ANNOUNCE: New "Popup Help" Component

Oakley Data Services
3, Oakley Close,
Sandbach,
Cheshire CW11 1RQ,
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1270 759739
Fax: +44 (0)1270 765272
Internet: 74774.1...@compuserve.com
or cmess...@cix.compulink.co.uk

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Colin Messitt
+44 (0)1270 759013

        Delphi Component provides "Popup Help" with almost no coding.

Sandbach, Cheshire - 23rd January 1996 - Oakley Data Services today
announced the immediate availability of a new custom Component,
TODSHelp, that will significantly ease the provision of easy-to-access

"Popup Help" for developers using Delphi, Borland's popular Rapid
Application Development tool.

When added to a form in a Delphi application the new component
allows the developer to specify, via an easy to use custom property
editor, the text required for Popup Help for all the other controls
on the form. The text can be up to 32K long, and can contain line ends
and other special characters which allows flexibility in formatting.
Just a couple of lines of code can then provide complete context
sensitive Popup Help for the whole form.

The developer can allow the end-user to access Popup Help in a
number of ways; by pressing F1 to obtain Help on the active control;
in response to a " What's This? " popup menu accessed by the right
mouse button; or by point-and-click with the mouse using the familiar
"arrow and question mark" cursor. Only a single line of code is
required to implement each of these options.

The Popup Help that the end-user sees is configurable by the developer
who can specify fonts and colors. The Popup Help appears in a floating
window" and when using the default fonts and colors appears very
similar to the Popup Help implemented in dialog boxes in Windows 95.
However, there are two features implemented by the component that are
not available using the standard Windows 95 mechanism.

A "More Help" context-id can be specified which causes an additional
text hotspot to appear on the Popup Help window, and if the end-user
clicks on it he is presented with the relevant section of the
application's Help File.

Popup Help can also be implemented for all types of window using the
TODSHelp component, whereas only windows without minimize and maximize
buttons can benefit from the Windows 95 WS_EX_HELPCONTEXT extended
window style. And of course the TODSHelp component provides Popup Help

equally well for 16 bit applications in both Win95 and Win3.x.

"This component provides a number of advantages to Delphi developers
which will help them produce applications that look more professional
and are easier for the end-user to operate", said Colin Messitt,
Senior Partner at Oakley Data Services. "Currently one popular way of
providing Help for the controls on say a Dialog Box is to include a
screenshot in the Help File and include hotspots which explain the
action of various elements. That just duplicates effort - the user was
probably just looking at the real thing, and it requires a lot of work
to implement. The TODSHelp component can provide better help for the
end-user throughout an application with just a few minutes effort per
form on the part of the developer - just filling in the blanks and
adding a line or two of code."

The TODSHelp component is designed for use with 16bit versions of
Delphi. A 32 bit version is currently scheduled for March/April
release. The component requires around 360K of hard disk space on the
development system.

The price of the 16bit TODSHelp component is 39.95 UK Sterling or
59.95 US Dollars. Pricing for the 32bit version will be the same. We
would expect some developers to require both versions during the
general transition to 32bit software, and a special combined price of
59.95 UK Sterling or 89.95 US Dollars will be available. Prices apply
world-wide and include relevant taxes and shipping costs.

The TODSHelp component can be obtained direct from Oakley Data
Services by phone on +44 (0)1270 759739; by fax on +44 (0)1270 765272;
by using CompuServe's SWREG service with an Id of #9301; or by E-Mail
to 74774.1...@compuserve.com. Mastercard, Visa and Amex Credit Cards
are accepted.

Evaluation copies, which are fully functional while Delphi is running
but which issue warning messages when executed independently, are
available from the following locations, amongst others:-

 * CompuServe UKSHARE Forum, library 4, filename ODSHPU.ZIP
 * The oakley conference on CIX, filename ODSHPU10.ZIP
 * By anonymous FTP from ftp://ftp.smartcode.com filename ODSHPU.ZIP

The evaluation copy includes the component itself and a demo
application complete with source to illustrate the ease of
implementation.

Founded in 1993, Oakley Data Services produces and/or publishes
utility, financial, home-office/hobby and educational game software
packages.      

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