Collection Snapshots

For customer-facing documentation, especially developer docs or API docs, sometimes you need multiple versions, all available at the same time.

For example, while new customers might be using v2 of your API, some of your existing customers will still be on v1 — so they need to read v1 documentation.

Introducing Collection Snapshots, a way to create an identical clone of a collection, that you can then rename to v1 and then keep working on each documentation version separately.

Along with hostname paths, with just a few clicks you can set up a system where multiple versions of the documentation are available.

Enjoy!

50+ improvements

As promised to many of you, we're focusing on improving the functionality we already have as opposed to adding new stuff. 

We've improved the performance of the app, the design system, our libraries & code, the self-service abilities of the system.

Here are some highlights:

  • custom HTML with handlebars templates in custom footers or custom landing pages for documentation sites; read more here: https://docs.archbee.io/custom-landing-page;
  • improved image rendering; we've changed our CDN for images with one that renders sizes dynamically and allows people with smaller screens (e.g mobile) to download the exact size of images they need; we also changed the way image widths/heights are calculated so no layout shifting will happen anymore;
  • user downloadable invoices; download any invoice on demand so that you don't have to look for them in your email;
  • ability to appoint a new super admin; this also changes the email that Stripe sends invoices to;
  • ability to change email address by yourself;
  • UI improvements all over; we've tightened our design system even more; more consistent colors and spacing;
  • better automatic scrolling in the document tree section;
  • improved search algorithm and faster instances on AWS for search indexing;
  • we've upgraded most of our code to the latest libraries so you get the benefit of improved performance and security;
  • reduced load time for public collections by 20%;
  • reduced load time for documents by 25%;
  • improved callout blocks;
  • more accurate reading time prediction by using a new algorithm;
  • faster real-time sync between people looking at the same document;
  • better table of contents rendering;
  • improved loading time of the knowledge graph on workspaces with 1000+ documents;
  • improved document tree drag & drop accuracy;
  • improved blockquote rendering.

Enjoy!

#1 on ProductHunt, Workspace-Level Domains, Publish-Mode!



What a day on ProductHunt!

Product Hunt Raises $6 Million From A16Z | TechCrunch

Thanks to all your support, we made it to top 1 when we launched Archbee 2.0!

ProductHunt called us a "Google Docs alternative" a few days later in their newsletter. Flattered and humbled!

But there's no resting on the laurels... here's what we released today.


Workspace-Level Domains

One of our cool & distinctive features is that you can share collections of documents on your domain.

But each domain was bound to a single collection. That made it hard for everybody:

  • companies with multiple products had to set a different subdomain for each product's documentation; 
  • agencies with multiple customers (like you'd find an agency with a single customer, haha) had to set a different subdomain for each customer they wanted to share docs with;
  • every new domain had to be set in the DNS provider, taking too much time, and DNS propagation is really slow sometimes;
  • that also made it hard for us because we had to supply many SSL certificates, and that's not easy, or cheap.

The alternative was sharing the collections with an archbee.io link, and that worked for some companies, but it didn't for those that wanted a more professional look.

Super happy to announce we now made it possible to share multiple collections on the same domain, by having a path on each collection, while maintaining the root path for a single collection. 

It was one of the most requested features!

Here's how you do it:


Publish-Mode!!

Our automatic save feature and collaborative experience made it easy to create docs by not having to click any unnecessary buttons.

That's awesome for internal team documentation and collaboration.

But for customer-facing documentation, it's not a good look to have them see unfinished work or drafts.

This is why we now have publish-mode, which snapshots your collection and deploys it to your domain.

You get to keep the archbee.io staging link that points at the real-time collection, and a production environment to which the snapshot is deployed at your domain. 

Publish-Mode gets activated whenever you have a domain set on your collection.

This new feature also introduces clean URLs. We only add the randomly generated string at the end of the URL if you have another doc named exactly the same. To get the new URLs you have to publish once.

Here's how it looks like:

These two features were critical for our way to become your team's single source of truth for internal AND customer-facing documentation!

