TechDocs vs. Document ItemType - why not connected?


I made some tests with the Technical Document application. The latest version works very well and I like the idea of creating documents directly in Aras! But I struggle to understand, how TechDocs is intended to blend in into the regular lifecycle management.

At the moment, TechDocs somehow looks like a standalone application for me! I completely miss some kind of revision handling for my technical document.

To explain it more precise:
Let´s take a short look at the regular Aras Document handling. Regular documents can be uploaded manually or created with help of the Office Connector or any other tool that fit the purpose. If we are honest, it doesn´t matter with authoring tool is used. It can be Word, Excel or something else. But in the end, all of these documents will share the same ItemType Document.

From my POV, Aras TechDocs is just another Authoring Tool for the ItemType Document. I expected it to be integrated in a similar way then the Office Connector - but, it isn´t . Right now, I would be forced to download the published TechDoc PDF and then add it manually to the Document ItemType again. Only this way it can also be covered by regular change management. But this routine would completely kill all benefits that an integrated document application in Aras may have. That cannot be the solution!

Is there some recommended way to handle TechDocs revisions? Do I miss something?

Best regards!

  • I looked at the tp publishing service and maybe have an idea. How about this one?

    The tp_PublishingDialogApi is luckily not an internal Method. We can fully customize it and also the corresponding Form. Would it be possible to extend the dialog to add a Document binding? Right now, when publishing a TechDoc we can choose "View in browser" and "Save as file". Why not adding an optional field for "add/update in Document"? We could also add some rules to prevent that a released Document is overwritten or directly create a new Document revision.

    In the Document it self we could add "Tech Docs" in the Authoring Tools lista and also add a backling to the tech doc. This way TechDocs would be more like the regular Office Connector.

    What´s your opinion?

  • I made a quick test of the concept and it´s quite easy to pass the TechDoc publishing result to a regular Document. It even would be possible, to use the same code for published MPP process plans. But I still would be happy about any additional ideas!