We are using CA PPM 14.3 OnDemand
Now in this new version to access help option one needs to have access to CA site otherwise they will be redirected to registration page of ca.com which is very annoying for users
Now I am not sure if CA is really understanding the depth of the problem or not but what we need if you know how can we omit that option from page and instead of that create a help which will redirect them to a third party section where the help pdf can be shown. We are unable to proceed further since help is part of any UI themes but possibly hard-coded in some jar files or might be some files located in server which we do not have access to
Any suggestions would be appreciated
Remember we are On Demand hence we have very limited rights
Staples Clarity Support
We are new to PPM and are just going live this month.
It just came to our attention that users need to register to get access to the help which is frustrating to users.
We have been told that the help cannot be modified or hidden.
This was done to centralize the help information which is good but it should not require the user to register.
Michigan State University
Hi Avik.Roy and JonSeeger,
Thank you for expressing your comments in this shared online forum in a spirit of open communication. We are in receipt of your understood concerns. CA Technologies takes your user experience very seriously. We have examined the behavior related to authentication and documentation access for both on-premise and SaaS environments of CA PPM, and I will draft a response later today based on our findings with our global Support and Information Services teams.
Principal Information Services Engineer, CA Technologies
We just made it to 14.3 last weekend and this was on my list of things to pursue. It's terrible to say, but if clicking 'Help' no longer takes the user to context sensitive business user friendly online help - I'll need CA's help to remove the help link. I used to take pride in demonstrating how (in 13.2) the context sensitive online help was really good and we have years of training users that clicking help should be their first action when stuck. We're one week into 14.3 and I'm finding the noise from users difficult to keep up with. This is a serious UX issue - if we can't make Help help with a click of a button no account needed - we'll need to make it gone.
Hello Again to the entire CA PPM Community,
We have examined the new online help links again with specialized teams and can provide you with the following details.
With no login required, anyone online can visit https://docops.ca.com to read the public documentation for any listed CA product.
CA PPM shortcuts:
https://docops.ca.com/ppmod for SaaS customers
https://docops.ca.com/ppmop for On-Premise customers
No login is required.
Users are prompted to login only if they click a restricted page like the Studio pages and their SSO implementation does not already recognize their session entitlements.
If you are not sure if you have OP or OD (SaaS), as an end-user might be from time to time, when you click Help in the CA PPM application you are directed to the right help doc for your edition and version of CA PPM.
CA PPM 14.3 On-Prem customers will want to see the Change Impact and Upgrade guidance for Documentation and Online Help Changes for Release 14.3.
As an On-Premise end-user, after your admin configures server-side access, your help links take you to the docops.ca.com page that matches your configuration. For example, you click Help in an On-Prem 14.3 environment on the Resource List page, and your UI Settings are Spanish.
(You would see a matching Spanish-language doc page.)
As a SaaS customer, let's walk through the following steps together with the hope of improving the experience of your end-users:
Again, we thank you for your comments and hope this explanation helps communicate the value of synchronizing usernames to get instant access to the dynamic help features from the CA PPM 14.3 or newer application releases.
Principal Information Services Engineer
Really listening to what avik.roy has posted, if you truly wanted to just show a PDF, your site admin could post a PDF on an intranet server and then publish/share/enable access to the Site Links portlet so all users can click the link to it. See https://docops.ca.com/display/CCPPMOD143/Portlets+Reference#PortletsReference-SiteLinksPortlet . Or you could create custom links in other ways using Studio.
However, I encourage you to use the default online help links since they are mapped from the application pages to specific articles, and they are updated frequently with the latest information. For example, a 2,000 page PDF might be downloaded by a user and out of date quickly. By comparison, we have updated the docops sites last week and again this week.
It's really quite convenient and has been recognized for its feature set. (See also CA PPM Online Help Wins STC Award of Excellence .)
In our case we don't want to show a PDF but were forced to go that route.
We would much rather use the default help links but the requirement to register before getting to those links is not making that a viable solution.
Thank you Jon,
The irony now is that once a SaaS user registers (name, email, password) they no longer see the login prompt. And users must register and login to get to the PDF. It may no longer be an issue then? -- we'll see what other community participants might add here in the coming days. Thanks for letting us know. Maybe we're not completely able to grasp the full weight your team is up against -- can you share, is it a security, privacy, time issue or such? CA lives up to very high standards for ethics and compliance but maybe still some compelling reason restricting certain users at your organization from voluntary self-service registration to view related product content?
Have a pleasant weekend,
I tend to agree with Robert_Ensinger that going outside the system is a downgrade of usability. Using the pdf even if you could reconfigure the link does not compensate for that.
