– Hemanth Basrur
This idea won the first prize at STC India Regional Conference at Bangalore in July 2009.
Are you a Web publisher or Web submitter who uploads documents manually? The primary role of a Web publisher is to publish content on the Web. The content being published could be in different file formats like html pages, pdf documents etc. A typical process involves a Web publisher uploading a document, entering the metadata for the document, and posting it to the Web. This effort is time-consuming. Is there any automated tool that can help Web publishers submit several documents automatically without having to enter the metadata of the documents manually and processing them? The answer is yes 🙂
At Hewlett-Packard (HP), where I work, Web publishers handle a lot documents that are in the pdf format. The content is processed using an internal Web publishing tool. The entire cycle, from uploading a document into the internal tool to posting it to the Web, takes about 15 – 20 minutes for each document. This effort gets multiplied depending upon the number of documents to be uploaded – the actual impact of this effort was driven home when HP decided to carry out a major migration project.
The migration project involves migrating approximately 2000 documents from the existing HP technical documentation Website to a new one over the next few months. Doing the project manually would involve tremendous amount of working hours.
While exploring alternatives for a more efficient process, we learnt about the HP Quick Test Professional (QTP) tool. HP QTP is an automated functional Graphical User Interface (GUI) testing tool created by the HP subsidiary Mercury Interactive. The tool allows the automation of user actions on a web-based, client-based, or desktop computer application. Using HP QTP, a sequence of steps can be recorded as a macro, and the recorded script executed multiple times.
To migrate our documents, we used this tool. We first recorded the steps involved in posting a document such as uploading a document into the internal Web publishing tool, entering the metadata, and posting the document. Then the variables, input formats, and so on were customized according to the environment. The inputs to the script (metadata of documents) were entered in an excel sheet. At runtime, the HP QTP script read the data from the excel sheet and posted the document automatically with minimal manual effort.
As a result of using the HP QTP script, we have been able to do batch processing of documents and have effectively reduced the work-hours by almost 50%, leaving us free to utilize the time thus saved for more productive work.
The major contributors to this idea are Amit S Pujar, Hemanth Basrur, Manjunath Raj, and Vino Gandhi M from the Information Engineering team; and Vivek Hebbal Sharanappa from the Build and Release Team in HP India Software Operations, Bangalore.
About the Author
Hemanth Basrur is a Senior Information Developer working at Hewlett-Packard India Software Operations (HP ISO) in Bangalore. He has over nine years of experience in technical communication. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.