Customer story

Scaling documentation: moving from MadCap Flare to Paligo

With Tony Corman, Manager of Technical Publications

Vlocity, a Forbes Cloud 100 company and strategic Salesforce ISV, delivers industry-specific cloud and mobile software that embed digital, omnichannel processes for customer-centric industries. Vlocity is a leading provider of industry-specific cloud and mobile software, driving digital transformation for the world’s largest companies. A Forbes 2018 & 2017 Cloud 100 Winner, Vlocity is an ‘industry cloud’ pioneer built in partnership with Salesforce, the world’s #1 CRM provider, increases agility, operational efficiency and simplicity, at a lower cost of ownership for the enterprise.

The problem: trying to patch MadCap Flare with other tools got expensive

As Vlocity scaled over time, its technical documentation team had resorted to using a patchwork solution of Madcap Flare, BitBucket, GitHub and Jenkins. With the team headcount growing, this workflow was simply not working. The writers were trying to accomplish top-quality documentation via mechanisms that weren’t natural to them, in tools that hit maximum capacity with frustrating regularity. On top of that were the headaches of licence renewals and laptop upgrades that needed to be constantly maintained. Errors were bound to happen, and were costly to fix. “…The cost of an error is high, hard to recover from.” says Tony Corman, Director of Technical Publications at Vlocity

The lack of structured authoring meant no consistency

In a lone writer environment, structure and consistency may not be a problem. But with a team of multiple writers, it can quickly become chaotic. Tony says: “Flare is like Word, a free-form unstructured authoring tool, so the writers could and did diverge widely in style and presentation.”

Managing locally installed software was another problem

It was clear to Tony that managing a software environment for a team of technical writers as locally installed software was far from ideal: “The whole business of configuring laptops was also fraught – VM licenses as well as Flare licenses needed to be purchased and tracked and periodically renewed, upgrades needed to be coordinated.”

The solution: up and running on Paligo within days

Two days of training was all the team at Vlocity required to begin turning out documentation that impressed both internally in the software teams, and externally for Vlocity’s customers. Tony goes on to explain the bigger picture: “As a small Tech Pubs department trying to handle the output of a much larger development group, we are increasingly seeking to automate the creation of reference documentation from source code, and Paligo supports that in several highly natural ways.” With Paligo negating the need for Vlocity to create and maintain a proprietary system, they are free to do their best work.

Paligo features of outstanding value to Vlocity

Paligo is well-known for its Support, and ability to turn around custom solutions in record time. Tony calls out that Paligo is always highly innovative when it comes to delivering solutions for the technical writing industry. As an example, he points to two features that he and his team have found very powerful:

  1. Paligo’s ability to render Swagger enables automatic updating of API documentation, pulling the YAML files straight from the repository where developers maintain it.
  2. Paligo’s ability to embed Google Docs enables the creation of automation that pulls release note data from JIRA into a Google Sheet that appears as part of Vlocity’s release notes, so there’s no need to edit and republish when the detailed data changes in the source of truth.

Paligo has been a great step up to a new paradigm for Vlocity. Check out a trial of your own to discover what it can do for you!