Opening Context-Sensitive Help with the WebWorks Help API
WebWorks Help provides an API that you can use to call context-sensitive topics in WebWorks Help. Using the API instead of simple URLs gives you increased flexibility and enhanced control. For example, the following list highlights some of the benefits of using the API:
The API automatically determines the default browser and opens it to display the correct help topic.
The API reduces the amount of code developers must write to integrate context-sensitive help. Without the API, developers must code their own COM interface to communicate with the browser on the Windows platform. This code is provided as part of the WebWorks Help API.
Using the API can significantly reduce the time required to load an individual topic if the help system is already open in the browser. If your application calls a topic using a URL instead of the API, the entire frameset, including the WebWorks Help applet, is loaded each time the user opens help. If the application calls a topic using the API, and the correct help is already loaded in the browser, neither the frameset nor the applet is reloaded. Instead, the currently open topic pane displays the correct help topic, which delivers a significant performance improvement for WebWorks Help users.
The API allows you to avoid the issue that exists with standard URLs in Internet Explorer 7. In Internet Explorer 7, if you have WebWorks Help installed on the local computer, Internet Explorer 7 ignores the query string attached to a URL when it reloads a page. For example, after displaying a security warning or other message, Internet Explorer reloads the page. Without the query string, the browser cannot open the specific topic, since the group name and topic alias are not available.
You can use the C/C++ API, which is available as a .dll or a COM object. This API supports WebWorks Help 4.0 and 5.0. WebWorks Help 5.0, does not include the Java navigation. Therefore, do not use the Java navigation options with WebWorks Help 5.0. For more information about this API and the software development kit, see wiki.webworks.com/DevCenter/Projects/WebWorksHelp/WebWorksHelpSDK.