FrameMaker, a “great” XML editor and publishing solution!

Is FrameMaker a “real” XML editor and publishing solution?

As many of you know, prior to coming to work for Adobe as Technical Communication Suite, FrameMaker and RoboHelp Product Evangelist, I was Managing Partner of International Training and Consulting Company Integrated Technologies, Inc. for two decades.

I jumped on the structured authoring bandwagon early on. We had a very strong customer base made up of marquee names like Solomon Smith Barney, Bellcore, Moodies Investor Services, Lucent and so on. Our clients usually lead the way. Bellcore, now called Telcordia introduced me to the SGML standard format. They requested that our Company teach them FrameMaker Builder and later FrameMaker + SGML.

I saw the benefits of structured / SGML authoring right away. Guided authoring, separating formatting from content and DTD structure validation. We helped large enterprises convert their legacy content to SGML and later XML. At that time I was application independent as an organization, but I found myself constantly supporting Structured FrameMaker implementations. Sure there were occasions when I was asked to support other XML editors, but the client paid more and the users usually required much more hand holding and training.

Let’s get to the subject of, “Is FrameMaker a real XML editor and publishing solution?”

I see the following as absolute must haves for an XML editor:

1. Create and edit XML files. The ability to create a new XML file, open an existing XML file, modify it and save it.

2. The XML file should be validated against a DTD or schema on open and save. You should be able to validate the content being created against the structure definition to guarantee that your content will be validate upon save.

3. A “real” XML editor should support major standards and custom structures as defined by the user.

4. XML standards should be supported without any configuration out of the box. Generic Templates should be provided without extra cost.

5. View the element structure both inside the document window and a structured tree view window separating content from structure.

6. The ability to automatically run a XSLT style sheet on open and save, if you choose to.

The above are must haves! If you care about Return on Investment (ROI) and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), then the following are also important:

1. The author should be able to become productive with minimal training as they are using a familiar interface even when doing XML authoring

2. All WYSIWYG XML authoring applications require some customization, if it is going to reflect the Corporation look and feel, even if we are talking about authoring XML using an existing standard. This customization should be easily learned or cheaply outsourced to a consultant.

3. You should be able to leverage the XML Author Templates for use in publishing paper and PDF. No additional configuration and cost. Furthermore, you should be able to publish to multiple formats and devices

4. Integration with major Content Management Systems at no additional cost.

5. Easy to do reviews with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) with minimal to no extra cost

The list can go on and on. So, how does FrameMaker fare on these criteria? FrameMaker meets and exceeds all of the above mentioned areas and more.

So can you create XML content with FrameMaker? Yes and it’s easier with FrameMaker than any other editor.

Can you publish XML content with FrameMaker? Yes, we support print and PDF XML publishing with a couple of clicks of a button. We can also publish XML to EPUB (tablets and smart phones), HTMLHelp, AdobeAIR, CHM files, EclipseHelp, JavaHelp and more with the Technical Communication Suites 3.5, which includes FrameMaker 10 and RoboHelp 9.

Can any other XML editor author the same content FrameMaker created? Of course, as long as they support the standard or custom structure being used.

Can you easily collaborate with authors and SMEs on XML content creation? Yes, we integrate with most of the leading content management systems out there. We also provide a low cost and easy-to-use review workflow in the PDF based review.

and publish an XML documents and topics with FrameMaker 10.

Also, if you are interested in trying a fully functioning copy of FrameMaker 10 for 30 days or try it in a web browser, you will want to go here.

