Why is ShowHelp() unsupported in Appeon Web?

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Since the app is still ultimately running on Windows, why couldn't a .CHM file be bundled with what gets downloaded and accessed directly?

Our app actually doesn't use ShowHelp, because of some aspects that we don't love about how it works. Instead it directly uses the Windows API function HtmlHelp(). Is there a reason we couldn't use that (again, needing to somehow bundle the help file with what gets downloaded).

Sorry for the Appeon web newbie question.

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Answers

Armeen Mazda answered Why is ShowHelp() unsupported in Appeon Web?

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These days a lot of help is online help.  There are a number of tools that will automatically generate HTML output.  Then you simply use the HyperlinkToURL() in PB to launch the online help from your PB/Appeon Web app.  Especially for an Appeon Web app online help makes much more sense.

Dan Cooperstock's picture

Yes, we already have a webhelp version of our Help (generated with HelpAndManual) but frankly I still think access to a local .CHM file would be faster and nicer. So can you please answer whether what I'm suggesting (having that .CHM file automatically downloaded with the Appeon Web app, and accessing it directly with the HtmlHelp API) is possible? Thanks.

Appeon Support Team answered Why is ShowHelp() unsupported in Appeon Web?

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Hi Dan,

Please try the steps below:

1. Add the CHM files in Deploy External Files to deploy them to the web server, and the files will be downloaded to appeongetcachedir() + '\plugin' on the client machine, for example: C:\Users\Appeon\AppData\Roaming\appeon\demo.appeon.com_Dotnet_sales\plugin. 
See https://www.appeon.com/support/documents/appeon_online_help/2016/appeon_developer_user_guide/ch03s02s01.html#AdditionalFiles for details.

2. Open the CHM file on the client machine by using the script like below.

string ls_file

ls_file = appeongetcachedir() + '\plugin\' +  'apb.chm'

run("hh.exe " + ls_file)

 

Regards,
ZhaoKai

Dan Cooperstock's picture

Excellent. Glad to know it's possible. Of course I would use the same more sophisticated approach that I use now, using the HtmlHelp Windows API function, to be able to open at specific topics depending on the context in the program (what window the user is in etc.)

Dan Cooperstock's picture

One more thing then - given that this is possible, why wouldn't you put ShowHelp() back into the supported functions in Appeon Web? We don't use it, but I'm sure I'm not the only one that would prefer this solution.