Using Tags as Lightweight Metadata in DITAToo DITA CMS

Having your content stored in a central repository is good as long as you can find what you need quickly and easily.

There’re a number of approaches to organizing content for easy retrieval. One of them is using metadata. Some organizations may have complicated taxonomies with multiple levels. While there is no question that supporting these complex metadata is important, in many cases, you may need something easier to use and maintain.

You can think of tags as lightweight metadata. Tag is a short descriptive label that you assign to a file (whatever it is – a DITA topic, map, image, or any other non-DITA file). A tag can represent whatever you want it to represent: product line, product model, release, information type, subject, you name it. Once files are tagged, you can search and filter by tags.

We’ve recorded this short video to show you how you can use tags to organize content stored in the DITAToo DITA CMS repository.

(YouTube Video): https://youtu.be/9-HMZeN9UVw 

Single Source All Your Content

The authoring, editing and publishing workflow does not have to be disrupted.

In the Technical Communication (TechComm) Industry, we have been promoting single sourcing your content workflow for a while now. What we mean by single sourcing is that source content should be authored and edited in one universal format that eventually gets published in its various output formats like HTML5, PDF, ePub, Mobile Applications, etc. You should never edit the published content directly. If a change is required to the published content, the source should be updated and republished.

This sounds good in principle, but sometimes you need variations of the same content for different publication types. The best way to handle that is by using XML with metadata for conditional publish, managed in a Component Content Management System (CCMS) with Release management and Workflow capabilities. All XML structures are not the same, so which one should you standardize your organization’s content on? Standardize is the key. Using the popular XML Standard that is built from its foundation for content reuse and customization is the right step. That XML Standard is DITA.

If you buy off on this logic, you should have a few open questions.
Can more than Technical Communication Content be single sourced? How about Market and Sales Content?

How do we convert our existing content to the DITA XML Standard without disrupting our current authoring and publishing cycle? Without TechComm, Marketing and Sales Content most products can not be sold.

I heard Component Content Management Systems (CCMS) are very expensive. How do I create an ROI case for purchase? Worse yet, what if we simply do not have the budget for an expensive CCMS? Does that stop us from being able to Single Source our content in the DITA Format? The short answer is that there is a DITA CCMS vendor that is disrupting the current market. Their CCMS costs less than $1,000 for the server license and one user license. Now you can afford to pilot an XML DITA implementation. Prove out the Return Of Investment with real data. The low Total Cost Of Ownership also makes reaching the ROI numbers your Senior Managers require easier. That CCMS is DITAToo HTTP:\\www.aldousCMS.com. Full disclosure I am an equity partner in the firm the owns DITAToo.

When it comes to … can DITA XML content being used to create Marketing Content? Visit my Companies Website at http://www.TheContentEra.com. The complete website is published from DITA topics tied together by a master DITAMAP.

If you are interested in discussing anything about this, please feel free to reach out to me at tom.aldous@TheContentEra.com.

DITAToo Free 60 Day Evaluation

DITAToo Promo

Starting today until the end of May, Adobe Framemaker users will be eligible for a free 60-day evaluation license of DITAToo DITA CMS. Plus a 15% discount off the list price of DITAToo if purchased within the 60-day trial period. If you are thinking of acquiring a CMS or looking to switch to a different one then this is the promotion for you. DITAToo is already an ultra affordable DITA CMS solution you can trust so why not try it out for free and see what all the hype is about?

Visit www.aldouscms.com/promo

to fill out the DITAToo web form and get started on a path to successfully managing your DITA content.

The Content Era redefines web creation by live transformation from DITA to their HTML5 Website

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Arcadia, FL – Feb. 19th 2016 - The Content Era has redefined the phrase ‘Going Live’ with the release of their new website, an adaptive HTML5 site based on DITA using live XSLT. Each page on the new website is created on the fly when it is accessed. Using the latest and greatest responsive web design techniques results in a visually pleasing site that is easy to navigate.

