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VisualSP FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Applies to: VisualSP
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About VisualSP

  • What exactly is the VisualSP Help System?

    Our Help System provides in-context, on-demand help to SharePoint, Microsoft 365, and other browser-based applications. It provides walkthroughs, task based video tutorials, tips sheets and annotated screenshots to help users when they need it most. In addition, it has the capability to accept in-house created content or content from the web and display them in-context as well. The benefits of using our application include increased revenue, quicker adoption rates, reduced training time and costs, reduced support costs, and an overall improvement in user experience and productivity.

  • How can I buy the VisualSP Help System?

    Fill out the form on this page to get in contact with us and get the process started.

  • Is the VisualSP Help System available for SharePoint 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Online?

    Yes! Our Help System works for all versions of SharePoint. The functionality is exactly the same in all versions of the system (of course, the content is different). VisualSP can also be used in other browser-based applications as well.

  • If I buy the VisualSP Classic Help System for on-premises and then we migrate to online, do I have to buy the other product as well?

    As long as you have a maintenance plan with us, we will switch you over to the appropriate online version of the product at the time of migration with a customer loyalty discount.

  • How long has your company been in business. Who are your current customers?

    Rehmani Consulting, Inc. (dba: VisualSP) has been in business since July 2005 serving our corporate customers. Over the years, the company’s focus has shifted from originally in person training to online training to software that provides contextual training and support to users of enterprise web applications. Feel free to browse through the list of our customers and testimonials.

  • Can you supply a Sole Source letter for VisualSP Help System?

    Yes. We are the only supplier of the VisualSP Help system. We can certainly provide a letter certifying that we are the sole source supplier.

  • Does VisualSP work in desktop applications like Outlook, Word, Excel, etc.?

    VisualSP only works with web-based applications, except for the Teams app.

  • Where is the trash can icon and what does it do?

    In the Help panel slide out, click the blue person icon in the lower right corner. In the next screen click the gear icon. On the next screen you will then see the trash can icon. Clicking the trashcan icon clears any server side data that is stored, which is mainly information about what help items you have viewed or loaded, and it will reset the auto-load counts for help items and the previously viewed flag that you see in the Help panel.

  • Users typically make the connection pretty intuitively that the search blank in the help panel is for help content. If you would like the help content to be searchable outside the panel, that can be done. The entire list of help items can be exported to CSV and then used to populate a list of help items in a SharePoint site. That list would then be searchable via the native SharePoint search boxes. It would also be usable in various other ways – like a web part that filters things down to a specific set of items for display on a web page. We’ve done this for other clients when setting up their subscriptions.

  • Is GCC and GCC High supported?

    Government Cloud Computing (GCC) is one of the most secure and robust platforms available. VisualSP supports this platform and will work seamlessly in both GCC and GCC High.

Help Content

  • Is the help content available everywhere or just in one site?

    The context sensitive solution is available everywhere to end users wherever they go. Once deployed, the help content is available in-context and on-demand throughout your environment.

  • Can we buy just the video content without the VisualSP Help System?

    Yes, you can buy the 105 video tutorials package without purchasing the system.

  • How long are the video tutorials?

    The end user level videos in the Help System are each 2 mins or less in duration – just long enough so the end users’ attention is not lost.

  • How easy is it for our company to add custom content so that it can be presented to our users?

    A VisualSP Administrator or Editor can modify and customize the product in minutes.

  • Can I edit out-of-the-box content?

    Yes. When you edit out-of-the-box content, we consider it to be a custom help item at that point so it will no longer be updated by us. You have the option to revert to the original at any time.

  • Is there audience targeting? Can you customize your content by role or user group?

    Within the SharePoint Online scope, you are able to target by permission level.

  • Can the solution detect whether this is the first time a person has been on this window/application?

    If it is a window or application that no one has visited before, then yes. This can be accomplished using our auto-show on load feature.

  • Can users be alerted to new content?

    Whenever new content is available, the Help tab will pulse green in the scope with the new content.

  • How is content organized? How much control do we have over that?

