optimal".  So what we did to try and help is to structure the content in the Library so that when you have it in chm format, you will find all of the related topics under the same node. That lets you use the print feature in the chm to print the node and all subtopics. Right click the node you want, click Print, then in the Print Topics dialog box, click Print the selected heading and all subtopics. If you do this from the top node, you can print the whole Library, but I warn you it is BIG. We have been busy! Probably more manageble is to find the node you need, like under Features you might print the entire Software Updates node. We tried to organize them into "guides" for each feature, with everything you need for that feature. Some topics get repeated so we can preserve the "guide" thing. For example, each feature with security best practices has that topic under the feature AND under the Security node. That way, whichever you print, you get the relevant information.

     

    The other problem with chm printing is some of the topics don't look that great. Big tables and graphics are usually the killer. But they don't necessarily look any better if we output to Word. And the Word docs end up with a bunch of nonfunctional links to the other parts of the Library. So no, we do not plan to release any Word version of the content. We hope that the chm printing organization will at least get you most of what you want. We plan to release updates to the chm like the SQL team has been doing over the years. We think the first one will be available on the download center before the end of the year. And, like SQL, we are tagging the updated contents and noting the deltas in a "What's new" topic in the Library.

     

    In the mean time, the larger Windows Server UA team, which my team is part of, has been doing focus groups and customer reasearch. They get it that you want to print! They are looking at the problem, but like most things at Microsoft it will take time.

     

    Please try out the chm printing and let me know what's working and what isn't. I can't promise you a solution for this version, but it gives us more data for future decisions.

     

     

    Wednesday, September 19, 2007 4:53 PM

All replies

  •  

    i agree,

     

    would be very nice if we could have a printable Documentation :-)

     

    thx a lot

    Oliver

    Monday, September 17, 2007 9:21 AM
  • I agree that a printable copy of the SCCM 2007 doc would be great. Please, please.

     

    Scott Ewing

    Monday, September 17, 2007 8:01 PM
  • Add me to the chorus here - I'm an old-fashioned, printed copy kinda person. Any plans for this?

     

    Monday, September 17, 2007 8:41 PM
  •  B-Serge wrote:
    Any plans to have a nice printable "Concepts, Planning & Deployment Guide". There's nothing wrong with the content in the Techcenter Library, on the contrary, but the "design" is imo chaotic ... links & links & links ... I get lost all the time.

     

    I second all the statements about a printable version of the ConfigMgr docs.

    Tuesday, September 18, 2007 4:40 PM
  • Drat! I wrote a response a few days ago, but it seems to have vanished into the mist. I will try again.

     

    When we designed the content architecture, we had to decide whether to optimize for print or for online. With the tools we have, we really couldn't optimize for both. (I went to a technical writing conference last spring, and one ah hah moment for me was just how much our tools impact our content architecture and output. At Microsoft, the writing teams control the actual content, but the tools decisions happen several groups over and away from us.)

    The Microsoft strategy is to optimize everything for online. You can print it, but in three months at least some of that content will be out of date. So we really had to optimize for online, too. And we used a lot of linking, because in ConfigMgr, everything seems to be connected to everything else.

     

    However, our team really hears you about the printing issue. And we know that right now the printing from the TechNet site is "less than optimal".  So what we did to try and help is to structure the content in the Library so that when you have it in chm format, you will find all of the related topics under the same node. That lets you use the print feature in the chm to print the node and all subtopics. Right click the node you want, click Print, then in the Print Topics dialog box, click Print the selected heading and all subtopics. If you do this from the top node, you can print the whole Library, but I warn you it is BIG. We have been busy! Probably more manageble is to find the node you need, like under Features you might print the entire Software Updates node. We tried to organize them into "guides" for each feature, with everything you need for that feature. Some topics get repeated so we can preserve the "guide" thing. For example, each feature with security best practices has that topic under the feature AND under the Security node. That way, whichever you print, you get the relevant information.

     

    The other problem with chm printing is some of the topics don't look that great. Big tables and graphics are usually the killer. But they don't necessarily look any better if we output to Word. And the Word docs end up with a bunch of nonfunctional links to the other parts of the Library. So no, we do not plan to release any Word version of the content. We hope that the chm printing organization will at least get you most of what you want. We plan to release updates to the chm like the SQL team has been doing over the years. We think the first one will be available on the download center before the end of the year. And, like SQL, we are tagging the updated contents and noting the deltas in a "What's new" topic in the Library.

     

    In the mean time, the larger Windows Server UA team, which my team is part of, has been doing focus groups and customer reasearch. They get it that you want to print! They are looking at the problem, but like most things at Microsoft it will take time.

     

    Please try out the chm printing and let me know what's working and what isn't. I can't promise you a solution for this version, but it gives us more data for future decisions.

     

     

    Wednesday, September 19, 2007 4:53 PM
  • Well, we'll have to live with the .chm I guess. Your colleagues over at the Ops Mgr side did a great job with docs we could print out and mark up to our heart's desire. Please add my one vote to the printed docs side.

     

    Wednesday, September 19, 2007 5:21 PM
  • So forgive me for being REALLY slow, but I cant find the online documentation.

    Tuesday, November 06, 2007 6:53 PM
  • Thanks!!!

    Tuesday, November 06, 2007 9:22 PM
  • Yes a printable version or a book I can buy would be great. I'm not a big fan of online docs with links to everything.

     

    please, please

     

    Thursday, November 15, 2007 9:56 PM
  • So, call me confused/dense/or just plain stupid, but when I go to the doc library, and I select a node, I try right-clicking, but all I get is "Print Target". Exactly how does this printing supposedly work? What am I missing about selecting the "node" I'm interested in?
     
    Is the "node" the listing on the right pane of the window?
    Thursday, November 15, 2007 10:28 PM
  • When you open the file smsv4.chm (this works only in the chm, not online on TechNet) you should have a left tree pane and a right reading pane. In the left side, in the tree, if you right click the node, you should get an option that says Print . . .

    Or you can click the Print button on the button bar. After I click Print, I get a dialog box that says

     

    Print Topics

    and gives me two choices, to print the selected topic or to print the selected heading and all subtopics.

     

    I don't know how to put a screen capture in here to show it.

     

     

    Thursday, November 15, 2007 11:19 PM
  • Thanks Cathy!
    Thursday, November 15, 2007 11:24 PM