Presentation Abstracts

Keynote—The Rainmaker, The Cloud, and The Downspout: Keeping your content relevant in an information deluge

Keith Schengili-Roberts

Structured technical writing has become the most efficient way of producing content for users, but how sure are we that they are getting information where and when they need it? When information is pervasive, users can either walk *in* a cloud of scattered data, or happily *on* a cloud if they find what they want. Keith Schengili-Roberts will talk about the challenges of producing useful content for your users wherever they are, ensuring that your content doesn't get lost and spiral down the drain.

7 Habits of Highly Effective XML Implementations

Doug Gorman Simply XML

At the enterprise level, successful adoption of XML with standards like DITA is not about technology, it is about changing business processes using technology. We have helped organizations large and small bring XML out of the tech pubs area and across the organization. We’ll share the case studies that led to the 7 habits of a successful XML implementation.

By focusing on keeping it simple and producing a realistic ROI outside of Tech Pubs, this session focuses on 7 proven habits that lead to success. We break down what seems like an overwhelming and complicated implementation process into 7 areas where you must focus to move to the next level of information reuse and multi-channel publishing. By adopting this approach you improve your brand with customers, improve operations, and bring order to your content-related processes.

A DITA Developer and Product Designer Walk into a Bar....Expanding your DITA usage through collaboration and teamwork

Mike Maass Citrix Systems, Inc.
Patrick Quinlan Citrix Systems, Inc.

A product designer took on the challenge of writing, illustrating, and socializing a user interface writing guide. But wonders how to make it available to a global base of more than 7,000 Citrites?

Meanwhile, a curriculum specialist led a successful DITA implementation for training materials. But wonders how to expand the awareness and adoption of DITA within his own organization?

This casual and friendly presentation chronicles how these two crossed paths, highlighting the collaborative nature of the writing guide’s inception, development, and publication, and offering tips and insights for expanding the reach of DITA within your own organization.

We take a brief look at the early development of the guide's content and then share how the team used DITA to transform a Word file into an interactive online resource. We focus on process, tools, and technologies, staying clear of the Open Toolkit rabbit hole. We also share the feedback we've received on the guide and provide a sneak peek of what's to come (spoiler alert: it’s mobile). This presentation is recommended for anyone getting started with or expanding their DITA strategy.

Aftermarket Document Management: Making interactive technical documents available on the web

Alan Sage Digabit

As an OEM, you deliver your product to market and the moment it leaves your dock, the associated documentation is often already out of date and not available in a web based format for your customers to access.

Your engineering group provides schematics, bills of materials, and hopefully 3D content, but over time the configuration of the asset changes. This can be troublesome in particular for those responsible for technical publications and aftermarket parts sales. Even if the information on your product is current in your PLM or ERP systems, your customers don't likely have access to this information.

We will discuss how you can build aftermarket documentation that is secured, audited, web based, searchable and displayed as built or maintained in the field.

An In-Progress Use Case: Customizing & deploying DITA to produce innovative educational products

Edwina Lui Kaplan Publishing

Kaplan Publishing, the trade publishing group within Kaplan Test Prep, has traditionally produced a range of printed study materials to assist students in preparing for a broad spectrum of standardized tests. Like many companies, Kaplan’s customer base is technologically diverse and highly adaptive, exhibiting increasing demand for innovative digital test prep products that provide a more personalized study experience, adhere to a high standard for quality, and accurately reflect evolving educational standards tested by the test makers. To support the goal of providing our students with excellent study materials that fit their changing needs, Kaplan Publishing began to move towards an XML-based content and product development workflow, and decided in 2010 to adopt DITA as an XML standard--a decision based, in part, on the inclusion of the Learning & Training Specialization in DITA 1.2. This presentation will cover:

  • primary business drivers for Kaplan’s adoption of DITA
  • discoveries from our initial round of specialization, including some trade publishing- and test prep-specific requirements not met in DITA 1.2
  • next steps in Kaplan’s ongoing adoption of DITA, including work from our next major round of specializations (primarily in the Learning & Training area, to be deployed at Kaplan Q1 2012)

Apple iPad Publishing Best Practices

Jim Nasr Armedia

This session highlights best practices for design and publication of content-rich native iPad applications, including design considerations required for the structure of content within a content management system. Best practices highlight real-life lessons learned from a number of completed content-rich iPad applications (including SilverPop Pop-In).

Applying RelaxNG to DITA

George Bina Syncro Soft/oXygen XML Editor

Relax NG is the XML schema language of choice for many document based XML vocabularies. There are many advantages of Relax NG over DTDs and XML Schemas. While XML frameworks like DocBook and TEI moved to Relax NG a number of years ago as their main schema language, DITA is still using mainly DTDs.

In this presentation Bina shows the advantages of using Relax NG for DITA and explores the current problems that prevented an earlier adoption of Relax NG for DITA and how they can be solved.

The DITA-NG open source project provides a Relax NG implementation of DITA standard schemas plus the support to implement a full processing workflow using DITA-OT unmodified to provide transformations to different output formats.

A Publisher's View of DITA

Richard Hamilton XML Press

XML Press has a streamlined XML production process that until recently was entirely DocBook-based. Nearly all of our publications (print and eBook) have been either authored in DocBook or converted to DocBook for production.

As part of a series on DITA, we are introducing DITA into our production processes. This talk describes the challenges of creating quality print and eBook publications using DITA and how we have addressed those challenges.

Automating FrameMaker to DITA Conversions at IBM for the Sterling Commerce Brand

Karen Buchanan IBM Corporation
Les Burnham Stilo Corporation

IBM Sterling Commerce products, a division of IBM's Industry Solutions Software Group, helps companies optimize and extend their dynamic business networks with their customers, partners and suppliers so they can increase revenues, reduce costs and protect their brand.

The IBM business unit's Information Development Team, led by Karen Buchanan, writes, develops, and publishes product content for the Sterling Commerce product families that include B2B commerce integration tools, selling and fulfilment enterprise software, managed file transfer products, and ‘As A Service’ (aaS) applications in a variety of outputs.

New to IBM via an acquisition, the Information Development Team recently embarked on a project to convert their legacy unstructured FrameMaker files to IBM DITA, undertaking the conversion of approximately 150,000 pages of content. Prior to the IBM acquisition, this Information Development team was built through a 'series of acquisitions' and was challenged with standardizing documentation templates and deliverables for reuse and bundling of separate products.

This case study presentation outlines some of the challenges faced during the conversion to DITA, reviews the lessons learned, and demonstrates how the successful deployment of automated tools and processes enabled them to take control of content quality and deliver content more rapidly, while reducing conversion costs.

Automation and testing DITA OT Content and Customizations

Steve Anderson

When publishing DITA content, customization is a given. The format you need for your HTML/PDF/epub, etc., is special, and the default output doesn't work for you.

