The most comprehensive and up to date information on Serena products can be found in the robust set of Serena documentation. However, you may not know how to access the doc and once you access it, you may not know the best way to navigate it. You may not know the different ways of searching or how to find the full set of doc. Here are some tips and tricks to get you started on the way to more efficient and effective use of the doc.
Using the Documentation Center
- The Documentation Center gives access to online Help systems, readmes, PDFs, and videos for Serena products.
- Navigate the Doc Center using the product name tabs or the product grid on the Home page. Documentation links are organized by product and version.
- Use the Doc Center search to find information in the documentation that will help you with whatever product tasks you need to do.
- The Doc Center search is a cross-product, cross-deliverable search on all the current versions of the documentation that are posted on the Doc Center.
- For the initial search of Doc Center, use the Search box on the top right of the Doc Center. Then use the resulting Search Page to refine your search. See the tips and notes on that page for information on filtering your search for the best results.
- The search results will typically be highlighted in any online Help topics you select in the search result list, and you can continue your search in the deliverable you selected. If you are using Internet Explorer with the Adobe Acrobat plugin, the search will also continue in the PDF when you click a result that is a PDF. For other Web browsers, you'll need to re-enter the search terms in the Search box for the PDF.
- For a search that generates too many returned topics and you just can't refine it enough, use the Documentation Roadmap for the product you are interested in to determine the book or Help system that contains the information you need, and then navigate logically using the Contents in the online Help or the Bookmarks or Table of Contents in the PDF to navigate to the area of the product you are interested in.
Tips for Using PDFs
About Web Browsers and PDFs
- Web browsers have plugins to support PDFs. Behavior differs depending on whether you are using the Adobe Acrobat plugin or another. See your Web browsers' documentation for more details.
- If you can't effectively navigate in PDF using your browser and need to do more than just a simple search, try downloading and using full Adobe Acrobat. This gives the full functionality. You may need to do this for PDF Portfolios, such as those provided for Dimensions CM doc.
How to Get Back Once You Click a Link
It can be frustrating if you can’t find your way back in a PDF once you click a link. If you put the Previous View and Next View buttons on your Quick Links in Adobe Acrobat, it will be easy to navigate back and forth as you browse the PDF online.
Here is how to add them. It takes only a few seconds. (Or if you want to just remember the short-cuts, you can always click Alt+Left Arrow for previous and Alt+Right Arrow for next).
- Open a PDF in Adobe Acrobat Reader and right click on the Quick Links bar.
- Select Previous View and Next View from the menu.
Now the buttons will be on your Quick View bar in your PDFs, and you can click them to jump back and forth between pages that you’ve linked to.
What to Expect
- Don't get stuck expecting the topics to be linear. You may have a choice of procedures and there may be many topics in a document that aren't relevant to what you are doing. If the topic doesn't apply to you, skip it and go on.
- Look for checklists and overview topics to help guide you through complex material.
- Don't be intimidated by the number of pages in PDFs. The information you need for your tasks may be a small subset of the doc, perhaps just one topic out of many. Just find it, read it, follow it, and be done with it until the next time you have a task to do.
- Most Serena documentation is single-sourced for PDFs and online Help. Therefore, the information is optimized for online use. Serena does not provide printed guides; however, you can download and print them yourself.
- Usually a few overview screenshots are provided so use those to become familiar with the UI navigation and terminology, then following the procedures and UI references becomes a snap.
- Generally UI information is provided in tables or lists so that it is easy to follow. Text is searchable, and you can copy and paste from them, which give big advantages over screenshots.
- Graphics are provided when possible to help you understand the concepts, especially for product and feature architecture and networking topics.
Why use videos if I have comprehensive doc?
You may think there are video people and doc people, and certainly some people do prefer one over the other. However, doc and videos serve different purposes.
Videos are particularly useful for the following:
- A quick introduction to a product or feature
- An explanation of features that must be configured in several areas before they can be used
- To get the essential understanding to get you started, and the doc can then be used to fill in the detail as you dig deeper into the products
Where are the Serena videos?
Most are hosted on the YouTube Serena Software Channel, but can be accessed from several locations:
- Doc Center: Those created or commissioned by the Doc team are linked from the Doc Center Videos pages by product
- Serena Central: Some of these as well as other videos created by various Serena personnel are linked from Serena Central
Tip: If the video looks blurry, try changing the quality in Settings to at least 720 HD.
Support Site Downloads vs. Doc Center
- Most of the documentation in PDF form is posted on support.serena.com along with the product versions it goes with, so customers downloading product files will likely get their initial documentation from this site. There is a Documentation tab on the download page for each product version.
- Doc Center has some of the PDFs and online Help as well as links to additional resources.
- For information on which documentation is on the Support site and which is on Doc Center, see the Documentation Roadmap for your product.
Serena Central vs. Doc Center
- Think of Serena Central as an extension to the doc. It is an information portal as well as a place you can download extensions to Serena products such as SBM process apps and Deployment Automation plugins. Anyone with a user ID can post information on Serena Central, and many subject matter experts post invaluable information there in blogs, videos, and comments. Customer forums for all Serena products are here, and customers can ask the community questions and share information they have to offer.
- The Doc Center is official Serena documentation that is posted by the Serena Information Design and Development team. This location is kept up to date as versions of the products are released and does not provide a way for customers and other subject matter experts to post directly.
Knowledgebase vs. Doc Center
- The Serena Support Knowledgebase is presided over by Serena Support and provides several categories of information. It contains solutions to customer cases and defect reports as well as troubleshooting and configuration details for specific implementation concerns. Knowledgebase items may have attachments such as scripts and property files needed in certain configurations.
- PDFs on support.serena.com are searchable through the KB if they have been set up by Support to be indexed. However, be aware that older and multiple versions may appear at the top of the list, so it is preferable to search the doc on the Doc Center at help.serena.com if possible.