Priority setting & preferred matching - On Premises: 6.4

Object Variants

When using multiple criteria with your objects, there may be times when more than one object meets the criteria selected in the book filter. When resolving conflicts, Author uses the priority setting to decide which object is used.

When you define your requirements aim to use fewer criteria in your library

When you are defining your variant criteria, the best practice is to create a smaller number of variant criteria rather than a larger number.

When you create and assign "broader" criteria to an object, and limit the number of criteria selected in the filter you will get a better result when the filter requirements and objects are matched. This is because you are creating fewer opportunities for conflict that result in a poor level of matching.

By using a larger number of criteria in your library, and assigning too many criteria to each object you increase the chance of conflict and poor matching.

Important: When creating variant criteria, assign a unique setting against each variant for the priority. "0" is the highest setting while "99" is the lowest setting. The priority rating provides Author with your preference for resolving any conflicts.

Filtering is based on finding a match between the criteria assigned to an object and the criteria selected in the filter.

  • If the filter criteria finds a single variant with a 100% match then the system uses that variant object. The object displays in the book with the variant icon. The 100% match can be based on objects using single or multiple criteria. Scenario 1 uses a topic with a single criteria value, while Scenario 2 uses a topic with multiple criteria values.
  • If the filter criteria find more than one object with a close match, Author resolves the conflict by applying the priority setting. The object displays in the book with the preferred match icon, which is a pale version of the variant icon. The preferred match icon indicates that the best option was selected, but it may not match all of the selected filter criteria. Scenario 3 shows an example of a conflict caused when topics are found that match different filter criteria.
  • If no variants are found with a 100% match, the primary object is used.

Let's look at some examples.

Scenario 1:

In our first scenario, the Installing the Software topic has two variants which use the single variant criteria value Platform:

Variant example 1

When setting the filter to use the Platform = Windows criteria, a 100% match is found, and that variant is used.

Scenario 2:

In our second scenario, the Installing the Software topic has two variants. Two variant criteria, Platform and Product are applied to each topic:

Variant example 2

Because we've defined multiple criteria Platform = Windows and Product = X1000, both of these must match before Author can substitute the primary topic with the variant.

If the filter does not have all criteria selected, Author won't make a 100% match and won't swap the topic into the book.

Scenario 3:

However in our next scenario, the Installing the Software topic has multiple variants. Each topic has a single variant criteria value assigned:

Variant example 3

In this scenario both criteria are selected in the filter and two variants are found, each matching different criteria. This results in a conflict as either topic could be used in the book. The conflict is resolved by choosing criteria with the highest priority setting. In this case the Product variant criteria option is selected.