But customization is tricky. What happens when you override a template? Are you sure you know all the side-effects? For anything but the simplest customizations, we need help to be sure the latest tweak doesn't cause a nasty side-effect somewhere else. Anderson explains how automated testing is used in programming, and how he uses automated testing in DITA processes.

The same is also true of content. What happens when you remove some content from a topic that is used in multiple deliverables? Do you know the side-effects?

How about upgrading from one version of DITA to another? How do you verify that your process will still work?

Automated testing can help with all of these issues. Anderson explains how automated testing is used in programming, and how he uses automated testing in DITA processes.

Avoiding DITA Spaghetti

Jang Graat JANG Communication

With DITA, creating documentation is becoming a little like programming: instead of writing new content, you reuse existing content, and instead of hard-coding the links to other topics, you use a relationship table. But with all the powerful linking mechanisms of DITA, you may run into problems that many novice software engineers have experienced. Some of the early software code is called spaghetti, and this did not refer to its tasty character. Using a CMS often solves these problems at the topic and maps level, but does not address the sub-topic level reuse instances in your content. This presentation illustrates unforeseen problems when creating "DITA spaghetti" and shows some generic methods that may help avoid cooking up chaos. These methods are valid with or without using a CMS.

Beauty and the Beast: Two radically different paths to DITA

Joe Gollner Gnostyx Research

One way for DITA to grow as a standard and as a community is for implementers to find new markets and new applications where DITA can be successfully deployed. The goal in finding new ways to use DITA is not really about advancing DITA as much as it is about helping new users to leverage the many best practices that make up DITA.

This presentation addresses what comes up when you apply DITA to content problems that are very different than those for which it originally emerged as a workable solution. In these cases, the application of DITA poses a number of challenges along with the numerous benefits that the DITA community is already familiar with.

For one, implementers are immediately confronted with specializing DITA quite radically only to find that their application prototyping efforts become completely entangled with the specialization framework which can make iterative development and testing more challenging than it might otherwise be. Now whereas some implementers might take this situation as justification enough to abandon DITA altogether, others have found that there is a different answer to this problem. And it is an answer that in fact sidesteps these challenges while still maintaining a close alignment of the project with DITA.

It is true that the answer that has emerged in these edge-case projects may strike some as a little odd, and this leads us to the title of this talk: Beauty and the Beast. One approach is clearly attractive while the other is a distinctly unusual and even a little frightening. However, at the end of the day, the two paths converge and a happy marriage ensues.

Building Content that is Searchable for Authors and Readers

Jim Tivy Bluestream Database Software

Tivy presents content search use cases of authors and readers—two diverse roles in the content lifecycle and some of the technologies needed in the search infrastructure to support these different use cases.

DITA content components in a CCMS must be written and organized such that they can later be found again by interested parties.

Authors search within the CCMS for content, sometimes authored by other people. Readers have another set of use cases where they search for content within a Web Portal. The Web Portal content is published from the CCMS so authors in the CCMS can affect the search capability of the portal. As well, there are some cases where Authors and Readers may use the same feature to find content.

Tivy discusses the use cases in terms of features that DITA possesses, such as XML and SKOL, that enable search as well as additional features in CCMS and Web Portal software to enable search.

Challenges and Opportunities of Collaboration in DITA

Carroll Rotkel FICO
Kathryn Mahoney FICO

Moving to DITA requires an organizational shift from individual contributors to a collaborative working environment. We discuss how our TechPubs department tackled this challenge, the steps we took, the problems we solved, and the standards we needed. The questions we address include what roles did we create, and how did we fill them? How did Information Architecture principles play a part in our collaboration?

We are now working to extend collaboration beyond the department to involve Developers, Professional Services, Support, Training, and ultimately customers.

Choosing a CCMS at Biosense Webster

Lisa Sageev Biosense Webster (Israel), Ltd.
Ole Rom Andersen DITA Exchange

In setting out to choose a new CCMS to enable more efficient content authoring, management, and publishing processes for medical device manufacturer Biosense Webster, Lisa Sageev and her team members had evolved grand visions of how they could also create value for other groups, including marketing, engineering, field personne,l and even customers. These colleagues and constituents, if provided with a convenient means of doing so, could contribute insightful feedback and participate in discussions that would serve to improve the scope and quality of Biosense Webster’s content.

This session describes a CCMS selection process that benefited from clearly defined use cases developed from the documentation team’s experience using a CMS that did not meet their needs, as well as Lisa’s former experience of leading a small documentation team using only the DITA Open Toolkit and a shared file system. Practical advice is shared about identifying and satisfying critical success factors including advanced toolset capabilities, translation workflows, user adoption, future flexibility, and reliable system maintenance and governance policy.

The session closes with a summary of the CCMS selection team’s decision to implement their structured content authoring, translation, management, and publishing processes by augmenting Microsoft SharePoint, Biosense Webster’s existing platform for team collaboration, content sharing, and Web applications, with DITA Exchange software.

Climbing Out of the Weeds: Moving from generic to specialized topics

Mysti Berry developed an Information Model several years after converting from FrameMaker to DITA. The writing team has struggled to understand how specialized topics work, and how to implement them with existing generic topics that often lacked structure. Ad hoc content references inhibited our ability to update existing topics.

We employed a content strategist to redeploy the Information Model. Technical communications groups typically perform content strategy without the help of a specialist, but the demands of rapid growth, Agile development, and weekly deployments required a dedicated resource to:

  • Identify content issues disguised as tools or organizational problems
  • Facilitate communication between highly-skeptical writers and the overburdened tools team
  • Implement solutions that take full advantage of DITA's strengths

Content Strategy—Getting it Right

Mathew Varghese Citrix Systems, Inc.

Content is often seen as a means of creating awareness about products and solutions. Organizations invest, often heavily, in content development to ensure that their products and services are well understood by their target audience. However, as many organizations have realized, these investments never seem to yield significant returns. Manuals, training classes, websites, and even blogs and videos don't seem to be delivering the returns. Support calls are on the rise, and sometimes small and seemingly insignificant competitors seem to snag important deals. Is it something that content development organizations are doing wrong, or is it something that they are not doing right.

In this session, I cover some interesting insights into content development and what ails the content development world. I'll ask some uncomfortable questions and cover some equally uncomfortable solutions.

Controlled Language in the Real World? Start with a standard and create your own

Bob Sima Tedopres International
Sherri Sotnick Elekta

A joint presentation from STE (Simplified Technical English) software provider Tedopres and healthcare clinical solutions company Elekta. Elekta will outline how they started with (STE) as a standard for language control and eventually created their own version of Simplified English which they called (EASE) Elekta Approved Simplified English. Sima and Slotnick highlight benefits they have received, lessons learned, and ongoing maintenance of EASE. Tedopres will provide background on the STE Spec and provide some useful information regarding the industry trends and cost saving aspects of implementing controlled language.