This unique method allows them to make changes to the content without having to re-publish the entire site to HTML5. The DITA source lives on the server, and when changes are made they can be viewed on the site a fraction of a second after the changed DITA source has been saved to their web-server.

“Running the transform on the server allows full adaptation to what we know about your system, your browser, your locale. Even without using cookies or JavaScript running on your device, we can personalize the content to quite a large extent. Just imagine automatic conversion of measurements and temperatures based on your geographic location, so you do not need to do the math or choose a conversion option from the menu. Of course this can be done with JavaScript, but we can do it much faster and much more efficient.” - Jang Graat – Chief Technologist (The Content Era)

“We can adapt the content to what the requesting device needs. If you are watching these pages on a smartphone, we can send low-resolution images and leave out most of the CSS and Javascript, as those are mainly serving options that you do not have available on your phone. It makes loading the pages in locations with limited mobile bandwidth a lot faster. This technology fundamentally changes the way enterprises will think about their workflow.”  - Tom Aldous – Founder and CEO (The Content Era)

The Content Era website will be live as of Feb. 18th, and will feature this adaptive publishing method running behind the scenes. This new website may involve cutting edge technical techniques but functionality and appearance has not been compromised. For more information about how it works, or to contact The Content Era team, visit their new and improved website at www.thecontentera.com.

Helpful Links:

Facebook   Tom Aldous LinkedIn   Tom’s Blog   Jang Graat’s LinkedIn

FrameMaker 2015 and DITAToo CCMS Video – Special Offer Pricing

Are you using FrameMaker as a DITA authoring tool or would like to? Is the cost of a DITA CCMS an issue? Not any more.

DITAToo CCMS cost to entry is very low. The DITAToo CCMS Server and first user license is only $950 list price. If you are interested in a copy, reach out to me at tom.aldous@TheContentEra.com. TCE will sell you the licenses at 10% off the already low cost. Offer good until 3/31/2016

See how by adding DITAToo DITA CCMS to FrameMaker you can get a complete solution for authoring, publishing, and managing DITA.

Here is the link to the video.

http://intuillion.com/2016/02/17/ditatoo-dita-ccms-framemaker-complete-authoring-publishing-and-management-solution-for-dita/

Three New Webinars With Adobe and The Content Era

PowerWebinar³ March 2016 – 3 × Tom Aldous, 3 × DITA and beyond, 3 × Free Knowledge

And it’s all about DITA and FrameMaker. And beyond DITA. It’s about authoring. And publishing. And how to make these things as easy as 1-2-3. To cut pain and high costs. To make structured authoring enjoyable. To make XML publishing fun. To make your life as a Technical Communicator more easier.

Why DITA is superior with FrameMaker 2015

 

Webinar Date: March 4, 2016
Webinar Time: 11 am PST / 2 pm EST / 8 pm CET
Registration Link: https://2016-03-04.meetus.adobeevents.com/
Registration Fee: ZERO!

FrameMaker (2015 release) is a superb authoring environment for creating both “classic” as well as structured, XML-based content. In this webinar, Tom Aldous will share his experience and why he thinks DITA is superior with FrameMaker (2015 release).

FrameMaker was one of the first editors for structured content at all. It was 1992 when SGML was introduced in FrameMaker. Support for DITA was introduced 11 years ago! And what a development FrameMaker has made since then! Today you can author content in a friendly WYSIWYG environment, or in a content-centric view. Take advantage of the integrated, excellent source code editor with syntax highlighting, code completion and auto-suggest, XPATH 2.0 and XSLT Support, Regular Expressions, automatic background validation.

And there’s much more that makes authoring and publishing DITA a superior experience for both XML and Subject Matter Experts. And Tom Aldous from “The Content Era” will guide you through the pleasure of DITA and structured content editing with FrameMaker (2015 release).

Publishing DITA with FM 2015

 

Webinar Date: March 11, 2016
Webinar Time: 11 am PST / 2 pm EST / 8 pm CET
Registration Link: https://2016-03-11.meetus.adobeevents.com/
Registration Fee: ZERO!

FrameMaker (2015 release) comes with a wide range of publishing options. And they also work perfectly with DITA.

