PLM Documentation : light, customizable, searchable

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on April 29, 2021 • Back to Blog index

Not many post these days. Our team focuses on delivering version 1.7.0 of Ganister PLM and we also are on customer projects where migrating large datasets from SQL database to a graph database is very satisfying ! We wanted to share some information about document management and the upcoming search feature in the documentation.

What's the purpose of the documentation

We have created two sets of documentation you can reach from two different places in Ganister. The first one is a general documentation for any user connecting to Ganister. If they want to get more info about the user interface, the standard mecanism and the business process that are implemented, they will find all these info in the general documentation. For those who need more technical information on how to configure the solution, how to work with CI/CD, how to write custom methods,… we have created a Tech Documentation which you can reach from the G-Config main menu.

What are the risks

Why would you think about risk when you think you are just creating good value to help others? Because like everything else these days, things have a tendency to become obsolete quite quickly. Also if we build a complete documentation you can't customize while our software is very configurable it does not make sense. Finally, when a documentation is getting much bigger you can quickly lose the users and the documentation added value.

How do we build a documentation

Therefor we take these 3 fundamental concepts :

  • Simplicity to overcome obsolescence
  • configurability to allow it to fit your business
  • searchability to keep the ease of finding the information while growing its size

Simplicity => Markdown

Markdown looks technical but its very easy to learn, plus you have now great editors like Typora which help you write markdown in a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) experience. Not only it is easy, it is also light and free of dependencies. Ganister Grid

Configurability => Markdown

The greatness of Markdown and the reason why it is used in most source code platform (github, gitlab,…) to document software projects is that it is easy to compare versions and to maintain a customized version. Starting from our out of the box documentation, you can adapt it to change things and append your own business information. You will still be able to get our latest updates and select which one you want to apply. This is explained in our CI/CD processes. Ganister Grid

Search => Lunar.js

Our documentation is not wikipedia it doesn't have millions of pages and because of markdown it is also very light. It made it easy for us to implement a library called lunar.js which is a much smaller version of the well know Apache Solr. It is the perfect fit for our documentation and it indexes all your custom documentation.

Ganister Grid

Coming Soon

The documentation has been using markdown since the beginning of Ganister PLM. The search feature will be released with version 1.7 which will be available in the coming days.