I’ll admit freely, I dig Flare…and the newest release of Flare has me all atwitter. I saw the new stuff as a beta tester and I could NOT WAIT for the release. The folks at MadCap have added some really incredible features that take Flare even further beyond Word and Robo. Here are some of the new things I’m most excited about:

  • Tight integration with Subversion (At last!)
  • Table enhancements
  • Increased support for Section 508 compliance

I’ll talk about the 2nd and 3rd items in another post. For now I want to talk about the beauty that is Flare/Subversion Integration. There are other neato-rific features like an equation editor – but, seriously, I don’t do equations or any math-related documentation (and folks seem to know that keeping me away from math is a good thing) so I can’t speak to functionality of the equation editor without sounding like a complete idiot.

But, let me tell you, I am over the moon now that Flare is integrated tightly with Subversion! I use Subversion two different ways – one way with my 9 to5 and another with my consulting clients. Source control is a big deal….I learned this the hard way. I accidentally deleted a virtual Windows machine on my Mac…and it took a help project or two with it. GULP. That night, after installing a new virtual machine, I got Subversion (it’s free AND good). I use TamTam, a 3rd party extension, to get the integration I need. It was adequate….no choir singing, no angels appearing.

At my 9 to 5, I’ve used Flare with Subversion for about two years now and it’s been fine. But I could never tell which files were checked in or checked out and couldn’t check files in from Flare. I would have to close Flare and open Windows Explorer and commit files from there. Not a major problem – but not exactly the picture of convenience either. There was no integration at all between Flare and SVN…again, no choir, no angels.

But now….

<angels><choir>Flare works directly with Subversion!</choir></angels>.

No third party add-ons, just smooth, Im-so-happy-I-could-cry integration.

How easy is it? So easy that you simply select Subversion as your source control tool of choice from the drop-down menu when you go to bind a project . The only tricky part is knowing your server path. At work, I have a handy-dandy IT Admin to ask. At home….I am the IT Admin. After a bit of trial and error, I figured it out. The integration is lovely. I’m a happy camper now that I get the padlock and add icons…and I can check in my work from Flare. No more going to Explorer to do it.

This is a major step forward for Flare users. We now get easy integration with an excellent source control tool.

5 Responses to “Flare v7 is Here – Cue Angels and Choir!”

  1. kelley March 3, 2011

    We currently only use subversion to pick up my published files for integration with our apps. We do not currently use it for my source files – as i said.. only the publshed files.

    That said, will this new integration help us more smoothly work with subversion on the PUBLISHED files? i.e., for integration with our apps?

    Up to now, we’ve had to do it thru Tortoise svn.

    Thanks,

    kb

  2. Laura March 4, 2011

    Subversion is great for storing output files – but you won’t be able to do that through Flare. When you bind a project (or import one in from source control), Flare cannot have an Output or Analyzer folder present in the directory. I confirmed this with MadCap tech support on Wednesday. You would need to commit the builds to Subversion through Tortoise SVN (or TamTam). The Bind to Source Control in Flare is for source code only. I hope this helps.

    Laura

  3. Michael March 8, 2011

    Actually we use the PushOK SVN SCC plugin to bring Flare and SVN together tightly and it worked … but there was always a rest of uneasiness remaining if the plugin just did its job or if it did its job well. Moving or deleting files for example always seems to be an issue. I hope that the tight integration of SVN directly through Flare does not only work, but does work excellently.

    Regards
    Michael

  4. Laura March 8, 2011

    Michael,

    We couldn’t use PushOK at the office because its developers were Russian (government security issues). Then I considered using it at home for my consulting work and learned that PushOK wasn’t playing well with Flare v6.0 or 6.1 (can’t recall which).

    TamTam was wonderful in the sense that it did what it needed to do…but I never did get the locked/unlocked/add icons to appear in Flare. With v7, I get that tight integration that includes the icons.

    And no more checking in from Windows Explorer!

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