That is considering similar help has been in MS Office for a while.
Just wondering if the user ID's come from AD then does that ID for CA PPM have to be the same as the one used for the registration for the documentation?
Does the registration mean that when the admin sets up the user profile in CA PPM it is the user who has to do the registration for the help?
I agree that once a user registers, they don't have to log in for help.
The problem is that right now we have about 400 users but it could go up into the 1000s of users as we roll this out. If these users want to use the online help, they are being forced to register. I expect that instead of registering (they won't know what that requires) and using the online help, they will abandon that method and contact our internal help.
I understand the need to register if you want to ask a question or reply to a post but why force users to register if they just want to access the online help information?
OK, thank you for helping us see the issue from your perspective, Jon. You are not the only one. We have been actively looking into this and will continue with various internal teams.
Hi Damon. For an On-Premise customer, is there anyway to configure the Help link to link directly to the documentation? Any procedure that involves "Contact your network team to configure a new firewall rule" isn't going to fly in my organization. For any other organization facing this problem, please vote up Easy Ability for On-Premise Users to get Help via Help Links.
Yes, for 14.3 On Prem, administrators will need to open the %CLARITY_HOME%\webroot\help\wikiHelp.properties file.
Locate the following line:
Change the line to the following entry:
Change http to https
Change wiki.ca.com to docops.ca.com
Change the port from 80 (not shown) to 443
Contact your network team to configure a new firewall rule or ACL update for every application server in your cluster. Configure access to 18.104.22.168 at docops.ca.com over port 443.
This enables your users to get context-aware help links to the latest docops content. It auto-opens the right help page based on observed factors such as CA PPM version, OP or OD, current page, and current UI language so the user gets a matching help page. Server-side config like this is required for the live content to appear. It replaces the old static set of PDFs and HTML pages that was Online Help for 14.2 and previous release. Those files remained the same for years and updates were a challenge. Now, we can offer improved access to CA PPM docs online in multiple languages covering multiple releases.
Damon - that's never going to happen. It's too bad CA can't be a reliable partner on this.
Thanks for the feedback and estimated timeline Rob ,
If we changed the architecture of the online help from server-side to client-side, would that help? Servers would be more secure and the client user on their PC/mobile device can click a Help link and get the latest info from the docops.ca.com spaces where timely updates are available in their local browser. Better?
Would the users need to create an account to get to the business user help content? If so I'd like to focus on the Use Case / User Experience documented here: Easy Ability for On-Premise Users to get Help via Help Links.
I said I'd stay out of design, but since we're here now...
CA's Business Problem(s) to solve:
1) Provide one platform for documentation that can be updated dynamically (DocOps).
2) Provide some level of access control.
If I understand the above design correctly - yes, client side linking out to an externally hosted solution is acceptable. We don't have a problem accessing the help hosted outside of our firewall and have no requirement that it be within our firewall - we simply can't open ports or add DNS entries to access help (that's ridiculous). I also don't want to require business users to create an account to simply access 'help' (the using content?). Likewise I'd like to limit their content to the business user focused 'help' (eg Installation & System Installation documentation isn't for them) unless they wanted to opt for an 'elevated' account associated with our site ID - then they can go sign up for anything they want.
- User gets the 'single click - no second thought needed' user experience we all want.
- CA gets their one dynamic platform for documentation (DocOps)
- CA gets "authenticated' access control on the DocOps.
- CA & Customer get to limit business users to business user oriented content.
Added bonus: Toss in a little web analytics and CA & customer would have Site ID and location based usage data.
Should this thread be converted to an idea?
Having to create yet another account can easily be used by the business users as another reason to refuse using PPM, and getting thousands of new accounts created on the CA Support site would eventually become an overhead for the internal support team.
Hi Connie. I have this Idea - Easy Ability for On-Premise Users to get Help via Help Links - to enumerate the business problem to solve for On-Premise users. I don't want to assume I know what's different between On-Premise & SaaS, but focusing on the end user experience should probably work for both. The shadow this casts for business users is 'does not want to help me' and for infrastructure & support teams is 'does not care about our policies and does not fit well within our architectures'.