Also, if you want to calculate the Return on Investment of moving to an XML workflow, you will want to try our new XML ROI Calculator at

Introducing The All New XML Workflow ROI Calculator

Adobe is proud to announce major enhancements to our FrameMaker Return On Investment (ROI) Calculator tool that gives you a better idea of direct cost benefits that would accrue to you if you switch to an XML workflow and use FrameMaker 10 as your XML editor and publishing engine. In the new tool, you can additionally specify the following important general project costs:

  • Authoring:  Here you enter the fully-loaded author cost per year.
  • Content conversion:  This lets you specify the cost per page for a non-FrameMaker tool to convert from unstructured to XML, the cost per page for FrameMaker 10 to do the same, and the total number of pages that must be converted.
  • Language translation: Assuming you will translate into multiple languages, this is where you specify the quantity of languages, the number of words per year, and the translation cost per word.
  • Formatting: This allows you to specify the number of authors your project will have and what percentage of time they will spend on formatting, which is of course just wasted time!
  • Publishing:  Here is where you enter the quantity of output formats your project will require, including PDF, HTML Help, epub, and so on.
  • Re-use percentage:  This lets you specify how much of your content can be re-used.

Once you click the “Compare ROI” button at the bottom of the page, scroll to the top to see how the two sets of graphs comparing FrameMaker 10 versus an alternative tool have been updated to reflect your numbers. The graphs on the left compare the total project cost. The graphs on the right compare the payback periods.

There are many structured authoring tools out there vying for your attention. Some claim to be the lowest cost. But how can you determine how much you can save and benefit from a tool? So, before you choose, be sure to use this ROI calculator to arrive at a more realistic picture of the total cost.

We’re confident that these graphs will present a clear value proposition, which is that FrameMaker 10 gives the highest ROI, lowest TCO solution for your migration to XML/DITA and for your ongoing development.

You will find the New ROI calculator at

And while we are on the topic, the following resources will give you further clarity on the capabilities of FrameMaker as your structured authoring and publishing tool of choice:

7 Part Webinar Series (Watch On Demand) – Unstructured Doc To XML / FrameMaker 10 Instructional Series

FREE Whitepaper – Why Adobe FrameMaker 10 is the Highest ROI, Lowest TCO Solution for Migration to Structured Authoring

We would appreciate your feedback, so please let us know how we can make this calculator more useful to you.

Adobe FrameMaker 10 users enjoy enhanced productivity with tighter integration in Bluestream’s XDocs v3.0

A Good Connection Just Got Better!

Adobe FrameMaker 10 users enjoy enhanced productivity with tighter integration in Bluestream’s XDocs v3.0

 Vancouver, Canada: Bluestream Database Software Corp-a provider of DITA-enabled Component Content Management System (CCMS) solutions-has allied with Adobe to provide tighter integration and advanced connectivity between FrameMaker10 and Bluestream’s XDocs CCMS v3.0. This tighter integration promises enhanced productivity for content creators.

The connector in XDocs CCMS v3.0 provides FrameMaker (FM) 10 users with increased dexterity and greater control over XDocs content. FM10 users can now access files and perform more actions on content in the XDocs repository all from within the FM authoring environment. Features in the FM10 connector allow users to perform extra CCMS tasks directly from the FM authoring environment such as:
*    Log on and off the XDocs repository
*    Browse and view the XDocs repository files
*    Check out/in files from the XDocs repository
*    Create new files and save changes in the XDocs repository
*    Enjoy XDocs CCMS outstanding link management while using FM10

“I am really excited about the integration between Bluestream XDocs CCMS and FrameMaker10,” said Kapil Verma, Senior Product Manager at Adobe. “I am sure our customers would welcome this development and use the connector, which offers a tighter integration between our two products. I look forward to working closely with Bluestream to continue offering great value in the future as well as to our customers in the structured authoring space.”

Bluestream is pleased to partner with Adobe to provide enhanced connectivity and tighter integration for FM10 users in XDocs CCMS v3.0.  Since FM7.2, Bluestream has been offering support to its many XDocs clients who use structured FM for authoring.

According to Nenad Furtula, Bluestream VP of Marketing and Sales, “A majority of technical documentation teams use Adobe’s FrameMaker, so when Adobe introduced structured FM7.2 three years ago, and we were able to integrate FM in XDocs-it’s been really good for our business.  Now, we are very pleased to offer our FrameMaker10 users even tighter system integration within XDocs v3.0! The real credit, however, goes to Leximation as the creators of DITA FMx. They have enabled and, to date, maintained the XDocs/FM connector.” 

