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Online Help and User Manual — Software Documentation Solution

Network Security Software Installation, Configuration, and Help



Vericept, subsequently acquired by Trustwave, was a leading provider of enterprise security software, specifically focused on identifying and mitigating data risks, both internal and external to an organization.

Vericept required an inclusive documentation solution for corporate security administrators installing and maintaining their Vericept Edge™ software. The documentation needed to take what is inherently a very complex application and provide a step-by-step set of instructions, presented in a logical and concise way that allows administrators to install, configure, and deploy the application across the entire enterprise.


Contiem provided a dual solution that encompassed a comprehensive installation and configuration User Manual along with an integrated Online Help system. This approach ensured that administrators have a complete library of information that they require while increasing the usability of the Vericept Edge application. Contiem would use a single-source approach for the development of all content. This provided three key benefits:

  1. Reduced the overall costs by leveraging the content between the User Manual and the Online Help system
  2. Ensured consistency between the Online Help system and the User Manual
  3. Made updating the User Manual and Online Help system efficient

Contiem’s first step was to use the Vericept Edge product to obtain the user’s perspective of the application: navigation, specific tasks/functions, and the overall experience during the installation and configuration process.

Next, Contiem developed the User Manual, which began with an introduction and explained the purpose of the Edge application, the conventions (notes, cautions, and warnings) used in the document along with an overview of the installation process. The initial descriptions of the software, installation checklists, and process overview enable the administrator to make all necessary preparations before beginning the installation process.

Once the Vericept Edge™ User Manual was approved by Vericept, Contiem developed the Online Help system, leveraging the content in the User Manual. Throughout the process, Contiem worked closely with Vericept’s development team to validate the technical accuracy and completeness of all content in both the User Manual and the Online Help system. The team also worked with Vericept’s marketing department to ensure that all Vericept branding was incorporated throughout both deliverables.


Contiem worked with Vericept personnel to understand their goals and objectives as well as the needs of the target audience. Contiem delivered a comprehensive solution that addressed the complexity of the Vericept Edge application while enhancing the product’s ease of use; the documentation and Online Help system became an integral part of the Vericept Edge product.

The combination of well-structured, targeted documentation used in conjunction with a robust Online Help system is an effective way to address the inherent complexity of many software applications. Employing single-sourcing strategies reduced the overall development and ongoing maintenance costs.

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