You can create this as an idea separately because the major pain lies with SaaS as in On Premise you at least have the option to control the server but in SaaS there isn't
Opening a port from all perspective is a security challenge in any bigger enterprise and no security team will entertain this
But again Docops is something that opens in our network so I did not find any need to open ports being in SaaS though the implementation step was given for On Premise and I hope that the same can be done for SaaS as well
And as Robert said earlier at least we have 4000 + resources and asking them to register is not at all a good idea rather raising frustration among them and not liking CA being a PPM Tool for their work
Hence I would request then it should be done by CA for On Premise Customer to change the Wiki lik to DocOps for SaaS or On Demand Customers to get this problem asap by discussing with CA management as for obvious reason no client will bear the charge for CA Services to implement this solution in 14.3 or later
Here is a summary. We have the right teams investigating but without over-complicating this, let me say this, we hear you loud and clear. For On-Premise customers, we are already planning a change/fix to eliminate the server-side configuration to docops.ca.com. Just like other apps that check the cloud for the latest files (Java, virus defs, other portals you log into like this ca ppm community), we understand users want to click Help and get the right context-sensitive help page but without logging in. They want the latest most current information. We are working to make that happen and you can check docops.ca.com/ppmop or docops.ca.com/ppmod regularly to view updates. For SaaS customers, we are looking into the SSO authentication and agree it would be best to allow un-restricted access to the help files directly from the application. Thank you for your patience and for your constructive feedback.
It's been a month and there is no news for us SaaS customers on the updates of it
Our customers are still looking to see when this can be resolved for us
I would expect a deadline to it which can be shared
Thank you for representing other users out there impacted by this behavior in varying degrees. I can provide the following update and workarounds. Also, mindful of the value of transparency against sugar-coating for our respected audience of PPM professionals, I will also openly admit we are challenged by the availability of hardware and human resources with sufficient configurations and coordinated access to test a fix for this unique behavior. Remember, what is happening here is perfectly valid (OK) for 3 out of 4 use cases enumerated in the table below and we certainly do not want to introduce an issue for one of the three valid use cases as we resolve this unique situation where ondemand userstore info is passed to the ca.com userstore with some unique expectations about the behavior of session data, identity, and access to various help pages. For many admin users, their username is the same in the hand-off from ondemand.ca.com to docops.ca.com so they are OK going from ondemand to support or the communities or docops. However, as you have helped make us aware, for 1000s of end-users, they are able to log into the ondemand portal to do their daily work, but when they click Help in the PPM app, often they have not yet registered at ca.com for the communities, basic access to docops, or support access, so they see a prompt to Login or Register. (See line 3 of the table below.)
If these users could be pursuaded to register their username and password for basic ca.com access, the help links function correctly. Registration only takes a few seconds. However, 1000s of users do not want to register. We have learned this access option, although available, is not something we can expect from a user base at large. While many docops features require registration to access them, in actuality, users are not registering for access. Moreover, the help links they are clicking are public help links. In any other browser session, they open just fine with no login required. But the ondemand environment forces session validation when they switch to a ca.com portal such as the communities, support, or docops. So, while we investigate a way to relax or suppress session validation for public help links only and only when userstore names do not match (see row 3 of the table below), as a workaround end-users can register at ca.com (and never be prompted again since their usernames will match) or they can also open a separate browser window to navigate to docops public pages anonymously. (For the second workaround, they would lose the context-sensitive quality of some 400 help links and would thus have to find the right help page on their own using the table of contents or search. But again, if they register all these features are restored. Also note, registration is still required for commenting, downloading PDFs, or viewing restricted admin-level information.)
Update on the Table Above: Use case #3 has been fixed in CA PPM SaaS+SSO 15.2. Propagation to 15.3 and 15.1.x is underway. The change is also available now in 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199.
Hi all. Any news when there will be a fix for On Premise users?
We are not aware of any defects or need to fix the online help for on-premise users. It's pretty much the same system since 13.x for OP. Back then, users saw a fixed subset of HTML and PDF with the full library of docs available at support.ca.com. I just tested on a 14.3 On Prem server to confirm. No issues there. Customers let us know they wanted updated information so we eliminated the intermediate step and provided access to updated information at docops.ca.com/ppmop.
We have a new online help fix in place for PPM SaaS (aka on demand) editions with SSO only to get to docops.ca.com/ppmod.
Here is what I know and am happy to share with our community:
That will cover the next current release (GA), as well as GA-1, and GA-2. In other words, the full array of 15.x users.
The on-premise editions and SaaS editions of CA PPM enjoyed by millions of users (estimating 85-90% of all users) have no reported known defects with respect to the online help system. These changes were designed for the unique behavior we observed for our CA PPM SaaS users with single-sign-on (SSO) where the secure system had no user ID to use for authentication in an SSO environment. For the best customer experience with all CA products, we continue to recommend that all users self-register at ca.com to enjoy access to new features and content available exclusively from CA online.
Damon Logiudice/CA PPM DocOps Team