Introducing Content Snippets: Reusable blocks you can insert across the documentation

Feature velocity at Archbee is a thing, and we take pride in shipping new features fast 🏎

After we launched Reusable Variables, a week later, we are proud to announce another component of the Reusable Content feature.

Meet Content Snippets.

Content snippets are blocks of content that you create once and can be placed on multiple document pages, allowing you to edit the content from a single place to update any portion of the documentation.

If you ever need to use the same content repeatedly in a few documents, you can create a Snippet to hold those elements.

How to use Content Snippets

A Content Snippet can be anything from a Code Block, an Image, a list of steps for the installation, you name it.

You can use Snippets with any of the 30+ custom blocks Archbee editor provides.

For example, if you need to mention the installation steps across multiple Spaces, you can create/edit a Content Snippet. While editing the Snippet, you can include sample code along with the numbered list. 

After creating a Content Snippet, you can use it in the editor by typing the forward slash, clicking on the content snippets tab, and selecting the Snippet you want to use.

When you need to change the contents of the Content Snippets you can edit them through the Reusable Content window of the app.

As always, we would hugely appreciate your feedback, so if you want to try Content Snippets, go to your account and use the in-app chat to talk with us.

Reusable Variables are here!


Hey!

We've been super busy over the last few weeks, and we're excited to share the updates! 🎉

You ask, we deliver! We've released a new feature called Reusable Variables as part of the more extensive Reusable Content update. ⚡️

Now you have another great way to write documentation because Reusable Variables allows you to define repetitive words or phrases in a single place but use them across multiple documents.

It's a placeholder that stores a value. Here are some examples of things you might show in your docs that are subject to change, and you might want to use a variable:

  • API keys
  • API versions
  • client name
  • user id
  • user name
  • company name
  • email
  • phone number

Now, instead of going to each document to change the text, Reusable Variables saves you time because you can control them from one place.

When you change the variable's value, it will reflect across all documents.

How to use them?

First, you define the variable's name.

Next, you give the variable a value, which can be a single word or a phrase.

Now, you can insert these variables into your document by typing {{, and a list with the available variables will show.

Next, you can filter by the name to select a variable.

Learn more about using Variables or sign in to try them immediately!

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ New publish workflow, Spaces and more πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦

Some changes we've made to allow a better user experience.

1. Staging becomes Preview

Our Staging environment has been renamed to Preview environment and is now publishable — just as the Production environment. Now everybody can preview their documentation sites BEFORE setting their domains — a huge time saver.

On top of that, the Preview environment is now authenticated by default for users already authenticated in Archbee. This makes it possible to create your documentation site privately and make it public only when it's ready, and you've configured it for Production.

2. Collections become Spaces

For many people `Collection` does not reflect what we mean.

Now Spaces, collections were meant to be the first layer of document organization. Spaces sound more familiar from similar software that's focused on internal documentation.

Basically:

  • Documents are organized into Spaces;
  • Spaces are organized into Sites (which we'll introduce shortly).

3. Workspaces become Orgs

Our Workspaces feature allows you to use a single login to be in the context of multiple companies, negating the need to re-login with another account. 

This is great. However, many users get confused by the concept, buy a subscription and assume it's for all Workspaces they create. Each workspace has its own subscription because what we really mean by workspaces is "organization". 

We considered a switch to "Teams" but we realized it could also mean that there are separate teams in an organization. So we're making this semantic change to reflect that.

4. Code Editors Update

All code editors have been updated to allow multiple tabs using the same language, drag and drop to reorganize tabs, and performance improvements.

5. Better Markdown converters

We've made a bunch of modifications to our Markdown converters and now they catch more of our custom blocks, that were previously hard to translate to markdown. For example, our Link Blocks and Tabs now translate to a custom Markdown directive, that we understand and other software can easily be made to understand.

6. Removing favorite collections (now spaces)

The favorite collections (now spaces) feature has been removed, for various complicated reasons. You can still drag and drop spaces to organize them as you see fit, potentially putting spaces you care more about at the top of your list.

7. Lots of UI changes and improvements

We've reorganized many things around the UI to build a better user experience.


Cheers from the fearless Archbee team, meaning is not afraid to deploy to prod on Fridays or any other day 💪

At least that we can do to feel 0.1% as brave as Ukraine people.

#WeAreWithUkraine 🇺🇦


Our GitHub and JIRA integrations are here!!