CSS as Part of an Automated Publishing Solution

Alex Critchfield Antenna House

When CSS is mentioned the first thing that usually comes to mind is the World Wide Web. CSS was originally conceived as a solution for web developers who were unable to control how their content was displayed on the viewer’s browser. By inheriting or ‘cascading’ multiple stylesheets CSS added a reusability component to stylesheet writing allowing designers more convenient and more granular control of styling across multiple display formats. With the acceptance of the paged media standard in CSS2, and the refinement of the standard in CSS3, the tools became available to produce high quality paginated material using the same familiar syntax used for web pages.

Delivering Technical Documentation to the Tablet using PDF

Michael Miller Antenna House

The world of documentation is constantly on the move: the breakthrough of mobile documentation (Tablet, PC) and the increasing use of multimedia technologies (augmented reality, 3D...) are among the latest trends. Miller discusses and demonstrates how one company, ATEXIS, is addressing this with PDF and APPs.

Developing, Deploying, and Repurposing Virtual Content

Jake Gaylord Almon Inc.

Ever changing technology continues to provide new and exciting ways to create and communicate information. 3D virtual content is part of that emerging technology. Join us as we explore ways to decrease development costs and increase content reuse through the proper analysis, design, development and deployment of virtual content. View examples of solutions already being utilized in business today. Learn about ways to utilize virtual content within SCORM compliant e-learning programs. See how a fully rendered 3D model offers infinite opportunities for reuse and improved learning. Understand how the initial design, tools, and structure used during virtual content development can reduce the overall costs associated with product support in a global market.

DITA Anchors and Development Across Agile Teams

Jennifer Skiendzielewski Ricoh

In an Agile Scrum software development environment, development of a single product can be spread across multiple scrum teams. The challenge for the information developers on the teams is to ensure consistency and cohesion, even if they work in isolation.

Our product is developed by six scrum teams, some working on the product itself and others working on optional features and customized solutions. The information development team needed a way to develop and integrate optional help for features and custom solutions without disturbing the base product development team. We found that the DITA anchor/anchorref structure provides the appropriate functionality while allowing us to work almost entirely independently.

This presentation will provide a description of the anchor/anchorref function, with examples of both DITA coding and the output produced.

DITA and S1000D: Different verses to the same song?

Don Bridges JANA, Inc.

Both DITA and S1000D were developed to facilitate content reuse in the technical content environment. Where DITA was focused on a broad variety of applications, S1000D was developed with a military and aviation focus. Can S1000D be reengineered into DITA by a specialization? In this session you learn about the similarities and differences of these two XML standards, their relative strengths (and weaknesses), and the efforts that have been made to bridge the gap between the two. Learn how they can be used in harmony to provide the right solution for the right situation.

DITA Authoring and Team Motivation: Let’s build a totem!

Marie-Louise Flacke CI3M
Kevin Lestang

When preparing your team for the DITA challenge, you may be faced with sceptical colleagues. To get them involved, build and play with DITA Totems!

Building a TOPIC-Totem means first defining the logs (concept, task, reference) then carving each log (the authoring phase) and finally assembling them to finalize the Topic totem.

To get your team’s buy-in, involve them in decorating the TOPIC-Totem (adding meta-tags and conrefs) and arranging and managing Totem fields (map building). Further in the gamification process, invite them to recycle old Totems (handle legacy documentation) and create a pilot-Totem field (develop a pilot project).

Since Totems help visually clarify the relationships between the DITA model and the team’s authoring job, the project acceptance is definitely optimized.

DITA Macroscopes—Using Information Visualization to Get a Better Understanding of Your Content

Frank Shipley Componize Software

Modern information architectures are becoming more complex and content volumes are ever increasing. With many thousands of topics to manage in many different contexts, you may not know what content you have or where it is being used, not to mention in what version, what format or what language. If you don’t get a grip on this increasingly complex system, your content may get out of hand, costing you time and money in duplicated, out of date, or inconsistent content.

To help us understand increasingly complex systems, techniques such as information visualization have emerged where complex data is presented in a visual format so that the mind can absorb the information more easily, helping us to synthesize the data, view relationships and detect patterns and trends. A visualization tool is often called a “macroscope”. As opposed to a microscope, that makes it possible for the human eye to “zoom in” and see elements in great detail, a macroscope makes it possible to “zoom out” and get a vision of the whole, making complex systems more understandable.

During the presentation, Shipley explores information visualization to see how it can help us understand our own complex DITA documentation systems. With a better understanding of our content, we will be able to improve efficiency, make better decisions, and improve the overall quality and consistency of our content.

DITA Specialization and the Service Information Lifecycle

Zarella Rendon PTC/Arbortext
Jeff Rosser

Are you already taking advantage of XML authoring and the powers of content reuse? Are you ready to make the switch to standards-based authoring, like DITA? Learn some “DOs” and “DON’Ts” from someone who has learned firsthand through an implementation lifecycle at Caterpillar. Hear best practice approaches for dealing with mixed specializations, integrating different topic types from disparate sources within one document, and some of the challenges faced during the implementation cycle.

DITA Topics within a Dynamic Presentation Platform

Francine Welker Oracle Corporation
Peggy Zimmerman Oracle Corporation

Oracle Fusion Applications combine world-class user experience with cutting-edge user assistance in Oracle Fusion Applications Help. User assistance consists of help topics presented in the Help portal and embedded help in the user interface. Welker and Zimmerman demonstrate help content and illustrate how content is supported by detailed metadata and behind-the-scenes processing to make Oracle Fusion Applications Help.

Information Developers create all the content using a complex set of tools and methodologies. Oracle uses specialized DITA and supports a minimalist approach to content creation. The content is created and managed at the topic level, and organized for presentation in the help system based on specialized metadata.

Welker and Zimmerman demonstrate help content and illustrate how content is supported by detailed metadata and behind-the-scenes processing to make Oracle Fusion Applications Help.

DITA with Tiers

Don Day Learning by Wrote

Most organizations would like to extend their DITA implementation beyond the technical publications department and allow Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to contribute content directly. Large groups of SMEs can learn how to use full-featured XML Editors, but many organizations express a desire for a lighter wrote approach. This has led to a new crop of Basic DITA tools designed to make DITA authoring ‘so simple that anyone could do it.’ While the user interfaces and features of these tools vary, the one thing they all have in common is a simplified model that reduces tags for different topic types to the minimum required for SME authoring.

Will this approach work for your organization? The concept is new enough that it has not been unusual to see some unexpected roadblocks and determination of best practices through trial and error. This session organizes these lessons learned into a new Tiered Model for Enterprise DITA that organizations can use to perform a gap analysis, identify potential impacts, and consider the relevant tradeoffs of choices in this tiered approach. The goal is develop a roadmap for integrating SMEs and their knowledge into the overall technical publishing strategy of your company.

