Managing Your Project

There are several features in Flare that can help you better manage your projects, especially if you have a team of content developers. This includes ways to analyze your projects to improve them, working with reviews and contributions, connecting your project to a source control provider, and more.

Here are the primary ways to manage your project:

  • Analysis and Reports Flare lets you scan your project to find and fix issues, as well as create reports that display the information captured on the scan. There are a number of scanning features available through the Analysis ribbon that you can use on your Flare project. See About Analysis and Reports.
  • External Resources The External Resources window pane lets you select and maintain groups of external files that you want to share among Flare projects. The paths of these files are written to the registry so they will be available for all your Flare projects. See About External Resources.
  • File Tagging You can assign "tags" to files in Flare, even folders. File tags can be assigned to new files when you create them (i.e., in the Add File dialog) or to existing files. You can use file tags for many different purposes, such as assigning authors or milestones to topics. Flare lets you generate reports based on the tags that are assigned. This makes project development easier to track, manage, and schedule. See About File Tagging.
  • Global Project Linking You can import content and project files contained in another Flare project, thus allowing you to maintain the information in one location but reuse it in any other project. When you use this feature to import files, you can include or exclude particular types of files (e.g., topics, snippets, stylesheets, glossaries, targets), specific individual files, or files that have certain condition tags applied. Simply use the include/exclude methods that work best for you. See About Global Project Linking.
  • MadCap Central MadCap Central is a cloud-based platform that lets you plan, track, and manage the processes, content, and teams that are at the heart of your organization. Although MadCap Central is located in the cloud, it is integrated with MadCap Flare. This integration lets you store copies of your projects in Central, continue to work on them locally in Flare, and keep both sets of copies in sync. You can use Central to quickly build and publish output (and roll back when necessary) without the need to involve an IT department. You can also send topics and snippets for review on Central, as well as use custom checklists to track your progress in Flare projects. The MadCap Central window pane in Flare lets you upload (bind) and import projects, as well as push project changes to Central. Additionally, you can see project properties, log in and out of your Central account, and launch the Central portal in your browser. See About MadCap Central and Flare.
  • MadCap Pulse Pulse is a documentation-centric social collaboration platform that enables you to connect, collaborate, and share knowledge with fellow authors, employees, and your end users. It functions much like many of the social media websites on the Internet, except it revolves specifically around your online output. It also gives you the ability to view several types of reports about your project, including which topics are being seen the most and which search terms are not yielding any results. See About MadCap Pulse.
  • Reviews and Contributions There are two different processes that you can use for Flare topic reviews and collaboration. See About Topic Reviews and Collaboration.
    • Central Reviews (Recommended) The Central review process lets you send Flare topics and snippets to be reviewed by subject matter experts (SMEs) or other Flare authors on MadCap Central. After making edits and adding annotations (comments) to the files in a lightweight editor on Central, the reviewers submit the finished files, sending them back to your inbox in Flare. You can then accept or reject their changes and accept the file, replacing the original source file. Because this system uses the cloud, SMEs do not need to download any software to review your files. Also, multiple reviewers can edit the same file at the same time. See About the Central Review Process.
    • Review Packages The review package process lets you send Flare files for review, as well as receive file contributions from, SMEs and other Flare authors. Non-Flare users can download a separate application called MadCap Contributor when collaborating with you and your Flare project. You can also use the same features to send files for review to other Flare authors using Flare only. See About the Review Package Process.
  • SharePoint Flare supports integration with Microsoft SharePoint. If your company uses Microsoft SharePoint (software that allows organizations to collaborate, share files, and publish information to the Web), you can connect to a SharePoint server. Doing this makes it easy to access and edit the SharePoint files from any of your Flare projects. You can even copy SharePoint files to your project with mappings that let you keep them synchronized with the source files. In addition, you can publish Flare output to a SharePoint server. Finally, you can use the SharePoint server to store any kind of template files supported in Flare so that they can be used by any Flare users in your company. See About SharePoint Integration.
  • Source Control In addition to this integrated support, Flare includes support for every source control tool on the market by virtue of the fact that Flare uses a wide open architecture. Instead of using proprietary files and databases, all content and project files in Flare are stored as independent XML files. This means that Flare projects are compatible with all source control systems. In addition to this native support for all source control applications, Flare provides integrated support for several source control applications as well.Flare provides integrated support for several popular source control applications. Additionally, because Flare uses a wide open architecture and stores files as independent XML files (such as XLF), you can manually manage your files in an external source control system. See About Source Control.
  • Templates When you create a project and add content (e.g., topics, snippets, stylesheets) or project-related elements (e.g., tables of contents, targets, skins) to it, you can use templates. A template is simply an existing file or element of the same type that you are creating. By basing your addition on a template, you are giving yourself a head start because the template already contains some settings or formatting for you. In most cases, Flare provides you with one or more templates (called "factory templates"), so you do not need to worry about coming up with your own. However, if you want, you can create your own templates and use them when you create new projects or add new elements to a project. Templates can be especially useful when you are working on a team. See About Templates.