AI Assist Content Authoring

Unleash the Power of AI in Content Authoring - Try It Out Now!

Get a Trial

In The Press

New Feedback Server Delivers First Server-Based Web 2.0 Features for Collaboration Among Authors and Reader Communities

New MadCap Feedback Server Delivers First Server-Based Web 2.0 Features for Collaboration Among Documentation Authors and Reader Communities

San Diego, CA, USA – August 30, 2007 — MadCap Software, the leader in multi-channel content authoring and a showcase company for Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Visual Studio 2005 and Microsoft XPS, today announced the launch of the MadCap Feedback Server. With the Feedback Server, content development teams for the first time have a server-based feedback system that provides Web 2.0-enabled collaboration among team members and the readers of their documentation.

The new MadCap Feedback Server revolutionizes how enterprises get live user feedback on documentation, whether Web-based or on the desktop. Cutting-edge Web 2.0 capabilities allow readers to comment blog-style directly in documentation, as well as rate different topics. At the same time, authors retain full control of which features are used and by whom. Additionally, the new Feedback Explorer, which is available both as part of the Flare interface and as a standalone application, lets content developers view and track all reader activity through a user-friendly interface. Now documentation professionals can easily gain insight into what readers are looking for—and whether they can find it.

With the addition of the Feedback Server, the on-premise option to MadCap’s Feedback Service, MadCap becomes the only Help content authoring provider to offer state-of-the-art Web 2.0 communications in both hosted and local server-based versions. As a result, MadCap customers have unmatched flexibility for enabling end users to become an extension of the documentation team itself.

“As a leader in the customer relationship management space for associations, the ability to listen and respond to our customers’ needs is a top priority. We’ve found different solutions for tracking readers’ use of our CRM for Members documentation, but only the MadCap Feedback Service has the Web 2.0 functionality that allows us to collect 'real-time’ feedback from our customers,” said Chad Ohman, director of corporate strategic technologies for Protech Associates, Inc. “Using the Feedback Service, I’ve taken several valuable reader comments and made them available to other customers. More importantly, by viewing readers’ input, I’ve been able to respond quickly to their needs and establish a closer, one-to-one connection. I now look forward to implementing the Feedback Server onsite in order to integrate it with our CRM system.”

Web 2.0 Features Foster Author-Reader Connection

The MadCap Feedback Server combines the best of open Web 2.0 access to readers along with the flexibility to control how information is shared with the community. Readers can post immediate, blog-style comments—for example, alerting others to an error in the documentation—and the comment becomes part of the page that future readers can see. Content teams can establish rules-based access, whether it is allowing everyone to contribute or only registered users. A live comment mode, ideal for internal development or open-source projects, facilitates input from the entire community. The approved comment mode requires readers’ comments to be approved by the project author before they go “live.”

The MadCap Feedback Server also offers Web 2.0 support for rating topics. It enables readers to rate published information using a standard five-star system, so authors can find out what information readers truly find beneficial. Readers’ topic ratings are tabulated, providing an overall community average score that all readers can then see on a page-by-page basis. Authors using the

Feedback Server in skins for WebHelp or HTML Help have the additional ability to turn this feature on or off at will.

Other key capabilities provided by the MadCap Feedback Server include:

• Feedback Explorer. This is the key to viewing user activity. Available both within the Flare interface and as a separate application, the Feedback Explorer allows content authors to view and track all reader activity via a user-friendly interface.

• Search terms. Using the Feedback Explorer, authors can view search keywords entered by users. This helps to answer such questions as, “What are they looking for? What are they finding? What are they not finding?”

• Synonym support. Content authors can add synonyms to synchronize search phrases, increasing the chances that readers will find the information they are seeking. Since the synonym data is separate from the project data, there is no need to re-publish the content pages.

• Charts. By transferring user statistics to configurable, multi-color, multi-shape feedback charts, authors can analyze and report on readers’ usage trends.

• Web and desktop support. Significantly, the Feedback Server, not only tracks reader activity on Web-based Help, but also on desktop Help, such as HTML Help and DotNet Help. This allows a wider base of Help authors to take advantage of MadCap Feedback and benefit from thorough insight into usage patterns and requirements.

“Content development teams have always placed a top priority on empowering readers to fully utilize and employ all of the features, services, and policies covered in the their online Help content. The challenge has been providing a timely feedback loop for readers to share what is and isn’t helping,” said Anthony Olivier, MadCap CEO. “With our new MadCap Feedback Server and hosted Feedback Service, content teams for the first time, can track usage and get feedback on both their Web-based Help and desktop Help, and they can choose to utilize leading-edge Web 2.0 community features either by running the software on a local server or accessing it as a hosted, on-demand solution—implementing the version that best supports their business.”

System Requirements, Pricing and Availability

The MadCap Feedback Server can be hosted on computers running Microsoft SQL Server 2005 (Standard or Express) or SQL Server 2000, as well as any of four Windows versions: 2000, 2000 Server, XP, and Server 2003. It also requires the Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) Web server, which comes with Windows, and ASP.NET 2.0, which is part of Microsoft’s .NET Framework. Minimum hardware requirements are 512MB RAM, 200MB available hard drive space, and 1GB Intel Pentium 3 CPU.

The Feedback Server includes multiple Feedback licenses, which authors can associate with the many outputs that they want to track. Each license allows authors to receive feedback for a different output, enabling readers to submit their comments and providing the flexibility to quickly expand an interactive dialog with readers as needed.

The MadCap Feedback Server is currently being offered at an introductory price of $1,799 per server product license (each product license includes multiple Feedback target licenses for authors to use). The MadCap Feedback Service is offered in increments of 3, 6, or 12 months, with prices starting at $400 for a 3-month subscription. Fees for support start at $449 per year.

About MadCap Software

MadCap Software is a trusted resource for thousands of companies around the globe for single-source, multi-channel authoring and publishing solutions designed to streamline the process of developing and delivering training content, learning and development programs, technical documentation, online Help, knowledge bases, and more. From authoring, publishing and translation, to cloud-based content management system, to contribution and review in the cloud, you can streamline content delivery and manage the entire content development lifecycle with MadCap Software. MadCap Software’s services include product training, consulting services, translation and localization, and an advanced developer certification program. Headquartered in San Diego, California, with offices in Austin, TX, MadCap Software is home to some of the most experienced software architects and product experts in the content development industry.

MadCap Software, the MadCap Software logo, and MadCap Flare, are trademarks or registered trademarks of MadCap Software, Inc., in the United States and/or other countries.