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Knowledge in your team gets outdated, that's a fact.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

Product docs site templates, Stripey template beta

Building product docs sites in-house is... time-consuming, de-focusing engineering from the product, error-prone, and... expensive. And in the end, you still lack a nice-to-use CMS for your writers and have to pay for hosting and a search solution.

You can always buy a solution on the market, but there's a big drawback: most solutions don't offer that much customization.

We noticed this a while back and allowed our customers to customize pretty much everything with custom CSS, and custom JS.

While good for many companies, it doesn't seem to be enough for some. 

This is why we've built an entire system that allows us to build documentation site templates very quickly. It's here!

We've also launched the first template for it (beta) — Stripey. Stripey uses Stripe's docs (which is beloved by many developers) as inspiration.

Here's how it looks like on our own docs:

Of course, you still get all the goodies: dark mode, ultra-fast and reliable search, search analytics, authentication options, and rich SEO controls.

Try it out on your docs and let us know what you thought.

Here's what we have planned next for the product documentation sites use case: 

- GitHub Integration (write your docs in GitHub — then use Archbee to generate the site and host it);

- Multi-product sites (use multiple collections on the same site with a tab-switcher similar to Stripe's docs);

- New blocks, many inspired by Stripe's custom made docs;

- i18n;

- Collections as changelogs hooked into the main doc sites.

YAY!

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!

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