TheBook

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This page is about an approach to create a unified, possibly community-driven documentation. To force a structure on the documentation we decided to think of it as "a book". (That does not necessarily mean that is has to be printed on paper.)

target audience

  • end users - as an introduction/learning book and a later reference (possibly used as an online help)
  • decision makers - to get an overview

desirable features

  • different languages - (english and e.g. german version should be synchronized somehow)
  • branding - global change of some branding parts should be possible
  • profiles - different compilations of chapters for different use cases/audiences should be possible
  • extendable - possible to add personalized chapters (or change given chapters) for individual installations
  • multi formats - html, pdf, ePub versions

technical structure

  • docbook 4.5 seems a better choice than docbook5 regarding to the supporting tools.
  • asciidoc allows non-programmers to easy create articles. These can possibly be joined
  • I think of a kind of overlaying directories to create profiles, brands and extensions
  • building script as Makefile, Ant buildfile or such (personally I prefer GNU make)

license

Not neccesarily an open license. That depends on who funds the resources to build it. Rights can belong to a small circle of persons who did all the work or to a kind of foundation. It is thinkable to have an open accessible (e.g. a html web-) version and sell a printed book or to sell the right to brand it, etc. It is possible to do it all free under the GPL or one of the different Creative Commons licenses. That has to be discussed.

table of contents

This list is a frame for the table of contents. This is meant as a base to dicuss the possible structure of the document. Please extend and correct everything as you like. (Please keep in mind that I am not a native english speaker!)

iDempiere User Manual

  1. Part I: Basic Installation
    1. Prerequisities
      1. Java
      2. Database
    2. standard installation from an installer package
      1. Special notes for various Linux flavours
      2. Special notes for Windows Users
  2. Part II: First steps and basics
    1. basics
      1. login
      2. introduction to the gui parts
      3. base usage of the data entry window
        (this uses GardenWorld as an example and explains all buttons and functions)
    2. quick start
      1. create a new client
      2. base configuration
        (Greeting, Tax, BP-Groups, etc.)
    3. simple example with the new client
      1. create business partners
      2. create products
      3. inventory
      4. costing
      5. order and purchase
      6. sales
      7. open items
      8. bank account and cash book
      9. payments for purchases
      10. payments for sales
      11. reconciling cash, bank and payments
    4. accounting
      1. tax declaration
      2. chart of accounts
      3. charges and incoming cost invoices
  3. Part III: extended documentation
    (explains the workflow to solve a problem and tries to use real-life examples)
    1. often used reports and functions
      1. examples of the most used reports
      2. statistics and economic evaluations
      3. using preconfigured financial reports
    2. extended functions
      1. assets
      2. tax configuration
        (examples for special cases, e.g. in the EU)
      3. costing methods
      4. data export as csv
        (for example a german DATEV-export)
    3. special solutions and plugin extensions
      (some examples and user stories of interesting extensions that people did already)
      1. online payment via HBCI protocol
      2. bottle deposit
      3. entry of daily revenue in a small cash-based business
      4. connect to an eCommerce system / a web shop
      ...
  4. Part IV: Advanced Installation
    1. Developer Installation
      1. installation of the developer environment
      2. running an developer version
      3. creating installation packages
    2. Further steps to create an iDempiere installation
      1. webserver
      2. firewall
      3. ...
  5. Part V: Reference
    1. Window Reference
      (This part explains the interesting windows in an article that explains everything about a window (or a group of windows) and all its fields that is a) interesting and b) prooved to be true)
    2. accounting consequences
      (which documents posts which facts under which circumstances?)
    3. System Configuration entries
    4. Reports
    5. Financial Reports
    6. JasperReports

See Also