Thursday, May 28, 2009

Embedding a Tutorial in a Blog

With the new DemoMate embeddable tutorial player, you can now easily create content in DemoMate that can be embedded directly into blogs, providing you a new way to not just tell your users about your products and solutions, but show them as well. This new tutorial player is a great addition to blog posts whenever you need to walk your audience through a specific task or procedure, or simply want to demonstrate how to use a software application or web site.

What blog post on embedding tutorials in a blog would be complete without an embedded tutorial actually showing you how to embed a tutorial in a blog? Without further ado, here it is:

DemoMate Tutorial:

Embedding a Tutorial in a Blog

Get Microsoft Silverlight

To embed a tutorial in a blog, first package the tutorial in the DemoMate client. Once your tutorial is ready, you’ll need to upload all the demo assets, including the .xap file and the assets folder, to a publicly available web server. This is necessary because most blogging services don’t provide a place to store media files, unless you’re hosting the blog on your own corporate web server already.

You might also need to configure your web server to support the x-silverlight-app MIME type for .xap files, since you will most likely be linking to the tutorial player across domains.

After you have uploaded your demo assets and configured your web server, you’re ready to create a blog post containing a tutorial. Sign in to your favorite blogging service and create a new post. Within the body of your post, you’ll want to paste in the entire OBJECT embed tag for the tutorial, which can be found in the sample .html file created when you first packaged the tutorial.

Two values will need to be modified in the OBJECT tag – the “source” value and the “AssetUrlPath” value. You should add the full URL path to where these assets are located on your web server. For example, “Sample Demo.xap” might become " Demo.xap".

From trial and experience on our end with posting tutorials, we’ve also found that if line breaks are inserted in the opening OBJECT tag, the tutorial will not render on the page. Be sure to check and make sure that all line breaks are removed from this first tag. It’s still OK if the tag wraps onto multiple lines in the text editor box.

After you’ve modified the OBJECT tag with the correct URLs, you’re ready to finish your blog post and share your tutorial with the world.

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