Content delivery platforms for online documentation

Market overview of content delivery platforms and solutions that are especially designed for providing access to technical documentation and user assistance. Plus a market overview of recommendable utilities for the embedding, context-sensitive calling, testing and quality control of online documentation (online help systems).

For information on the indicated price levels , see Price levels.

Content delivery solutions

Fluid Topics

Web solution for publishing online documentation produced with structured content authoring tools. Provides advanced search, navigation, and analysis.

Price level: not published

Heretto Enterprise

Content operations platform to create documentation sites, knowledge bases, chatbots, etc.

Price level: not published

Congility Content Server, Congility Mobile

Content delivery platform for online browser-based documentation portals and content delivery to Android, Windows, iOS and macOS apps.

Price level: not published

Zoomin docs

Provides content based on user profiles via one central hub. Allows users to search across all publications with full-text search and faceted search. Can also be used to provide intelligent context-sensitive help. Users can share, comment, and rate the content.

Price level: not published

Titania Delivery

Solution for dynamically publishing personalized content.

Price level: not published


Makes it possible to browse, search, and annotate collections of information stored in Word, HTML, XML, structured FrameMaker, DITA, and PDF files.

Price level: not published


Publishes XML content as an HTML5 website. Users can add notes to individual paragraphs within a document.

Price level: high

Schema CDS

Price level: not published


Price level: not published

Empolis Content Express

Price level: not published


Windows-based help viewer with several advanced features.

Price level: not published

Help+Manual 2 Go

Mini web server that doesn’t need installation and can be used for running browser-based help locally. Avoids the problem that browsers are increasingly implementing security features that prevent browser-based online help from running properly when opened from local drives. May be even distributed with your own products.

Price level: free (freeware)

iiRDS and metadata

iiRDS (intelligent information Request and Delivery Standard) is a technical standard for the vendor-independent exchange and delivery of digital user information.


AI-based solution for automatically enriching existing data with meta information.

Price level: not published

iiRDS Open Toolkit

Simple iiRDS generator (web service) that can be used for enriching content such as PDF files with metadata. Generates a valid iiRDS package.

Price level: free (web application)

iiRDS validation tool

Online validator for iiRDS packages.

Price level: free (web application)

Solutions for creating mobile user assistance apps

If you create a native app from the WebHelp that a help authoring tools creates, users don’t need an internet connection when viewing the content.


Ready-to-use mobile documentation solution.

Price level: not published


Compiles mobile technical documentation from various sources.

Price level: high

Apache Cordova

Price level: free (open source)


Price level: free (open source)

Solutions for embedding information into applications (onboarding, walkthroughs, overlays)


Easily provides context sensitive help in various forms for web applications.

Price level: diverse


Solution for editing and embedding contextualized user help and onboarding information.

Price level: high


Platform for adding intelligent user guidance to an application. There is also a free basic version available.

Price level: not published


Solution for creating walkthroughs, onboarding guides, and tooltips.

Price level: high


Adds interactive guides and other forms of help on top of an application.

Price level: not published


Adds product walkthroughs to a web application for onboarding new users.

Price level: high


Adds information for onboadring and staff training to an application. The company compares their product to a car's navigation system. Just as the navigation system of a car guides the driver safely to the destination, Userlane guides the user of a software step by step to the destination.

Price level: not published

Product Tour

Displays step by step instructions on top of a web application. The user experience adapts to the device size.

Price level: low


Adds interactive guided tours on top of web applications. There are also commercial versions available.

Price level: free (open source)


JavaScript library for guiding users through a web application.

Price level: free (open source)

Embedded help system

jQuery plug-in that adds animated “Show me” help to web pages.

Price level: free (open source)


JavaScript library for taking a user step by step through a web application (guided tour), and for adding embedded help to a web application.

Price level: diverse


Enables you to set up interactive, visual guides to elements on web pages.

Price level: free (open source)


Adds a step-by-step guide to a website.

Price level: low


Enables you to set up a tour wizard for a website.

Price level: free (open source)


JavaScript engine to drive the user's focus across a page with the help of overlays.

Price level: free (open source)

Solutions for creating augmented reality applications

In this field, some tools with a focus on technical communication are:

Intelligent search functions for online documentation


Various products for elastic and faceted search.

Price level: diverse


Advanced hosted search engine.

Price level: diverse


Search engine with auto complete and search suggestions, instant search, filters, facets, sorting, search in PDF, DOC and PPT files, and more.

Price level: high


Intelligent search that uses machine learning.

Price level: high

Zoom Search Engine

Can be used to add full text search to browser-based online help files and websites. Also works for locally installed help.

Price level: low

Swiftype Site Search

Can add powerful search and search analytics to Webhelp.

Price level: high


Relevant, typo-tolerant search that works out-of-the-box but is also customizable.

Price level: free (open source)

Apache Solr

Scalable enterprise search platform with advanced full-text search capabilities.

Price level: free (open source)


Search engine software.

Price level: free (open source)

Commenting systems for online documentation

Commenting systems can be used to add social features to online help systems, such as user comments and ratings. You can use the commenting systems with all help authoring tools that let you modify the topics' HTML templates or embed HTML code snippets. So you don’t necessarily have to use a help authoring tool with an already built-in commenting feature.


Advanced PHP-based commenting system with many features and a comprehensive administration backend.

Price level: free (open source)


PHP comment system that allows also anonymous comments. Comments can be stored in either flat-file formats like XML or JSON, or in an SQL database.

Price level: free (open source)


JavaScript library to add annotation functionality to text on a web page. Other than with typical commenting systems, the comments relate to specific text sections, not to an entire topic (an entire page). Annotations can be tagged and filtered.

Price level: free (open source)


Can be used as a simple commenting system, but also in many additional ways (knowledge base, forum, chat). Can be self-hosted (free) or hosted by the provider.

Price level: diverse

Some commercially hosted services

Web analytics for online documentation

If you create webhelp, you can monitor its use like you can monitor access to any website. So you don’t necessarily have to use a help authoring tool with built-in monitoring and statistics features.

Google Analytics

Price level: free (web application)


Price level: free (open source)

Open Web Analytics (OWA)

Price level: free (open source)


Plugin for Google Analytics and also for Piwik that analyzes how far down users scroll on a page.

Price level: free (open source)


Provides in-depth analysis that standard web analytic tools don’t provide, such as individual session recordings.

Price level: diverse


Cookie-free, privacy-friendly web analytics. Based in Germany.

Price level: diverse

Optimal Workshop

Suite of tools to help analyze and improve information architecture and navigation.

Price level: high

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This page was last updated 06/2023
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