You need a PDF? Well yes, you could hire this XSLT specialist to customize the DITA Open Toolkit for you, so that the result looks at least a little bit like what your Corporate Design requires. Or you could just use FrameMaker.
Publish DITA to PDF is as easy as 1-2-3 with FrameMaker!

You want to output a DITAmap to great looking Responsive HTML5? Well yes, again, you could hire this XSLT specialist. And wait weeks or months to get something that is, well, not exactly what you were looking for. Because, it’s not that responsive, has no proper search or index or navigation or Social Media Sharing possibilities.
Or you could just use FrameMaker. Publish DITA to Responsive HTML5 is as easy as 1-2-3 with FrameMaker 2015!

You want to create an iOS or Android app from your DITAmap? Well, yes, again you could hire this XSLT Specialist. That is … more probably this cool App Agency that will cost you this 5-digit “budget for cool stuff” that you didn’t have in exactly this quarter.
Or you could just use FrameMaker. Publish DITA to Responsive HTML5 is as easy as 1-2-3 with FrameMaker 2015!

And then there is DITA Publishing to ePUB, Kindle, CHM, WebHelp, iOS / Android Apps … Again you could hire … Well, you get the picture.

Tom Aldous will show you how easy you can publish DITA with Adobe FrameMaker 2015.

It’s not always about DITA

 

Webinar Date: March 18, 2016
Webinar Time: 11 am PST / 2 pm EST / 8 pm CET
Registration Link: https://2016-03-18.meetus.adobeevents.com/
Registration Fee: ZERO!

In this third Webinar with Tom Aldous we will go beyond DITA. As great as DITA is for many scenarios, there are other XML languages as well. Many companies maintain their own Corporate XML architectures. And FrameMaker can handle all of them perfectly. And not only this: Imagine you have to implement (unstructured) supplier documentation into your DITA TechComm environment. Or you want to work completely with classic, template and style drive documentation without any XML at all.

Tom Aldous will have a look at the endless and unparalleled possibilities FrameMaker offers for Technical Documentation departments. Be prepared for a session full of insights and surprises.

About the Presenter

Tom Aldous Tom Aldous, the Founder/CEO of The Content Era LLC has over 25 years of experience in the Technical Communications industry. Besides being the managing partner and lead XML/DITA/CMS consultant at Integrated Technologies for over 20 years, Tom has also served as the Director of TechComm Business Development, Evangelism and TechComm Consulting at Adobe as well as a SVP of Global Operations at Acrolinx.

Currently Tom takes pride in being able to accomplish the seemingly impossible through his new venture, The Content Era. At The Content Era, Tom’s knowledge of content tools, markup languages and best practices have proven to reduce cycle time and increase efficiency for clients in numerous different verticals and industries including but not limited to software, information technology, finance, medical, energy, aviation and government.

7 Part FREE Recorded E-Seminar Series – Unstructured Content To XML / FrameMaker 10 Instructional Series

I recieve inquires about how to move a workflow from unstructured content (be it MSWord or FrameMaker) to an XML one often. The process requires several steps, but once mastered you will be able to “Unleash The Protential Within Your Documentation”.

This is where FrameMaker becomes automagical.

It is very important that you follow the series start to finish. I will bring a sample document through the full process and create all necessary system files. I will provide all files created on my blog.

Unstructured To XML Workflow Series Part 1:

Creating A FrameMaker Conversion Table 

https://2243312.meetus.adobeevents.com/

 

Unstructured To XML Workflow Series Part 2:

Creating A FrameMaker Conversion Table

https://2243309.meetus.adobeevents.com/

 

Unstructured To XML Workflow Series Part 3:

Creating A FrameMaker Conversion Table

https://2243306.meetus.adobeevents.com/

 

Unstructured To XML Workflow Series Part 4:

Element Definition Document (EDD) – Home Grown or a Standard

https://2243303.meetus.adobeevents.com/

 

Unstructured To XML Workflow Series Part 5:

Creating your Structured Template from an Unstructured One

https://2243300.meetus.adobeevents.com/

 

Unstructured To XML Workflow Series Part 6:

Structure Applications and What Is Necessary and How To Create

https://2243297.meetus.adobeevents.com/

 

Unstructured To XML Workflow Series Part 7:

Save As XML, Now What?

https://2243294.meetus.adobeevents.com/

I will be taking you through all the steps and workflow requirements to move you from anUnstructured To an XML / FrameMaker 10 workflow. It is going to be an instructional series.

