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Beyond the Software: online Help for an online world

Gary Etzel

Gary Etzel

In DNV GL – Software, our Customer Excellence team for the Pipeline Ecosystem is focused on providing our users with “an excellent customer experience”. We do this by ensuring that our software products are completely tested, thoroughly documented, and fully supported.

In this edition of “Beyond the Software”, we give you a sneak-peek into the world of documentation. Our technical writers are busy developing a new generation of Online Help systems for both our current software as well as our upcoming line of Pipeline Ecosystem products.  Here Gary Etzel, Head of Section for Technical Communications, tells us all about it.


The software world is rapidly evolving from desktop-based programs to fully integrated online solutions. Cloud technology can now provide a level of computing power that could never be realized on one single machine. At DNV GL, our Pipeline Ecosystem team is already integrating our powerful Synergi analysis capabilities with the potential of the cloud. Our new Parametric Studies Tool and the upcoming Ticket Risk Assessment application are just two of our products that are using this new technology.

Synergi Help

Synergi Help – main page of the Synergi Pipeline online help

But it’s not just our software that is evolving from the desktop to the cloud. Our technical writers have been hard at work developing the next generation of Online Help. We are replacing the desktop-based CHM files with fully modernized, HTML-based websites. Our new Help system is already available in Synergi Pipeline, the CMM and RSM modules of Synergi Gas, and the Parametric Study Tool. Soon we’ll be rolling it out with the rest of our Pipeline software products.

What does this new HTML Synergi Help mean to you?

Our template has been rewritten from the ground-up to provide our Help with a clean, fresh look. We are adding some cool new features, like expanding graphics and drop-down procedures and lists. And behind the scenes, we now use the same version control methodologies to write the documentation that our software developers use to write the code.

But we know our Online Help transformation will require more than just a new face on the same content. We needed to improve the entire user experience. To do this:

  • We added a sophisticated search engine with Google-like results.
  • We optimized the Help for use on not only computers but also tablets, phones, and other mobile devices.
  • And we are streamlining how our content is organized, and in many cases rewriting the content itself.
Synergi Help

Synergi Help – now with more intuitive search capabilities

All of this is designed to make it easier than ever for you to find the information you need.

We invite you to read the case study that our Online Help software vendor, MadCap Software, wrote about our transformation. Our Technical Communications team is also excited to hear your feedback and ideas on the new Help system. You can contact them directly at techcomm@dnvgl.com.

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