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How Updatable Help Works

This topic explains how Updatable Help processes the HelpInfo XML file and CAB files for each module, and installs updated help for users.

The Update-Help Process

The following list describes the actions of the Update-Help cmdlet when a user runs a command to update the help files for a module in a particular UI culture.

  1. Update-Help gets the remote HelpInfo XML file from the location specified by the value of the HelpInfoURI key in the module manifest and validates the file against the schema. (To view the schema, see HelpInfo XML Schema.) Then Update-Help looks for a local HelpInfo XML file for the module in the module directory on the user's computer.

  2. Update-Help compares the version number of the help files for the specified UI culture in the remote and local HelpInfo XML files for the module. If the version number on the remote file is greater than version number on the local file, or if the there is no local HelpInfo XML file for the module, Update-Help prepares to download new help files.

  3. Update-Help selects the CAB file for the module from the location specified by the HelpContentUri element in the remote HelpInfo XML file. It uses the module name, module GUID, and UI culture to identify the CAB file.

  4. Update-Help downloads the CAB file, unpacks it, validates the help content files, and saves the help content files in the language-specific subdirectory of the module directory on the user's computer.

  5. Update-Help creates a local HelpInfo XML file by copying the remote HelpInfo XML file. It edits the local HelpInfo XML file so that it includes elements only for the CAB file that it installed. Then it saves the local HelpInfo XML file in the module directory and concludes the update.

The Save-Help Process

The following list describes the actions of the Save-Help and Update-Help cmdlets when a user runs commands to update the help files in a file share, and then use those files to update the help files on the user's computer.

The Save-Help cmdlet performs the following actions in response to a command to save the help files for a module in a file share that is specified by the DestinationPath parameter.

  1. Save-Help gets the remote HelpInfo XML file from the location specified by the value of the HelpInfoURI key in the module manifest and validates the file against the schema. (To view the schema, see HelpInfo XML Schema.) Then Save-Help looks for a local HelpInfo XML file in the directory that is specified by the DestinationPath parameter in the Save-Help command.

  2. Save-Help compares the version number of the help files for the specified UI culture in the remote and local HelpInfo XML files for the module. If the version number on the remote file is greater than version number on the local file, or if the there is no local HelpInfo XML file for the module in the DestinationPath directory, Save-Help prepares to download new help files.

  3. Save-Help selects the CAB file for the module from the location specified by the HelpContentUri element in the remote HelpInfo XML file. It uses the module name, module GUID, and UI culture to identify the CAB file.

  4. Save-Help downloads the CAB file and saves it in the DestinationPath directory. (It does not create any language-specific subdirectories.)

  5. Save-Help creates a local HelpInfo XML file by copying the remote HelpInfo XML file. It edits the local HelpInfo XML file so that it includes elements only for the CAB file that it saved. Then it saves the local HelpInfo XML file in the DestinationPath directory and concludes the update.

The Update-Help cmdlet performs the following actions in response to a command to update the help files on a user's computer from the files in a file share that is specified by the SourcePath parameter.

  1. Update-Help gets the remote HelpInfo XML file from the SourcePath directory. Then it looks for a local HelpInfo XML file in the module directory on the user's computer.

  2. Update-Help compares the version number of the help files for the specified UI culture in the remote and local HelpInfo XML files for the module. If the version number on the remote file is greater than version number on the local file, or if the there is no local HelpInfo XML file, Update-Help prepares to install new help files.

  3. Update-Help selects the CAB file for the module from SourcePath directory. It uses the module name, module GUID, and UI culture to identify the CAB file.

  4. Update-Help unpacks the CAB file, validates the help content files, and saves the help content files in the language-specific subdirectory of the module directory on the user's computer.

  5. Update-Help creates a local HelpInfo XML file by copying the remote HelpInfo XML file. It edits the local HelpInfo XML file so that it includes elements only for the CAB file that it installed. Then it saves the local HelpInfo XML file in the module directory and concludes the update.



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