Contents

Why hire JTS?
"Documentation system"?
Who does the work?
Where?
Work disruption?
Software used?
Will I need to buy anything else?
What resources will I need to provide?
What resources will you provide?
Confidentiality?
Costs?
Qualifications?
Examples of work?
"VML" vs. "PDF"?
First step?

Frequently Asked Questions

Why hire an outside firm to do documentation ... our associates can just do it in their spare time?
In most organizations these days "spare time" is just about impossible to find!  Also, documentation is not usually the technician's favorite task so it typically gets a very low priority.  The most difficult part of documenting an infrastructure is just getting started on the project!  The documentation system that we develop for you will get you started and make it easy to keep your documentation up-to-date.

What is a "documentation system"?
It is our term for an established set of procedures and tools used to create, publish and maintain documents customized to your needs and preferences.  We will work with you to reach agreement on what documents would be useful to you, and how the information can best be organized and presented within your facility.

Who does the work?
Jones Technical Services will develop the agreed upon documents and create a complete documentation system with instructions on how to maintain it in the future.  We will ask you to review work-in-progress and provide information as needed. You will have final approval on all deliverables.

Where will the work be done?
Typically, most of the work is done at the facility being documented.  If you prefer, we can do some of the work at our office after collecting information, taking measurements, taking photographs, etc. at your location.

Will the documentation project be disruptive to our day-to-day activities?
Although we will need to meet periodically with your designated staff in order to obtain information necessary to develop the documentation, we will make every effort to minimize any impact upon their time.  We can also make arrangements to conduct potentially disruptive activities such as circuit testing during off hours.

What software do you use?
To develop and publish the documentation we use Microsoft Visio, FrontPage, PhotoDraw, Excel, Word, Access, PowerPoint, Internet Explorer and Adobe Acrobat.  Programming languages used to develop the documentation system include Visual Basic, HTML and JavaScript.  We also use Microsoft Project and Outlook for project management and reporting.

Will I need to purchase anything else in order to use and maintain the documentation system?
It is likely that you already have the necessary computer hardware.  Software needed to access the documentation is free, i.e. Microsoft Internet Explorer and/or the Adobe Acrobat Reader.  You may need to purchase one or more software products to maintain the system, such as Microsoft Office 2000, Visio, and Adobe Acrobat (full product) if you aren't licensed for them already.  One license per product will be needed for each computer in your organization that will be used to maintain the documentation.  Though we are not a reseller, Jones Technical Services can help you find the best price on these products.

What resources will I need to provide?
We will need the use of a desk or worktable in your facility, an Ethernet connection to your Local Area Network, and access to a shared network printer.  We will need appropriate access to the network, building, data center, wiring closets, electrical room and any other rooms that will be included in the documentation.

What resources will you provide?
We will provide our own computers, office supplies, and testing tools.

What about confidentiality?
We will safeguard any confidential information or documents entrusted to us.  We will not divulge any confidential information or take advantage of proprietary information obtained from the client.  Jones Technical Services is a member of the Independent Computer Consultants Association and strictly adheres to the ICCA Code of Ethics.

What is this going to cost?
We believe that you will find the costs to be quite reasonable.  Our hourly rates are based on the GSA schedule for Documentation Specialists and those rates are negotiable depending upon the size and scope of the project.  If you prefer, we can propose a fixed cost for the entire project.

What are your qualifications?
Jones Technical Services has over 30 years of experience in Information Technology.  Our experience includes multiple computing platforms, telephone systems, data center operations, network management, systems programming and software development.

Can we see examples of the work you have done for other organizations?
The Examples on this web site accurately reflect our capabilities.  Due to the confidential nature of the material, we cannot show actual work samples without the consent of our clients.

On your Examples page you provide links to a "VML version" and a "PDF version".  Why?
Though the content is identical, each version demonstrates a different alternative for creating scaleable diagrams for online presentation.

What are VML and PDF?
Vector Markup Language (VML) is an application of Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.0 which defines a format for the encoding of vector information together with additional markup to describe how that information may be displayed and edited.  A Typical or Full install of Microsoft Internet Explorer version 5 or above is required to view VML documents.

Portable Document Format (PDF) is a distribution format developed by Adobe Corporation to allow electronic information to be transferred between various types of computers.  The software which allows this transfer is called Acrobat.  The Adobe Acrobat Reader version 3 or above ActiveX component (for Internet Explorer) or Plug-In (for Netscape and other browsers) is required to view PDF (Portable Document Format) documents within your browser window.

What are the pros and cons of creating the online documentation using VML vs. PDF?
VML documents are smaller, easier to maintain, don't require installation of the Adobe Acrobat Reader, and the user interface is simple.  PDF documents don't require the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser, provide a better zoom capability, more precise printing control, and additional tools that are helpful when working with diagrams.  We have implemented systems that use a combination of both technologies.

What is the first step?
We would like to arrange a meeting to discuss your documentation needs and answer any other questions that you might have.  Based on our initial meeting we will develop a written proposal including the objectives, scope, approach, timing and fees for your project.

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