About Adobe:

Adobe revolutionizes how the world engages with ideas and information. Adobe’s award-winning software and technologies have set the standard for communication and collaboration for more than 25 years, bringing vital and engaging experiences to people across media and to every screen in their lives,  at work and at play.

Adobe’s innovative solutions for technical communicators are market-leading best-of-breed software and include Adobe FrameMaker10, the industry-leading template-based authoring and publishing solution for unstructured, structured, and XML/DITA/S1000D content – which has been the professional standard for the last 25 years.

About Bluestream:

Bluestream’s flag-ship product XDocs enables organizations of all sizes to realize the benefits of DITA at a lower cost than the competition, with a comparable or better quality product, thus offering unparalleled value. XDocs is an out-of-the-box, DITA-enabled Component Content Management System (CCMS) that deploys in hours rather than weeks, is easy to use, and has a tight integration with various XML editors. Its flexible, unlimited, user-licensing, and optional modules-such as Workflow, Knowledge Base, Online Reviewer, and Translation Manager-allow for economical end-to-end content creation, management, and publishing. XDocs customers range from Fortune 100 organizations seeking complex cross-departmental DITA solutions to small businesses containing single author documentation teams.

Bluestream has been in business since 1997 and has customers in many verticals, among them software, oil and gas, health care, military, manufacturing, and finance.

Struggling with your current Help Authoring Tool? Looking to “switch” to a tried-and-tested tool? Adobe has the answer…and the perfect reasons too!

Switch from MadCap Flare, Author-it, or Doc-To-Help Enterprise or Doc-To-Help for Word and save 40% off Adobe RoboHelp 9!

Time frame:Recorded

Join me, Adobe Technical Communication Evangelist, for an interactive and informative webinar, where Tom will discuss the top benefits of switching to Adobe RoboHelp 9 from MadCap Flare, Author-it, or Doc-To-Help. Also find out about the great resources that Adobe has made available to ‘enable’ the switching process and help maintain business continuity through the transition phase.

Adobe is very excited to bring to you a series of thought leadership webinars by industry experts in the area of technical communication in the coming months (Dec – Jan – Feb).

Hope you had a great holiday season.

Adobe is very excited to bring to you a series of thought leadership webinars by industry experts in the area of technical communication in the coming months (Dec – Jan – Feb).

Please find below the details of the upcoming webinars (as well as some very recent on-demand webinars, we missed sharing the announcements with you earlier, sincere apologies).

Please feel free to share this announcement with your friends and colleagues who might be interested.

We hope you find these upcoming (and the recent on-demand) webinars useful, engaging and informative.


Webinar 1:

TITLE – One size fits all: How Adobe FrameMaker can help you best resolve content issues for today and tomorrow

SHORT DESCRIPTION – Have you been using Adobe FrameMaker to create content in a unstructured authoring environment for years? Are you contemplating a change to structured authoring? Is XML the bright shiny object attracting the attention of your senior management?

Join Tom Aldous, Adobe Technical Communication Evangelist and Val Swisher <>, founder and CEO of Content Rules <> for an interactive webinar as we look at the most critical things you need to consider when choosing between structured and unstructured authoring. We will also examine how to use Adobe FrameMaker to solve the content challenges that you face today and those you anticipate in the future.

DATE – 14th Dec, 2011 (Wednesday)

TIME – 10.00 AM PST


Webinar 2:

TITLE – How to optimally leverage a Content Management System as a Technical Communicator 

SHORT DESCRIPTION – Find out how optimally leveraging a Content Management System to store/manage/retrieve/repurpose content can help save time and money and more importantly secure your content. Using Adobe FrameMaker to develop content is a great decision as has been proved for long enough; now you need to store and secure the content and easily access and reuse the content.

Join Tom Aldous, Adobe Technical Communication Evangelist and Jim Fettes <>, Business Development Manager at Consortio <> LIVE IN ACTION for an interactive webinar to learn more, as they demonstrate the best practices of optimally using a Content Management System.

