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1. Overview

tome.host is a SaaS ("software as a service") designed to simplify the process of creating and maintaining technical manuals, user guides and other structured documentation.

Within our system, we call these documents 'tomes'.

Unlike traditional content management systems, data in a tome is structured in sections, which can be nested to any number of levels, rather than pages.

Multiple authors can collaborate on tomes, with a permissions system preventing multiple users from overwriting each other's work.

Selected changes, or all changes, can be published to the public version with a couple of clicks.

The simplicity of the system and collaboration features mean that developers can work on documentation for features concurrently with coding them, reducing the time and cost required for finished documentation to support a software release.


2. Introduction


2.1. Platform

tome.host is essentially software which runs on the web. This means it can be used by anyone with access to a modern web browser (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari, IE 10+). It's responsive, which means that the page layout will reformat on smaller screens like mobile phones or tablets, to make it easier to use.

SaaS requires no special hardware, software, infrastructure or IT expertise - all of these are handled by the platform subscription.


2.2. Advantages over conventional documentation

Most organizations still deploy documentation in paper versions, or electronic files like World documents or PDFs.

tome.host has a number of advantages over these more traditional methods:

  • up-to-date - user always sees the latest published information unlike paper or PDFs and Word docs, where users can retain old versions and may be unaware of updates
  • simplicity - the system takes care of the numbering and formatting, so users can concentrate on the content
  • speed - small edits can be made and published in seconds
  • multi-user - teams can work simultaneously from multiple locations, with source-control style permissions stopping users from overwriting each others' work
  • process - a variety of user-roles allows more formal processes to be put in place for publication, with some authors able to create and edit content, but not publish. Editors can be appointed to proof-read, revise and publish content.
  • usability - direct web links to any heading at any level, layout reformats for optimum usage on mobile and tablet devices

2.3. Basic concept

tome.host has three sets of content - draft, public and archive.

Content is created in the draft area, and when sections are ready, they can be selected and published. They will then appear on the public version. The draft screen has a grey background.

Only logged in users with permissions can see the draft version of content.

The public view has a white background. It can be seen by the public without logging in. Logged in users can switch between the published and draft content using the tabs to the top right.

Whenever new content is published, any existing content which is to be replaced will be moved to the archive. At present this cannot be viewed or accessed, but in future there will be methods available to view the history of changes, view content snapshots by date and restore content (rollback).


 
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