Driving Standards and Governance in Content Management

Robin Schwartz Intel Corporation

Presentation and discussion on the standards, governance, and business rules needed to maintain a growing content management system. The result is a better understanding of the importance of good governance, which improves consistency and overall system usability. Schwartz welcomes an interactive discussion about the complexity of applying and sustaining governance within a multinational organization.

Dynamic Publishing meets Social Engagement

Joe Gelb Suite Solutions

Dynamic publishing makes your content available anywhere, anytime, on any device, in the right format and in any language quickly and effectively. That's a great start, but your customers expect more and your corporate sponsors do, too.

To truly leverage your investment in structured content and DITA as a foundation, you need to facilitate quick and easy access to relevant information, enable and encourage audience participation, and build a customer-centered community of content around your products. You need a mobile-friendly social knowledgebase framework that is available whenever, wherever, and however your customers want.

During this presentation, you learn how to use DITA to build and maintain a subjectscheme model for metadata and classification, enabling quick, goal-oriented, and contextually useful access to content in your social knowledgebase: documentation, how-to articles, safety information, videos, data sheets, support, and marketing material.

You will also see examples of how a mobile-friendly social knowledge platform with native support for DITA enables community collaboration, allows customers to search, filter and manage relevant information quickly, and dynamically publish chosen content to PDF and ePub formats on-demand.

Embedded User Assistance with DITA

Daniel Dionne IBM Corporation

The lines between the interface and user assistance for it have become blurred in a world of progressive disclosure and dynamic user interfaces. DITA is an excellent XML implementation for documenting user interfaces—but why not use it to create the user interface or at least the text for the interface, instead of relying on properties files or hard-coding interface text directly into code? An IBM team tackled the challenge of creating a DITA specialization for precisely this purpose. The resulting Embedded User Assistance (eUA) specialization enables writers to code user interface content directly in DITA for consumption by any of a variety of interface engines. The specialization includes simple and complex controls (even tables!). Content defined within the specialization can be text, graphics, or a mixture. Each control can include default content as well as conditional content triggered by DITA's familiar conditional attributes. Progressive disclosure within the interface is enabled by dedicated help elements that, like the interface content, can be fully dynamic. Dan Dionne of IBM will present the concepts and designs of the specialization and discuss how it and similar extensions of DITA keep pushing the authoring experience deeper into the product creation process.

Enabling DITA to Support the Future of Content Delivery

Paul Wlodarczyk Jorsek, LLC (easyDITA)

DITA solved a fundamental publishing problem: multiple output formats from a single source, especially PDF and Help. DITA’s full potential lies in its ability to support web content delivery. DITA is perfectly suited for dynamically-presented, componentized, web-searchable, socially-enabled, personalized content.

What will DITA ‘publishing’ look like in several years? Join us as we share the emerging vision for DITA publishing and collaboration that we are hearing from real DITA users:

  • Cloud-based tools will enable authoring, collaboration, and reuse to reach beyond technical publications into marketing, support, suppliers, and ultimately customers.
  • Centralized DITA repositories will become searchable by internet and enterprise search engines.
  • On the web, book-style navigation will be replaced by world-class search applications that provide faceted search, suggest related content, connect users and experts, and integrate search results from multiple sources, all through high-quality metadata.
  • Presentation of DITA content in purpose-built knowledge portals will become the primary publishing channel.
  • Information developers will evolve into managers of content-centric communities, and will curate more content than they write.
  • On-demand, personalized deliverables will be easily assembled by non-technical authors to meet their unique needs.

This presentation includes real-world examples of next generation publishing concepts, and identifies key areas of change for information developers including technologies, work practices, core competencies, and content models.

Expanding Content Management into the Organization

Julianne Sammons Intel Corporation
Eric Davies Intel Corporation

Sammons and Davies discuss expanding the concepts of content management outside the silos in the organization. The result is improved collaboration and a broader definition of content management to include marketing, manufacturing, and design. We look forward to an interactive discussion on the potential roadblocks in integrating common definitions of content within a multinational organization.

From CMS to Web Help Automagically

Debra Bissantz LSI Corporation
Suzanne Mescan Vasont Systems

As we work with topic-based writing and DITA tools, the one thing that is certain is change. As the tools evolve and the standard grows, writing processes and tasks also evolve. Providing writers with up-to-date, step-by-step procedures is an ever changing job. The LSI Technical Communications Department is using a process originally developed for online help to provide LSI writers with the latest writing guidelines. LSI is using DITA, the Vasont CMS, and WebWorks ePublisher to develop, maintain, publish, and deploy writing guidelines on a regular basis. Learn how these tools interact to automate the extract, build, and deployment process to provide LSI writers with the latest information and how this automated process has improved LSI’s productivity and profitability.

From competition to convergence: Mapping non-DITA models into DITA using Specialization

Gunthilde Sohn *instinctools
Alexej Spas *instinctools

This presentation highlights one major hindrance in DITA adoption and presents the solution to overcome it. Almost every information consultant has faced a scenario when a customer wants to use a certain DTD or XML schema that is not DITA but wants to get benefits of modern DITA tools. The reasons for the customer wishing so could be that either he believes that this DTD fits his documentation environment better or he has more experience working with it or he finds standard DITA too complex to work with. Sohn and Spas show how DITA Specialization can be used for migrating different XML models into the DITA environment. This will result in a win-win situation and the customer will benefit from the modern DITA tools while keeping the advantages of the models he wants to work with.

We present the methodology that can be used to achieve this and show some examples of migrated models.

Get Testy With Your DITA

Mark Lewis Quark Inc.

“What do you mean I have to test? Testing is only for software!”

Not anymore. If your content is in XML, then there are lots of things you could and should test. Lewis discusses the Why, What, When, and How of testing your DITA code. Are you sure the authors applied the correct metadata? Are you sure you chose the correct filters when publishing? Should you test at the map-level or the component-level, or both? In which processes should you test? What if you use an Agile process? What is the cost of testing? Your DITA solution may or may not include testing features, so we'll discuss some economical and alternative options for testing. By the end of the session, you'll be thinking of ways to develop a testing strategy for your own content to help ensure the quality of your publications.

Getting a Handle on Release Management with DITA

Fred Lass Astoria Software

Release Management is a costly endeavor that cannot be ignored. Each DITA deliverable has hundreds if not thousands of links. Traditional branch/merge methods add to the complexity of managing multiple releases. Document and link management tasks easily overwhelm any user or system, reducing productivity and increasing the costs for maintenance of multiple releases.

Release Labels solve and simplify the problem of managing releases with DITA. Release labeling allows authors to update previous releases, merge those updates into later releases, and still maintain each branch independently—all within one set of documents.

