Getting started with RoboSource Control 3.1

What is RoboSource Control?

Adobe RoboSource Control is a Software Version Control (SVC) application. SVC applications allow multiple users to work on a project simultaneously.

Why should I use RoboSource Control?

If you have more than one user working on RoboHelp HTML projects, you should be using RoboSource Control.

RoboSource Control 3.1 System requirements

  • Intel Pentium 4 processor (or equivalent)
  • Microsoft Windows Vista, Windows XP, or Windows 2000
  • 256MB of RAM
  • 800MB of hard-disk space
  • Microsoft SQL Server/MSDE 2005
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0
  • MSXML 6.0 *

* MSXML 6.0 is a required component of the Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio Express.

How to acquire RoboSource Control

RoboSource Control has both a client and a server component. Both come with Adobe RoboHelp 7 at no additional charge.

How to acquire SQL Server Express 2005

Microsoft SQL Server Express is a free download from the Microsoft website.

How to install RoboSource Control

During the Adobe RoboHelp 7 installation process, it will ask you if you want to install the client, server, or both. The server component should only be installed on the SQL server.

How to configure SQL Express 2005 for use with RoboSource Control

By default, SQL Express 2005 will have TCP/IP disabled. For RoboSource Control to be able to connect, this protocol will need to be enabled. Follow these steps to enable TCP/IP in Microsoft SQL Express 2005:

  1. Launch the SQL Server Configuration Manager. If you do not already have this utility, it is a free download from Microsoft's web site .

  2. Expand SQL Server 2005 Network Configuration.
  3. Select Protocols for SQLEXPRESS.

  4. In the right pane, double-click TCP/IP.

  5. If Enabled is marked as No, change it to Yes.

  6. Press OK.

  7. Expand SQL Native Client Configuration

  8. Select Client Protocols.

  9. In the right pane, double-click TCP/IP.

  10. If Enabled is marked as No, change it to Yes.

  11. Press OK.

RoboSource Control user administration

You can create user accounts and configure access rights using RoboSource Control 3.1 Explorer, a separate application that is installed as part of RoboSource Control 3.1 Client.

To create a new user account:

  1. From the menu of installed programs on your PCâs Start menu, select RoboSource Control 3.1 > RoboSource Control 3.1 Explorer.

  2. From the File menu, select the Connection Name for the database to which you have added your RoboHelp project:

  3. When prompted, enter the password for the Admin user and click OK.

  4. From the Admin menu, select User Library. The RoboSource Control User Library dialog box appears.

  5. Click Create. The Create User dialog box appears.

  6. Enter the username and password for the new user. For added security, you can use Windows authentication (which means that RoboSource Control uses the userâs Windows login credentials as proof of identity).

To assign access rights for a specific project folder:

  1. Within RoboSource Control 3.1 Explorer, open the database and navigate to the required project folder:
  2. Right-click the highlighted folder in the left-hand pane and select Properties. The RoboSource Properties dialog box appears.
  3. Select the Rights tab.

  4. Select the Show All Users option.

  5. Scan down through the list of users and assign to each user the required access rights, These access rights are applied to the folder and all the files contained within it

How to connect RoboSource Control from RoboHelp HTML

To create and configure a new database:

  1. From the menu of installed programs on your serverâs Start menu, select RoboSource Control 3.1 > Server > RoboSource Server Database Configuration.

  2. Click Create.

  3. Click Continue.

  4. Complete the fields in the dialog using the following guidelines:

    • Name: Enter a name that you will use to refer to this database,for example: Robo Version Control,
    • Database Instance: If you are using SQL Server Express Edition, enter (local)\SQLExpress. If you are using a local SQL Server or the default MSDE database instance, simply enter (local).
    • Database name: This field is completed for you using the same name that you entered in the Name field. It is not recommended to change it.
    • Connection String: This field is automatically completed for you; do not change it.
    • Embed files in Database: If you select this option, all the RoboHelp project files will be embedded within the database itself. If you are using an MSDE database instance, this is not recommended because the database is limited to a file size of 2 GB. Also, if you intend to manage big sized files, this is not recommended. This is also not recommended if you intend to manage large files.
    • Current File Storage Path: Only available if you chose not to select the Embed files in Database option. Select a directory on the server in which the RoboHelp project files will be stored.
    • History File Storage Path: Only available if you did not select the Embed files in Database option. Select a directory on the server in which the previous versions of the RoboHelp project files will be stored.
  5. Click Create.