    Help items are displayed in the slide-out help panel and are arranged into Groups. You have complete control over assigning Help items to a Group, and you can create new Groups as needed.

  • Do you allow for metadata tagging of content?

    Yes. See Work with term sets for more information.

  • Where is VisualSP content stored?

    Content is stored on Azure.

  • What happens to my content when I add a custom help item?

    Your custom help items are added to your subscription and can only be viewed by users in your subscription. Because it is custom, it can only be edited by you.

  • Can you embed a video in the Walkthrough pop-ups?

    Yes. Check out Adding a Video to a Walkthrough.

  • Can walkthroughs span multiple products ie: SharePoint > Outlook > Teams?

    Walkthroughs can span multiple pages and multiple products as long as both are in the same browser window / tab.

  • Can we get custom videos produced to plug into the Help System?

    Yes, we can produce a custom 10-pack for you (additional cost) and plug it directly into your Help System when we deliver the product.

  • Can information in the VisualSP Help panel be customized by library settings (ie., do we manually add check-in/check-out instructions to those that have it enabled or does VisualSP know to do so?)

    No. The system detects classic / modern UI, scope (library, list, page…), and user permissions in that location. It doesn’t have a way to detect other library settings.

  • Do users see help items that point to or describe functionality that they don’t have access to?

    No. The help system is role sensitive as well. So for example, if a user is an Editor, they would not see help items related to Administrator functionality.

  • Where should we store the resources we use for our custom help items?

    Your custom help content artifacts can be stored in any location your users have access to. This could be a site assets library, document library, etc.

Analytics

  • What type of analytics do you collect when the application is running? Do you use Google Analytics?

    We use Telerik tools to provide you the graphical data you need about your subscription and your users. You will see that information when you use the admin menu to View Analytics. Our application also uses Google Analytics, but it is only added to our pages, not the host pages. We pass along the page URL to our page so that we can determine the scope of the page and that is picked up by the analytics but we don’t use it for anything in the analytics (we’re just looking at what help items were clicked and which of our pages are viewed). It only tracks anonymous usage of the VisualSP slide-out panel and doesn’t track anything related to the customer’s  sites.

  • Is Analytics data being gathered now, even if we are not licensed for Enterprise? If so, does that mean that if we upgrade the subscription level we will be able to see Analytics on how VisualSP has been used already?

    Yes. Analytics data is collected regardless of subscription level, but it’s not exposed through the application unless you are licensed for Enterprise. If you upgrade later you will be able to see all your historical data.

  • What information does VisualSP collect about the user? Does it collect location data?

    The VisualSP application extracts only the username, first name and last name, and email of the user that’s logged in to activate you and associate you with your organization’s subscription (if it has one). This information is stored in our Azure database for the user. There is no “location” data that we collect about the user. The only thing we are determining is what page the user is browsing to in your application in order to serve them the contextual help information. We do that by looking at the URL and other page specific variables.

  • Can the analytics be surfaced into our own enterprise applications, for example?

    The analytics can be exported to CSV and then used as a data source for other reporting tools.

Security

  • What is your privacy policy?

    You can read our privacy policy here.

  • How are users authorized to VisualSP? Suppose you have different target groups of users because of a phased introduction of SharePoint. What options do we have?

    Users are activated with cookies. If your users will be restricted from accessing SharePoint via Active Directory, then that will also limit who has access to VisualSP. Another option is to block everyone except for a list of authorized users. You can add to the list as necessary. Read What Happens When ‘Block New Users’ is Enabled for details.

  • How does VisualSP authenticate users?

    VisualSP does not authenticate users, it relies on the host application to do so. Users are activated automatically as part of a VisualSP subscription based on their authenticated identity in the host system. That activation is then stored in cookies. Users without authenticated cookies have only limited access to basic functionality and content in the subscription system. For users and for subscription administrators, authorization is granted when the system browser extension/add-on is activated.

  • Do employees of your organization have access to any content that we create?

    No. Your content is stored in your environment and is protected from viewing by us via your site authentication protocols.

