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VisualSP Help Provider Advanced Functionality

Applies to: VisualSP On-Premises
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Overview

Manage VisualSP Help Provider Settings
The site collection administrator can decide to inherit Help items from the Farm Hub or not.
If not inheriting, you can still decide to copy the items from the Farm Hub initially and then customize from there.

Manage VisualSP Help Items

This page looks and behaves exactly like the one at the Farm Hub level. New items can be added and existing items can be edited to show at the site collection level.

If the site collection administrator decides to copy the Help items from the Farm Hub, it will be initially filled with Farm level Help items.

If the site collection administrator decided to not copy the Help items from the Farm Hub, it will initially be empty.

Once the new Help items are added, they will show up at the specified context. For example, the following image shows how the Calendar list Help items might look that are specific to an HR process specified by a site collection administrator.

If a site collection is not inheriting help items, you can change it back to Inherit Help Items. When you disabled inheritance, you were given the opportunity to copy help items from a Web Application Hub and/or a Farm Hub. If you chose to copy help items from either of those locations, when you set the site collection to Inherit Help Items again, you will be given the opportunity to delete those local help items that were automatically copied from the hubs. We strongly recommend that you do a full export of all help items to an XML file before checking either of these options! If you made any changes to any of the copied help items, you will lose those changes if you select to delete copied help items. If you have customized any of the help items that were initially copied, you should also do a separate export of just the help items that have been edited. If those items are deleted, you can then import only those help items.

Enable Caching

When you are not making changes to help content in the VisualSP Help System, you can improve system performance by enabling caching.

The cache duration can be any length of time from 1-minute to 7-days. When caching is enabled on a site collection, it only effects content provided by that particular site collection. A site collection may provide its own help items while also inheriting help items provided by a VisualSP Web Application Hub. The Web Application Hub may provide help items while also inheriting help items provided by a VisualSP Farm Hub.

To enable caching of help items that are provided by a Site Collection, VisualSP Web Application Hub, or VisualSP Farm Hub, navigate to Site Settings > Manage VisualSP Help Provider Settings in the chosen site collection.

In the Caching section, check the box for Enable Caching. Change the Cache Duration as desired. The duration is any number minutes from 1 minute to 10080 minutes (1 week = 60 minutes X 24 hours X 7 days). Click OK when you are done.

Change the Inline Help Icon

The Inline Help Icon can be changed at any of three different levels:

  • The VisualSP Farm Hub
  • Each VisualSP Web Application Hub
  • Each Site Collection

In a Site Collection where the icon has not been changed, it will inherit the icon from the Web Application Hub. If there is no Web Application Hub for the Site Collection, it will inherit its icon from the Visual SP Hub. Although you may see help items from a farm hub, a web application hub, and the local site collection, you will only see one style of inline help icon. While the inline help items that appear in the inline help menus may come from different places, they may share the same inline help target.

Create two icons. To change the icon, you will need two images: one for the default icon state and one for the hover icon state. The images must be 16px by 16px. We recommend they be saved as .PNG files with a transparent background. The image below shows both VisualSP Default Icons and two custom icons.

Upload both icons to SharePoint. You can use any SharePoint library on which all users have at least Read or View permissions. Copy the full URL paths to these images, including the ‘http://’.

In the Site Collection, VisualSP Web Application Hub, or VisualSP Farm Hub, navigate to Site Settings > Manage VisualSP Help Provider Settings.

In the Inline Help Icon section, paste the URL paths to your custom icons in the Default Icon and Hover Icon boxes. Click the OK button to save your changes.

View a few pages in your site to see how your custom icon looks on the page.

To revert to inheriting the icon from a web application hub or farm hub, simple remove the URLs to your custom icons and click OK.

Updated on January 18, 2018

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