  6. Browse for a folder to store the SQL Server database (MDF, NDF, and LDF) files.
  7. Enter the name of an Admin user (the default of "Admin" is fine).
  8. Enter and confirm a password that the Admin user will use to open the database.

Port Assignments

RoboSource Control 3.1 requires certain specific port assignments on the client and server machines. If these ports are blocked, then it will not be possible to connect to a RoboSource Control database. The required port assignments are as follows:




Configured in



Port settings

Listening on port 8039 (TCP)

Listening on port 8042 (TCP)

Listening on port 8041 (HTTP)

If you experience any problems with connecting to a RoboSource Control database, then you should check the contents of the two config files (RSO3ServerRemoting.config and RSO3MiddleTierRemoting.config). They are normally located in the following directory:

  • C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe RoboSource Control 3.1

If the port numbers within these config files are not the same as those given in the table above, then you should replace them with the correct numbers. To add a RoboHelp 7 project to version control:

  1. Open the project in RoboHelp HTML.
  2. Choose File > Version Control > Add to Version Control. The Select the Version Control Provider dialog appears.

  3. Select your version control provider (either RoboSource Control 3.1 or a third-party version control package) and click OK. The Configure Source Control dialog appears.


    The following steps apply only if you are using RoboSource Control 3.1. For other version control packages, refer to the documentation provided.

  4. From the Connection drop-down list, select Create. The Open RoboSource Connection dialog appears.

  5. If your RoboSource Control 3.1 Server software and database is located on your own PC, you can select the database connection from the list on the left side. If (as is more likely) the software is located on a separate server machine, then you must do the following:

    • Connection Name: This can be any name that you would like to use to identify the database from RoboSource Control 3.1 Client. You could choose to use the same name that you entered when you created the database itself, but you donât have to.
    • Server: Enter either the IP address or the unique name of the server on your local network.
    • Database: Enter the name of the database exactly as you typed it into the first Name field on the Create Database dialog box (when you were Creating and configuring the RoboSource Control database).
  6. Click the Create and Connect button. The RoboSource Login to Robo Version Control dialog appears.

  7. Enter the password that you assigned to the Admin user in the Configure New Database dialog box. The Configure Source Control dialog box reappears with the Connection name showing. In this example, selected the database connection âœRobo Version Control (local)â from the list:
  8. Click the browse button beside the Root Path field.

  9. If prompted, again enter the password for the Admin user.

    The Browse RoboSource Node dialog box appears showing your empty database

  10. Click the root node ($) to select it, and then click OK.

    A message appears asking if you want to create and select a new subfolder within the RoboSource Control database.

  11. Click Yes to create a new folder for your RoboHelp project within the database.

  12. Click Ok to close the Configure Source Control dialog box.

  13. You may find that the Login dialog box is hidden behind the RoboHelp window. If your screen appears to be frozen, use Alt+Tab to switch to the Login dialog box so that you can enter the password for the Admin user.

All of your RoboHelp project files are now copied to the server-based database, and the status of all the files is "checked out" to you. By default, RoboSource Control 3.1 doesnât allow the same file to be checked out by more than one user simultaneously. This means that no one else can change any of the files until you check them in to the database. An additional File Status pod is displayed within RoboHelpâs right-hand pane. This pod lists all of the project files that are under version control and shows you the status (checked out or not) of each. When you close the project, RoboHelp 7 asks you whether you want to check in all the files back into the database. If you answer Yes, RoboHelp checks in all the files in for you automatically.


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