Release Labels are used during any downstream process to reduce errors and maintain simplicity of management. Combining release labeling with conditional processing or profiling provides the basis for faster time to market, reduction of translation costs, and meeting regulatory requirements for archiving and audit trail.

Global DITA and Harmonization at AGCO

Charles Dowdell AGCO Corporation
Vera Williams AGCO Corporation

AGCO Corporation has 15 different authoring locations in 10 countries authoring in 7 languages. Since AGCO has grown by acquisition, it has a mix of culture, tools, processes, and data models. Charles describes how AGCO has sorted out these differences and how they are harmonizing DITA as a global standard while expanding their deliverables and promoting a positive user experience.

Hidden costs of a custom-built DITA system

Seth Park Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.

If you are interested in moving to DITA and not sure what you'll need to support your system, this presentation is for you.

Seth led information architecture for Freescale Semiconductor's XML documentation system. He created the DITA strategies for local shells and specialization, designed CMS/publishing features to support legacy publishing requirements, and set Freescale up to maximize the value of an XML-based system. Seth shares pitfalls and highlights of owning a custom-built system.

Seth was deeply involved in XSLT development for PDF output and the DITA-OT configuration for a hosted, centralized publishing strategy. Now an information development strategy manager, Seth shares pitfalls and highlights of owning a custom-built system and his experiences as a manager responsible for the successful use of the system.

Hitachi's Global DITA CMS Implementation Strategy

Anjana Rajan Hitachi Data Systems

Hitachi's Storage Solutions Technical Publications groups (comprising approx 200 writers in 3 global divisions in the US and Japan) produce end user documentation in collaboration with various Hitachi Ltd. engineering groups to support Hitachi Storage (File and Block), Server and other IT products. Our vision is to be a corporate asset and improve revenue by enabling global content on time.

Hitachi Technical Publications groups have collaboratively adopted a unified content strategy to standardize content development using a common information architecture (DITA). To enable the unified content strategy our teams are implementing common authoring and publishing solutions and have invested in a component content management system that supports DITA topic-based architecture.

Over 2 years, Hitachi Technical Publications groups conducted detailed research, evaluation and technology discovery projects on leading content management systems to select content development and management tools. Rajan shares global DITA CMS adoption experiences and also information on business drivers that led to choosing a DITA CCMS as a Content Management Solution. They discuss adoption challenges, their global content transition strategy, and the success factors that led to acceptance of their business case.

How to Benefit from DITA After Moving Away from Unstructured, Book-oriented Content

Keld Jellesen advice2u
Dorthe Sonne Siemens Wind Power

Jellesen and Sonne describe how they automated the emergency handbook manual for wind turbines to increase reuse. They explain how they have begun the next generation of content to support dynamic maintenance, including the issues of mobility and Reference Designation Systems.

HTML5 for Publications: Applying emerging Web technologies to DITA-based publications

Eliot Kimber Really Strategies, Inc.

HTML5 is a set of related technologies designed to work together to enable more sophisticated and interactive Web-based delivery of content. The latest Web browsers and eBook readers and devices support some or all of HTML5, presenting interesting opportunities for enhanced delivery of electronic publications. DITA-based content is ideally suited to capitalize on HTML5. Kimber explores the HTML5 technology and shows how DITA-based publications can use it to good advantage.

IBM Knowledge Center: A smarter content experience based on DITA

Michael Priestley IBM Corporation

IBM's Knowledge Center provides a one-stop shop for IBM product and solution information, and lets users customize their views and create private collections of content that can span multiple sources and be published to PDF or off-line reading. The first release of IBM Knowledge Center tackles the challenge of integrating content from more than 600 different information centers, including legacy content in a variety of different source formats, and creating a cohesive experience around common browse and classification hierarchies.

I hate DITA. It doesn't do what I need: Help users!

France Baril Architextus

Even with DITA, I struggled with the never ending conflict between the necessity to document a product as well as user tasks. Compromising between discrete tool operations and user objectives sometimes meant deciding between lower reuse or lower usability. I was somewhat dissatisfied with my ability to help as many users as possible in as many contexts as possible.

To be fair, I never hated DITA, but we did fight! For a while, I thought our relationship was becoming stagnant. I started neglecting the standard by using @conref in ways that I wasn't supposed to, in order to reorganize tasks outside of maps. In the end, I realized that, once again, great IBMers and the OASIS committee members had left the door wide open for a solution: attribute specialization. So I built on new grounds inspired by the @conref reuse mechanism. My relationship with DITA grew again!

Tasks are made of steps/sub-steps. Going further than 2 levels deep reduces usability. Sadly, flattening modular content creates its own issues, especially when you expect to use it to satisfy different audiences' perspectives. This presentation is about abstracting content structures away from specific deliverables.

Implementing DITA for Financial Training—A CSI Case Study

Joyce Du CSI Global Education
Aleksandra Savic CSI Global Education

CSI is a leader in providing credentials in the financial services industry, both in Canada and globally. Managing content is critical for an organization like CSI that helps professionals stay current in a highly regulated industry. CSI has partnered with Qficient to implement a DITA-based CMS solution to create and manage its online learning, textbooks, and classroom-based materials. This presentation demonstrates CSI’s integrated approach to adopting DITA in the real world of financial training.

Increasing Customer Access by Creating a Documentation Roadmap

Timothy Rosa TRA360

Our client’s customers praised the high quality of the technical documentation but they had challenges:

  • Finding what they needed was virtually impossible
  • Similar documents were located on multiple access platforms
  • Document revisions were not kept in synch
  • A pathway to getting started in using the product was unclear

We implemented a multi-step solution:

  • Inventoried all technical documentation
  • Identified redundant documentation and created a single access platform
  • Added document descriptions to all product installations
  • Discussed organizational strategies and organized documents using a product lifecycle approach
  • Assigned current documents to lifecycle categories
  • Used faceted search so customers can find the document they need
  • Created a documentation roadmap with the product lifecycle categories

Information Development: Moving from a Push to Pull System and the Metrics that Follow

Emily Mydlowski Hach Company

By moving from a push system (just-in case) to a pull system (just-in time), Hach was able to improve and streamline the documentation development process, double throughput and increase our on-time-delivery metric. Moving to a pull system not only enhanced the team’s performance but it also gave us the metrics necessary to show the value that documentation can have within our organization. It provided us with the means to effectively communicate the data necessary to support the purchase of a DITA CCMS solution. This presentation describes the symptoms of a push system and the steps Hach took to implement this information development strategy into product development.

Integrated DITA: Social, mobile, and context-aware content strategy

Noz Urbina Mekon Ltd.

More and more organisations are looking at how community content can complement (and select few cases, replace) their formal product content. Also, many are noticing how much overlap there is with social content platforms and their own intranets, internal business collaboration and knowledge sharing platforms.