Spread the word!

Take A Few Minutes To Fill Out This TechComm Survey

I know we are all very busy, but there are times when investing just a little of your time for the greater industry makes a big difference … this is one of those times.

Help Scott Abel, help you. He is looking for new trends. If you participate, he will share the findings with you.

You want new tools and services that will improve your job? This is the information we need to make this happen.

Tom Aldous

[Survey] 2016 Technical Communication Benchmarking Survey

announcerFullName
Scott Abel
The Content Wrangler: Helping Organizations Create Exceptional Customer Experiences With Content
The Content Wrangler is conducting research to determine how large organizations create and manage technical communication content, and deliver it to those who need it.This survey is designed to identify the biggest challenges in our industry, the types of techniques, tools, and standards we use, and what we plan to do to improve our offerings in the future. If you complete the survey you will qualify to receive: – a summary of the research findings – a chance to win Bluesmart connected luggage

Take the survey! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/wrangler

Questions? Concerns? askthewrangler@thecontentwrangler.com

Tom and Hoa Aldous, Founders of The Content Era, LLC have entered into an equity partnership with Intuillion (the creators of DITAToo Component Content Management System

For immediate release: January 13, 2015

Port Charlotte, FL –Tom and Hoa Aldous have announced their entrance into an equity partnership alongside, Alex Masycheff and Pavel Shulga of Intuillion, an Israeli bases DITA Component Content Management System company, effective January 11, 2016

Tom and Hoa plan to leverage their knowledge and experience in the Technical Communication industry to grown DITAToo’s market share.

About Tom and Hoa

Tom Aldous has over 25 years of experience in the Technical Communications industry. Currently Tom and Hoa are founders and owners of TheContentEra LLC, a content consulting company based in Arcadia Fl.

About Intuillion

Intuillion is the creators of DITAToo. DITAToo is a cost effective DITA component content management system, with all of the bells and whistle of your typical high end CCMS. DITAToo has a flawless integration with Adobe FrameMaker, alongside features such as DITA 1.1 or DITA 1.2 support, a repository, map builder, link management, the ability to edit and created topics, publish through the DITA Open Toolkit, publishing profiles, versioning, and translation management.

With Tom and Hoa’s help DITAToo is looking to expand not just it’s US market share but it’s global market share while still holding true to its goal of providing you with affordable, high quality solutions that let you reduce costs for maintaining, creating, translating, and publishing content. Tom, Hoa, Alex and Pavel stand by putting their clients first.

 

Contact

To learn more about this partnership, please contact

Tom Aldous
Tom.aldous@TheContentEra.com
508-617-7763

LIVE DITA DOCUMENTS USING FRAMEMAKER 2015 – Edit FrameMaker XML DITA Content In A Browser!

September 03, 2015

10:00 am – 11:00 am PDT (UTC-07:00)  / 1:00 – 2:00 pm EST

 Register Now

FrameMaker has all the tools included “in the box” to allow doing stuff that is totally out of the box in communication. In this webinar, Tom Aldous and Jang Graat of The Content Era LLC will showcase their revolutionary WYSIWYN (What You See Is what You Need) paradigm of publishing, also named “Live DITA Documents” (although the technique can be used with any structured material). The most promising aspect of this new paradigm is enabling users to edit the materials in their actual work environment, Using just a browser and zero plug-ins or other installed software, those users can enter corrections and comments. which are “automagically” fed back to the author’s desk and appear as tracked changes in the FrameMaker source materials. Mark the date when you first witnessed the start of a revolution in content creation and revision. The Content Era is here!

 

By Tom Aldous

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