Enjoy your holidays, and we'll see you soon with more blazing features.

🖖

Inline document comments!

In the beginning of the year, we had an idea that realtime chat on documents would be a big deal. We launched it, but it didn't take off. We couldn't get users to actually use it.

Many users and customers told us they were missing traditional comments. We got proven wrong, so we built inline comments!

How to use? Select any text and add a comment.

What's next?

We're keeping focus on our core technology, and a UX redesign is coming for the left side of the app. Stay tuned!

Native Apps Are HERE!

macOS, Windows and Linux apps are here.

They auto-update. 

They're fast and are tuned out to not eat any more memory than the regular in-browser app.

They get you notifications right in front:


To download, go to the landing page and you'll see the download buttons, or download directly.

Try it out, we're confident we deserve a spot in your taskbar :)

As always, keep the feedback coming!

Native Mermaid Diagrams

Not all people like to draw stuff. Some people like software developers want to write stuff.

This is why we now have native support for Mermaid, a markdown flavored syntax for building diagrams.

Mermaid diagrams are an easy way build: flowchart, sequence, class, UML, gantt and entity relationship diagrams.

Here's a short gif showing you how it's done.

You can find the full documentation of Mermaid, the markdown flavored syntax here: https://mermaid-js.github.io/mermaid/#/

Doc categories

Our doctrees allow you to build any hierarchy you might want.

But sometimes you want to have parent docs without needing to write anything inside. No more "In here is this, this and that."

This is why we built doc categories. Here's how they look:



Here's how they look like when you share the spaces externally, on our own documentation:


Now you're set to go kill the docs game!

June 9 Product Update

Many of you asked us for the option to remove our branding from individual public shared docs, as it was already working for public shared docspaces.

For customers on the Scaling plan, this is now available. But we do hope you will help us become more popular by keeping the branding on 😇.

In the process, we've also made doc loading 5% faster, for both internal docs and external docs.

For hosted public docspaces, we've added a status indicator that now allows you to see if your DNS has propagated or not, and more information for how to check yourself if you need details.

May Product Update

In a nutshell, we've been hard at work improving our core tech, but we've also been able to sneak in a couple of nice to have features.

Updates

  • documents now load 7-10% faster;
  • we were able to shave 150 to 200 milliseconds off the realtime sync algorithm, making realtime collaboration better;
  • we've added more and better editor shortcuts (Markdown included); check the new shortcuts by hitting Ctrl (or Cmd on Mac) + /;
  • we've changed our CDN to AWS CloudFront, and setup better firewalls to our APIs to mitigate next Denial of Service attacks;
  • certificate generation for hosted docspaces on your domains now happens in maximum 1 hour since the DNS has propagated, and we also have lowered their regeneration rate to 2 months;
  • hosted docspaces are now 15% to 60% faster, as we were able to cache some of the content close to your customers; this will also improve your SEO;
  • UI improvements across the board: more consistent spacing and colors throughout the app; cross platform scrollbars;
  • better support for Safari and Firefox; there's still work to be done here, but we strive to be 100% cross-browser as ~15% of you don't use Chrome-based browsers;
  • better support on mobile browsers;
  • we've started doing automated phishing scans to prevent malicious use of our platform.
  • our integrations come out of beta and are now generally available: GraphQL, Swagger, Github Gist, Loom, Google Drive, Numeracy, Codepen, Mode Analytics, Slack, Airtable, Trello, LucidChart, Typeform, Mindmaster, Prezi, Miro, Invision, Figma, Framer, Abstract, Marvel, Google Analytics, Intercom.
  • iframe embeds and custom javascript are generally available but will stay in beta for a while longer;
  • docx import comes out of beta.


What's next?

  • workspace-level domains, share any amount of docspaces in an URL format like this: https://docs.yourdomain.com/docspace1 https://docs.yourdomain.com/docspace2;
  • desktop app;
  • improved datatables that draw inspiration from AirTable;
  • continued core technology improvements;
  • many misc. features asked by you; thank you for your great ideas in the Feature Wishlist, we watch them closely and many of them will get implemented.
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