For most, putting documentation fully in the hands of the users—even internal subject matter experts—isn't an option or is simply not desirable. Also, creating yet another silo of social content isn't helpful for users trying to find answers.

So, how can community and formally created content play nicely together? Urbina shares example implementations and strategies that address just that.

Journey to the Global Information Cloud

Patrica Burrows EMC Corporation
Eri Imai Hagberg EMC Corporation

Large enterprises often suffer from operational silos which can develop as a result of business offerings, divisional politics, or acquisitions, among other reasons. These silo’d operations result in redundant systems and efforts increasing costs and time-to-market, and decreasing efficiency and the quality of the information delivered to the customers. Information development teams and the information development and management process are often victims of such operational silos and struggle to move away from traditional methods for content development and management.

Making the Business Case for Content Management Real and Desirable

Bjorn von Euler Xylem Inc.
JoAnn Hackos Comtech Services, Inc.

In this session we focus on promoting a vision within a diverse organization, especially communicating that vision to executives, the organization and the direct involved employees. ITT, or as it is called now Xylem, share their successful experience in promoting change and their long term vision and mission.

Managing Change when Change is Hard: Training writers for successful structured authoring transitions

Sarah Leritz-Higgins Mentor Graphics

In the upheaval of migrating from unstructured to structured content, training of the technical writing staff is often underestimated. Management does a disservice by paying lip service to training, but then not delivering on it. A quality training program for your writing staff is an essential piece of your migration to structured content. One strategy for delivering an effective training program is to separate the concepts of structured authoring from the mechanics of authoring tools. In this presentation, you learn about how one software company developed and delivered an in-house training program to prepare its writing staff to migrate to structured authoring. The timing of this training course is crucial; the key is to deliver this course before changing authoring tools or adopting a content management system. This staggered approach to training has enabled the writers (many of whom have been authoring for decades and came of age in the desktop publishing era) to ease into structured authoring.

Managing SEO Keywords in the Writing Environment

Kent Taylor Acrolinx North America, Inc.
Elizabeth Wilde IBM Corporation

Managing SEO keywords is generally done as or after content is published to the web. While this approach is inherently inefficient, better alternatives have been difficult to find.

This presentation describes and demonstrates tools and processes that enable SEO keyword management as an integral part of the normal writing/editing/localization process.

Managing SEO keywords from initial content creation through final (multilanguage) web publishing results in substantial improvements in quality and search effectiveness—along with reductions in overall cost and cycle time.

Managing Your Metadatata

Kristen James Eberlein SDL

DITA offers a rich array of metadata: Elements available in the topic prolog and within DITA maps; conditional filtering attributes; the subjectScheme specialization. In addition, your component content management system might offer its own layer of metadata. How can you best combine these varied layers of information to best suit your needs? We'll start with an overview of the DITA metadata mechanisms, and then we'll focus on the interesting things that people are doing to leverage their multiple metadata streams.

Measurable Success with a DITA CMS: Epson America

Nancy Thompson Epson America, Inc.
Dan Dube Really Strategies, Inc.

Epson America has been in production with its DITA content management and publishing environment for more than 3 years. As the company has ramped up its use of the system, it has been able to quantify the actual savings and efficiencies through formal measurements—and the results are impressive. In this presentation, Nancy Thompson from Epson America will delve into details related to content reuse and single source publishing and directly correlate these to actual costs savings related to editorial, translation, and production tasks.

Migration to DITA: A retrospective

Ed Hartman Fujitsu Network Communications
Jon Keiffer Fujitsu Network Communications

Technical Publications at Fujitsu Network Communications (FNC) has successfully transitioned to DITA, adopting new tools and standards and migrating more than 40,000 pages of documentation. This presentation reviews our experience, highlighting challenges, keys to success, and the evolution of our thinking.

In 2008, our staff of 25-30, with a long history of authoring in structured FrameMaker and publishing in pdf, began transitioning to DITA. FNC is a major supplier of optical transport equipment in North America. Customer documentation for each product is lengthy (8,000 pages typical) and requires regular reissue over a long service life (15 years, or more). To avoid long-term commitment to our pre-DITA publishing environment, documentation for all current products had to be ported to DITA.

In developing a migration process (mostly automated), we came to realize that certain grand aspirations (elimination of cross-references, for example) were unrealistic. Structurally, the post-migration outcome would have to mirror the pre-DITA source. Accordingly, some aspects of our vision for best-practice DITA became long-term goals, to be realized through manual re-authoring.

Going forward, we are authoring only in DITA, using oXygen, the DITA-OT, Antenna House, and Vasont CMS. New documents are authored using strategies designed to leverage reuse and test our evolving vision for best-practice authoring. Legacy content is gradually groomed with each release to improve consistency and maintainability and better align with our vision. Keys to success include formal project management, aggressive learning, and in-house training.

Overview of the Emerging Technologies Track

Hal Trent Comtech Services, Inc.

In this session, Hal Trent will provide an overview of the new track at CMS 2012. They discuss the importance of emerging technologies, and highlight the key technologies of the track. This track focuses on HTML5, CSS3, RelaxNG, QR Codes, iPad, Android, RDF, and the future of DITA—including DITA 1.3.

The Path from DITA to EDEN

Andrzej Zydroń XTM-INTL

DITA has brought modularity and clarity to the design of technical documentation, but it has also introduced unnecessary complexity and clutter, thereby diminishing its original gains. EDEN (Electronic Documentation Essential Norm), a fully compliant subset, takes the best bits of DITA while removing the 'unnecessary' parts that drive up the cost and complexity of implementation. Based on nearly 30 years of experience at Xerox, Oxford University Press, Ford of Europe and XTM International, Zydron exposes the ‘ugly’ parts of DITA that are unnecessary and responsible for hampering successful implementation of DITA.

Preparing For Conversion: The do's & the don'ts

Mark Gross Data Conversions Laboratory, Inc.

Most companies consider content conversion to be a secondary phase following a system implementation. Yet the reality is—the earlier in the process the conversion preparation begins and the more equipped the conversion team is, the smoother the implementation will go. This tandem approach has a lot of benefits. This session focuses on the importance of planning early for legacy conversions & the preparation required to ensure a successful outcome. Gross covers important topics such as content reuse analysis, data harmonization, prioritization, team building, automation, training, and more.

Pulling it All Together!

Hal Trent Comtech Services, Inc.
Frank Miller Comtech Services, Inc.

At the conclusion of the Emerging Technologies track, Hal Trent & Frank Miller will discuss how documentation groups can leverage technologies like HTML5, and CSS3 to build rich, interactive, and accessible content for next generation devices. Hal & Frank will demonstrate coding/content practices to build a content delivery pipeline that uses many of the track’s technologies and how it can all come together on a device like the iPad.

Put Down the Pen and Pick Up the Camera: Incorporating videos in your technical documentation

Laura Bellamy VMware, Inc.
Caroline Arakelian VMware, Inc.