  • How is data protected in transit?

    All traffic is encrypted using SSL via a 2048 bit sha256RSA certificate.

  • Do you scan for malicious code in your Help editor?

    Yes, we white-list acceptable tags. Scripts are not allowed.

  • Are there different user groups or only ‘Read’ and ‘Edit mode’?

    From an administrative perspective, there are Subscription Admins, App Admins, and Editors. From a user perspective, VSP follows SharePoint permission groups. So a user with Read privileges would not see Help items that are restricted to users who have Contribute permissions.

  • If a user leaves our organization, will their VisualSP subscription automatically be deleted?

    No. Once someone becomes a subscription user, there is no way for VisualSP to know if they have left your organization. The VisualSP Administrator for your organization will need to manually block the user to free up the license. They can do this from the Users tab in the VisualSP Online Help System Management window. Also see What Happens When ‘Block New Users’ is Enabled.

  • If we decide not to renew our subscription, what happens to the content that we created? How is it removed from our environment? How is it removed from your environment?

    Any custom help content artifacts such as documents, images, or PDFs that reside in your environment, remain in your environment. You can do with that content whatever you wish. Custom content that resides in the cloud, such as Rich HTML help items, will no longer be available to you after your subscription expires. We maintain your content for 90 days after your subscription end date, at which time all your subscription information and content is deleted from our system.

  • What ports need to be opened up in a firewall to permit our SaaS for SharePoint 2019?

    None. Everything is over HTTPS (443) and processed client-side so nothing is coming from the server

  • Does this have any security implications? We have sensitive data.

    No. Your custom content is unique to your subscription. No else can see your custom content. Access to your content is secured through your organization’s authentication protocols.

  • Has your organization ever had a security breach?

    No, our customer data and content has never had a security breach.

  • What is your uptime record?

    99.86%

Installation and Updating

  • What are the technical requirements for installing VisualSP?

    VisualSP can be installed in a variety of ways, such as with a browser extension, through an installation wizard, or PowerShell. Here are details about your options.

  • How long does it take?

    Depends upon the size of your environment and your deployment method. Could be as short as a minute or two, or as long as 20-30 minutes.

  • What permission level is needed to install VisualSP using your Installation Wizard?

    You need to be a site collection administrator.

  • What is the install process and components with the Installation Wizard?

    It depends on whether modern or classic or both are targeted. If modern then an SPFx extension needs to be deployed to the app catalog and a custom user action element added to the site collection. If it’s classic then just a custom user action is added to the site collection.

  • How does VisualSP affect performance of our system?

    The VisualSP elements are loaded only after everything else on the page has loaded. You should be able to confirm this by noticing that the VisualSP help tab doesn’t appear until after everything else on the page has been rendered. Libraries and graphics that are used throughout the application are cached locally for each user so they don’t have to be loaded each time a page loads. VisualSP runs in its own iframe on the page, so it is isolated from the rest of the page. It does communicate and interact with SharePoint, Microsoft 365, and other browser-based applications, but that is done asynchronously so nothing else that is native to the application is affected.

  • Will new sites created after I run the Installation Wizard automatically see the VisualSP Help tab?

    No. You will need to incorporate the VisualSP deployment into your site provisioning process (manually or via PowerShell), or schedule a PowerShell script to run regularly and deploy to any new sites since the last time.

  • Can I install VisualSP in an environment that uses multi-factor authentication (MFA)?

    Yes. However, instead of using the Installation Wizard, you will need to use our PowerShell script for installation.

  • How does installation work for a large group of users?

    For SharePoint Online the recommended way is through our Installation Wizard. To use VisualSP with O365 you will need a browser extension, which can be deployed via Group Policy. Here are your installation options.

  • Where is the solution hosted?

    VisualSP is a SAAS application and is hosted in the Azure cloud.

  • There are certain sites we don’t want to have contextual help. Can the tab be turned off for certain parts (per App like Word, OneDrive, Outlook) or per SharePoint site?

