Setting Up Banner® Online Help

Setting up the Banner Online help has become a fairly complicated procedure since the help file is built depending on the modules for each site.

Before we get into that procedure, let's look at the contents of the Banner® Online Help file.

  • A Banner HELP file (typically named bannerOH.war) is basically a WAR (Web Archive) file which contains ZIPPED HTML files.
  • When these files are extracted, it contains module subdirectories. Under each subdirectory are the actual HTML help files.
  • There is generally one html file for each Banner Form
  • There are also some additional directories used to setup the web application
  • Graphically, this would look like the following:

  • The ZIPPED war file is deployed onto a Weblogic or Tomcat server.
  • The URL for the Banner Online HELP is defined in a Form GUAUPRF.
  • Within each Banner form, an online help page can be called.

  • Each time there is a Banner module upgrade (e.g. general, student, arsys...), updated help files will be delivered.
  • These help files need to be updated in the web archive, and the archive needs to be redeployed.

The procedures for setting building the help is as follows:

  • Under $BANNER_HOME, locate the starter bannerOH.war file. This is usually found under $BANNER_LINKS
  • Create a temporary directory (in this example, let's use /tmp/help) and extract this file using the following command:
$ cd /tmp/help
$ jar -xfv $BANNER_LINKS/bannerOH.war
  • Now you need to add in the actual help files. These file almost always located in the upgrade/doc directory (example: for general 8.9, they would be found under gen80900u/doc/Banner_General_Online_Help_8.9.zip
  • While you are still in the temporary directory setup up above, unzip the ZIP file in the upgrade directory, (i.e. unzip gen80900u/doc/Banner_General_Online_Help_8.9.zip).
  • Overwrite any files that already exist
  • Repeat this process for all over modules.
  • Once you are done migrating all help files into your temporary directory, rebuild your WAR file:
$ jar -cfv ../bannerOH.war *
  • Deploy the war file /tmp/bannerOH.war to your Tomcat/Weblogic server. Make sure the HELP in the Form GUAUPRF point to the correct location.