The truth is that your users do not want to read your technical documentation. Today's users want you to show them the information they need in videos. If your company isn't producing videos to help your customers, someone else will. This presentation shows how VMware decided to incorporate videos as part of the technical documentation including: deciding what information to present in videos, distributing videos, and changing the role of a technical writing team to include video production responsibilities.

Real Life Usage of DITA 1.2 Linking Features

Jean-François Ameye IXIASOFT

Have you struggled to understand or implement some of the new linking features included in DITA 1.2? This presentation explains these features, compares them to the existing DITA linking features, and shows real-life examples on how to integrate them efficiently into your reuse strategy.

First, Jean-Francois describes the new DITA 1.2 linking features: keys, keyref and conkeyref. Then, he highlights the differences between existing DITA linking features such as related links, cross references (xref), and relationship tables. Finally, he uses real-life examples on how these various features were used in a software product documentation set. More specifically, he demonstrates use cases for

  • Using keyref in an xref element
  • Defining keys in a DITA map
  • Using conkeyref to support flexible reuse scenarios
  • Using keys and keyrefs to define variables

The goal of this presentation is to demystify the new DITA 1.2 linking features and help information architects integrate them in their documentation strategy.

Reorganizing Information Developers to Support Topics

Vikram Nanwani Xylem Inc.

Vikram describes how and why Xylem is completely restructuring its local teams into one organization in order to align information developers around topics rather than product groups. This is the latest (but not last) step in Xylem’s successful journey into structured writing. In lessons learned, he explains how a mature DITA implementation requires numerous changes in the way authors work to account for the rapid expansion of global responsibilities and to ensure the DITA benefits already gained are continuously built on.

ROI Considerations When Looking To Moving your Content to XML

Tom Aldous Adobe Systems, Inc.

This presentation takes a holistic approach to analyzing the Return On Investment of moving select content from unstructured formats like MSWord and Unstructured FrameMaker to XML. Content conversion, language translation, and publishing costs are discussed along with author formatting and training. Attendees will walk away with an action plan and a ROI online calculator link that will arm them with the knowledge and tools to move toward an XML workflow.

Strategies to Implement an Enterprise Social Platform with DITA Content

Kieran Lal Acquia

Many enterprises have been trying to adopt the communication innovations from the consumer space. The main aim of these efforts is to tap into established communities as sources of otherwise unavailable content (more and better documentation, unintended use cases, feature requests, bug reports, etc.). In the web industry these tools are known as enterprise social software, available on twitter under the #socbiz hashtag. Tools that fall under this flag will implement some or all of the following interaction tools: forums, groups, comments, blogging, wiki, microblogging/status updates.

In this talk you will hear about the different strategies you can follow to use your DITA content in these platforms, the advantages and disadvantages of the different tools, and how you can make them attractive and successful. You’ll learn about gamification Drupal Commons, an open source distribution for social business communities.

Structuring Technical Publications and Training Materials to Maximize Reuse

Dawn Stevens Comtech Services, Inc.

Much skepticism exists as to whether technical documentation and training groups can effectively share content. Arguments abound that writing styles and approaches are far too different for such shared content to be effective in both types of end products. Stevens demonstrates that with proper foresight and planning, topics can be structured to effectively reuse content while maintaining the inherent differences between documentation and training products. Using a combination of standard DITA topic types and elements and the DITA Learning and Training specialization, this presentation suggests map and topic structures and element use strategies that maximize reusability and isolate unique content and tone. The presentation includes a practical demonstration of these structures to create an instructor guide, student workbook, and user guide from the same set of files.

Taking the Mystery Out of 3D!

Robert Merlo Right Hemisphere
Lars Olson SAP

During this presentation, we will take the mystery and apprehension out of leveraging 3D CAD information in DITA-driven documentation. See how the Technical Documentation Team can become a more integral part of the product release process and participate earlier in the process by incorporating 3D content directly from CAD. Be more efficient by compressing book publishing time and reduce authoring, publishing, and translation costs dramatically by eliminating the need for text. Remember ‘a picture tells a thousand words’. The presentation will showcase a demonstration of 3D visualization technology fully integrated with JustSystems XMetaL XML-based Authoring & Content Collaboration Software. This integration enables technical writers and illustrators to directly leverage 3D CAD product models within their documentation in a DITA compliant XML structured content format. Couple this capability with integrated direct access to the SAP Business Suite, and you have the most comprehensive Technical Documentation solution available. Take the mystery out of 3D!

Tips to Help Technical Communicators Work Effectively with Customers

Ann Hernandez IBM Corporation

As leaders of technical communicators, you know the importance of an effective working relationship between technical communicators and their internal subject-matter experts. At least as important is the ability of technical communicators to work effectively with external customers. Customers can inform critical design and development decisions, provide input on priorities when resources are constrained, validate design and implementation of information and interfaces, and drive future requirements. Working with customers, however, is typically not covered in university courses about technical communication, nor is this subject necessarily intuitive. So how do technical communicators learn about this important topic? If you want to learn about, and eventually share with your teams, some practical tips that help technical communicators work more effectively with customers, attend this presentation, given by a long-time IBM technical communicator. You will get answers to questions like these (and more): How should I deal with difficult questions from customers? What should I not say to customers? What do I need to know about working with customers from different cultures or countries? You will leave this presentation with some very practical advice that you and your colleagues can use to enhance your organization's ability to work with customers.

Topic-based publishing approach adopted by Juniper Networks

Rajal Shah Juniper Networks

At Juniper, our model in a true topic-based publishing paradigm is to have a single rendition of the topic on the web, thereby giving it a fixed URL. All information products (e.g., books) on the web should point to the same instance of the topic rather than republishing it as part of its delivery. We demonstrate and brainstorm the value proposition of such an approach.

  • We've used xml to move to more semantic tagging.
  • We've adopted topics to do modular writing.
  • We've embraced DITA to lead us to do topic-based authoring.
  • And we'd like to demonstrate Juniper's model to do topic-based publishing!

Topics without maps: presenting the SPFE architecture

Mark Baker Analecta Communications

Every architecture optimizes for certain properties at the expense of others. DITA Maps are central to the DITA architecture—the source of much of its power and much of its overhead. The SPFE architecture is designed to support topic-based authoring without the use of maps. Rather than using maps, SPFE uses queries to create collections and links and to reuse content. This removes a large amount of content management overhead, but requires more strict topic typing and metadata collection. SPFE is not an attempt to build a better DITA. It is a different architecture that optimizes for different applications. Even those committed to DITA can get a better understanding of its architecture through the contrast with other approaches.