1. GitHub

With GitHub you can write docs-as-code in Markdown files. It syncs automatically to an archbee collection where it can be shared internally with non-technical team members. On top of that, you benefit of the same public sharing mechanism as every other collection..

It's a one-way sync (from GitHub to Archbee) by design. We believe git as a system works great because there is a human interaction requirement — when merge conflicts arise, somebody will need to manually merge the content in the files. When one side of the system is automated (as it would be in our case if the integration would be 2-ways), a 2-way system would not be able to protect your content from being injured in the process.


You can then easily publish the collection to your domain, and combine it at will with WYSIWYG collections to build your docs sites.

Note: Our GitHub/git integrations are just at the beginning. We plan to create another editor block that references chunks of code in the repositories to let you document SDKs and keep them in sync with the code. Similarly to our Doc Verifications feature, the new block will prompt you when the code goes out of sync with the documentation in archbee. This will be a great feature to have when internally onboarding developers as well, allowing you to create sequences to take them through your codebase if necessary. This is one of our major features to launch next Q.


2. JIRA

Now you can paste JIRA issues after adding the integration, and they'll be automatically embedded in Archbee docs (and the content kept in sync). 

Our JIRA integration works well now, and we're looking to expand its capabilities based on your input. 

Happy documenting from the Archbee team!

Authenticate your customers with Magic Links


Public docs authentication for your customers is hard in Archbee if you don't use the JWT integration.

It's hard to share a password with all the stakeholders. Especially when the password changes.

It's hard to manage accounts and passwords for the stakeholders.

With Magic Links you can now add their email address or their domain address, and they will be able to authenticate solely using their email. We just send them a link that authenticates them on click.

Here's how it looks like down below. 



>> Expandable Headings

Expandable headings are a great way to add FAQ lists on your documentation website.

You can set them as expanded or collapsed and here's how to create an expandable heading:


  • Use the / and type Expandable Heading 1, then hit Enter
  • Select the Expandable heading from the custom block list: type / and select it
  • Type the shortcut for:
    • Expandable Heading 1 >># + space
    • Expandable Heading 2 >>## + space
    • Expandable Heading 3 >>### + space

Check out our docs for examples and details:

https://docs.archbee.io/expandable-headings

The Booklet template and PDF rendering

We just launched a new document site template, called Booklet.

Yes, it looks similar to a book and it enables us to provide you with nicely printed PDF versions of your collections.

Now the customers on your remote oil drilling platform are covered with this offline version. Just kidding, but PDF printing has been something many enterprise companies have been asking us for a while, and as you know by now, we listen.

How does it work?

Once you have your domain set for a collection and you enable the PDF feature in the collection settings, we automatically build a PDF version on each publish.

Here's a sneak peek out of our V1 docs: https://app.archbee.io/public/rQfz20MmRdainSGyL3VuF

Document Verifications

Knowledge in your team gets outdated, that's a fact.

With Archbee we make it easy for you to keep it up to date — with document verifications.

Select a subject matter expert from your team, and they'll be notified recurrently to check the content of the document.

Here's how it works.

Native OpenAPI

Last week we launched Native OpenAPI for Archbee.

Why is this so awesome for you?

If your product is built for developers or your product has an API, you need great product documentation — otherwise, you can't cut through to developers.

How does it work?

We read your OpenAPI (formerly Swagger) spec files and convert it to a beautiful UI.

Then if you want to update it, you can upload new files manually or just set it up in your CI/CD to be updated automatically through our own API.

Then you keep it for internal purposes, or share it with your customers in just a couple clicks — or even set your own custom domain for 0 engineering effort product documentation.

Here's a video :)



The GitHub App (beta) is here!

Our WYSIWYG editor is nice, but sometimes people just prefer plain-old markdown in a git repo.

This is why with today's new feature, our GitHub App, will allow you to do exactly this.

HOWTO

1. Install our GitHub App in the integration settings and give it access to the repositories that will have the markdown content.

2. Create a new collection. Choose GitHub-backed and then select your repo.

3. Click ADD COLLECTION. We'll fetch the repo and the `/docs` by default.

Many configurations are available. Read up here: https://docs.archbee.io/github-beta

With this release you should also find more robust converters to Markdown everywhere they are used in the app.

Test it out and let us know what you thought and how we can improve it!

Happy documenting! 🥳🎉

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