    Yes, you can control which parts will display the help tab. Please see How and why to use the ‘hide VisualSP tab’ functionality for details.

  • In which way does VisualSP support different SharePoint templates e.g. projectsite, teamsite? Each template has a different design which means it needs to have different In-context help content.

    We have custom content for all the different templates and scopes (wiki pages, site pages, lists, libraries, etc.)

  • Suppose you want to use VisualSP in multiple browsers. Is this possible? Do changes to help content have to be made uniquely for each browser?

    VisualSP has extensions for all the major browsers. Once the extension has been deployed, our Help content is browser agnostic so there is no need to create content specific to a particular browser.

  • How do we handle updates from the VisualSP product? What needs to be done by us once there is an update? How easy is it to update?

    Product updates couldn’t get any easier. New content/updates are available immediately and automatically. There is no need to do anything on your part.

  • How often is the tool updated?

    Our normal release day is Thursdays, however we may release more frequently or skip a release day if warranted.

  • Will we be forced to upgrade our enterprise application outside of our schedule because of your tool?

    No. When we have an application update, your browser will update the application automatically. When we have an update to our online code, the application will update automatically. No action is required on your part.

  • What is the process for updating VisualSP when our underlying enterprise applications are upgraded?

    No action is required on your part. Our extension lays on top of your applications and is independent of the underlying application.

  • After we install VisualSP, we will need someone to create custom training content for us. Do you provide that service?

    Yes, we can create custom content for you. We know that there’s tremendous value in getting a little personal help from a SharePoint and Microsoft 365 expert at the right time. We believe that building and coaching should go hand in hand. We offer a service where we will build custom training content for you, based upon the needs of your organization. With our help you can rest assured that people in your organization will have the help items they need at the moment they need it. In addition to the how-to help items, we can also help produce effective governance policies that can be shown to users in their flow of work. Please contact sales@visualsp.com for further information.

  • Can you exclude sites because you may not want to make tab / content available there?

    Yes, you can control which parts will display the help tab. Please see How and why to use the ‘hide VisualSP tab’ functionality for details.

  • Are there any URLs we should white-list on our firewall?

    Yes. To prevent your firewall from blocking calls to our content server, please white-list the following URLS:
    media.contextall.com
    static.contextall.com  
    api.contextall.com
    visualsponline.azurewebsites.net
    visualsponlineteams.azurewebsites.net

  • What are the browser add-ins required for IE, Chrome and Edge?

    VisualSP has browser extensions available for IE, Chrome, Firefox, and New Edge. They are available here.

Administration

  • What is the administrative overhead for this platform?

    That depends upon you and your company’s goals. If you choose to only use out-of-the-box content, your overhead is minimal. If you choose to be more active in providing help content, it could be more.

  • Does the platform administrator need to be a developer?

    Not at all. Our application is a no code / low code solution. It is very easy to change the default walkthrough bubble design without ever touching a line of code.

  • Does the platform require a dedicated resource?

    No. Management of VisualSP is minimal so a dedicated resource is not required.

Troubleshooting

  • VisualSP doesn’t seem to be working as expected. What troubleshooting steps can I take before I submit a support ticket?

    If VisualSP isn’t working, open the Developer tools (F12) on your browser and look for any errors in the Console tab. Often the errors you see won’t be associated with our product, however it could be helpful for our support team to see the error messages  generated by the browser. You can filter out everything but errors, copy it into a text file and email it to support@visualsp.com.

  • I am seeing an error message in Analytics on only one of my browsers. It seems to be localized to my environment because no one else with the same browser is seeing the error. What could be the problem?

    Have you installed another 3rd party browser extension recently? In particular, a popup blocker has been known to throw errors on the Analytics page.

  • Why do some names in the Permissions Group show up as Unknown, Unknown?

    While we are able to auto-activate users through their email address, we may not always be able to get the name and that’s where the unknown comes from. Those users would need to update their names manually.

  • Are their different support tiers?

    We have a matrix of premium / enterprise / standard / express on our web site.

Updated on August 18, 2022

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