Translating DITA with XLIFF and Open Standards: The Basics

Bryan Schnabel Tektronix

Very often, while weighing the options in the decision to implement DITA, the idea that translations will be streamlined and less expensive tips the scales in favor. And it is a sound idea. But it is very important to factor in the paradox. DITA is the open standard for topic-based authoring. It is nimble at the topic level; it enables single-sourcing and reuse; it enables more precise, just-in-time information; it breaks information out of document-centric constraints; and it is supported by tools. In short, DITA’s strength is its ability to harness many topics for a variety of outputs. The paradox is that DITA’s difficulty for Localization Service Providers (LSPs) is its many files.

But the paradox can be managed, even leveraged, by a sound strategy. At the end of 2011, the DITA Adoption Technical Committee identified translating DITA projects with XLIFF as a best practice.

XLIFF is the open standard for translation file interchange. It is supported by all of the major Computer Aided Translation tools. It is easy for LSPs to understand and process. It can encapsulate 10s, 100s, 1000s of topics into a single file/workflow in a standardized way. And it supports key translation elements, like Translation Management, glossaries, word-count, segmentation, etc.

Schnabel shows how the whole process works. Schnabel showcases the recently released DITA-XLIFF Roundtrip Tool for the Open Toolkit. He will show how workflows operate in conjunction with other important elements, like Content Management Systems, Translation Memory, Translation Managements systems, etc.

Using a Wiki to Consolidate and Deliver Documentation

Pam Swanwick McKesson Provider Technologies
Juliet Wells Leckenby McKesson Provider Technologies

The product documentation team at McKesson saw a customer need that was not being filled. At pilot sites, customers found it difficult to access information and content. McKesson employees and customers were emailing documents back and forth, leaving some people out of the loop, and making the documents hard to find later. Because these are pilot sites, documentation and other information are in progress, ever-changing. How do you provide pilot customers with content they need, where they need it, when they need it, and keep it up-to-date? All during the frenzied weeks and months of a pilot software installation? We purchased, set up, and continue to administer and maintain a Socialtext wiki. Internally, developers, writers, and implementation engineers can work together to create the right content and ensure that it is technically accurate. This content development occurs inside the McKesson firewall. When the content has been reviewed and approved, a custom script spiders the content out to a secure, customer-facing wiki workspace. Customers can “watch” pages, receive daily email notifications of updated pages, subscribe to an RSS feed, and use a microblogging tool to communicate among themselves and with McKesson. Now they have the right content in the right place (one place!): product documentation, project schedules, test scripts, troubleshooting tips, etc.

Using Schematron to Reduce Tool Complexity and the Writer’s Learning Curve

Michael Boses Contelligence

A few years ago it was common for organizations to create their own in-house DTD that implemented their publishing requirements and business rules as closely as possible. Today, most organizations have moved from proprietary in-house to open XML standards such as DITA. While there are huge benefits to this move, XML standards are purposely broad so as to include everyone’s requirements. As a result, there may be a considerable difference between content that validates against a standard schema and content that meets a specific organization’s requirements and business rules. The onus falls on authors and editors to bridge this gap by becoming more knowledgeable about these differences and expert in understanding how something can be ‘valid but not allowed.’

Schematron is a relatively simple XML language that can be used to resolve this problem. With Schematron, an organization can:

  • Analyze content with far more flexibility than with a DTD or XML Schema alone
  • Apply a variety of business rules and quality control automation
  • Reduce the training and expertise required of authors
  • Automate the QA of SME content created with ‘tagless’ or ‘basic’ authoring environments

This session focuses on the business relevance of Schematron, using examples (some technical) to illustrate its usefulness and integration.

Why Would We Want to Talk to Customers or Them to Us?

Ian Ampleford ARM Limited
Peter Jones ARM Limited

This year, ARM Technical Publications went out to talk to our external customers for the first time. We were planning the move from a traditional book-based workflow to a DITA environment and used that as an excuse to find out how our customers used our documentation and what they thought of it. We conducted a series of User and Task Analysis sessions and got input from 13 groups of engineers and managers in China, Korea, India, Japan, and the USA.

Wikis, Social Help, Collaboration, and the Crowd: Trends and choices in developing world class product content

Howard Schwartz SDL
Chip Gettinger SDL

Now that the adoption of structured content has matured, organizations are setting their sights on collaboration within and outside the walls of the enterprise. The business benefits of collaboration are potentially vast.

Internal collaboration involves sharing content across groups in the enterprise and enabling feedback loops between technical publications and other business operations. Internal collaboration increases reuse, reduces inconsistent information for customers, and captures knowledge that otherwise never gets shared or captured.

Collaboration beyond the enterprise walls is similar but with additional challenges. Engaging customers with targeted information and providing feedback loops from which organizations can learn require new strategies for managing structured content. Inviting customers and partners to be content developers has its own risks, challenges, and rewards.

A number of methods have emerged for collaborating and engaging constituents within and beyond the enterprise.

Schwartz and Gettinger explore the various trends that are emerging and the plusses and minuses of the different approaches.

XML Tagging, Semantic Markup, and Search

Bradley Shoebottom Innovatia, Inc.

DITA XML offers great advantages for authoring content and re-using it. It also has semantically rich tags that can aid search. Finding the proper technical content may be a challenge even with the DITA Subject Schema map that creates relationships between metadata. Unfortunately, the Subject Schema map has very basic logic. RDF, OWL, and micro formats offer more expressive relationships between content thus improving the search results for end users. Bradley discusses the advantages of using RDF, OWL and micro formats with your XML. He also describes a semantic search implementation using OWL and XML.

Z- Aphrodite: E-learning CourseWare authoring and publishing based on Open-source DITA and Alfresco

Dusan Veljkovic Qficient Inc.
Graham Steele Qficient Inc.

We have developed our own Z-Aphrodite architecture as an open source project that integrates Alfresco ECMS, ZK- direct RIA, and DITA frameworks. These three top-of-the-line open source projects form a foundation for the solution, which combines a robust professional-grade document repository with an advanced information architecture and rich AJAX UE.

Our Z- Aphrodite framework creates the next layer to be incorporated into ”the custom” Content Enabled Applications, an example being the CSI CourseWare application. The Canadian Security Institute (CSI) provides training and credentials for the financial services industry and is the educator of choice for regulatory authorities and financial institutions, both globally and in Canada.

The CourseWare system is a content-enabled application for managing full cycle e-learning course development and delivery process. This application produces a course package in the standard SCORM format and other formats such as HTML, PDF, ePub, and Kindle, which are intended to be integrated and played by an LMS system.

We have developed a complete end-to-end solution for e-learning authoring and publishing. Our next goal was to combine three open-source frameworks: DITA, Alfresco, and ZK, into one affordable standalone Z-Aphrodite architecture. Ultimately, we were able to make DITA adoption simple, with a low cost price tag.

In this session we will present the high-level architecture of the Z-Aphrodite framework and discuss the main concepts associated with the design and the strategic challenges that arose in the operative implementation of DITA CMS.

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