DATE – 25th January, 2012 (Wednesday)

TIME – 10.00 AM PST


Webinar 3

TITLE – Top 10 key trends shaping the Technical Communication industry of tomorrow: An industry research

SHORT DESCRIPTION – An increasingly global economy. Pressing localization needs. Demand for rich media and interactivity. Device explosion necessitating multiscreen publishing. Highly personalized, easily searchable content. Collaboration needs in a multiauthor environment. Social content. ROI-driven content. And much more…

Join Tom Aldous, Adobe Technical Communication Evangelist and Christian Gravelle, Senior Technical Analyst at the Branham Group Inc. <> for an interactive webinar as they discuss the findings of an independent research conducted by the Branham Group on “what’s going to matter and what’s not” for tomorrow’s technical communicators.

DATE – 17th January 2012 (Tuesday)

TIME – 10.00 AM PST


Webinar 4:

TITLE – Key Trends in Software User Assistance: An Expert’s Perspective – Part 1

SHORT DESCRIPTION – Most valued User Assistance skills and technologies. Platform dependencies. And much more…

This is the first of a two-part series discussing the current and future trends associated with software user assistance

Join Tom Aldous, Adobe Technical Communication Evangelist and Joe Welinske <>, President of WritersUA <> for an interactive webinar as they discuss the findings of an independent research conducted by Joe for the User Assistance professionals of today and tomorrow.

P.S.: Look out for a free download link to the latest Software User Assistance whitepaper by Joe Welinske on the Adobe RoboHelp 9 website under LEARNING tab around mid-December 2011:

DATE – 16th January 2012 (Monday)

TIME – 10.00 AM PST


Webinar 5:

TITLE – The future of INDEXING in technical documentation

SHORT DESCRIPTION – With the rapid growth of e-books, tablets, and mobile devices, the ways in which we consume content are changing. The methods readers use to find content are also changing overall. Despite that, the need for quality indexes will not fade, but the appearance of indexes will be different. The concepts for indexing content will remain the same, however. What will these future indexes look like?

Join Tom Aldous, Adobe Technical Communication Evangelist and Cheryl Landes <>, who has indexed technical content for 21 years, as they answer that question and provide examples of the new world of indexes. Some of these indexes are coming sooner than you might think!

DATE: 31st January, 2012 (Tuesday)

TIME: 10.00 AM PST


Webinar 6:

TITLE – Adobe, Acrolinx and Lionbridge present – a how to guide for creating global-ready content that works!

SHORT DESCRIPTION – Communicating with a global audience is no easy task. How do you get people to listen to your message? How do you know if they get it? There is no shortage of content out there. How can you be sure that they read your message and find your products?

Content delivery experts from Acrolinx, Adobe and Lionbridge show you how to manage the complexity and deliver a high impact message that will resonate with customers.  Attend this webinar to learn:

  • How to develop content that gets attention
  • How to ensure that your customers get a consistent experience- in every channel and in every language
  • Shortcuts for delivering high quality, multilingual content – faster
  • Things you don’t know about how your customers get content about your product


  • Tom Aldous, Technical Communication Evangelist, Adobe Systems Inc.
  • Marc Osofsky, VP Marketing, Lionbridge
  • Jennifer Beaupre, VP Global Marketing, Acrolinx

DATE: 8th December, 2011 (Thursday)

TIME: 10.00 AM PST



Webinar 7:

TITLE – Why upgrade from older versions of RoboHelp (X5, 6, 7 or 8 ) to RoboHelp 9? What is the value proposition for your business?

SHORT DESCRIPTION – Thinking about upgrading from older versions of RoboHelp (X5, 6, 7 or 8 ) to RoboHelp 9? Is it worth the investment?

Join Tom Aldous (Adobe Technical Communication Evangelist) for an interactive eSeminar, where he will demonstrate what additional business value RoboHelp 9 brings to the table in terms of the following functional areas:

  • Multichannel multidevice publishing
  • Next-generation collaboration and review workflows
  • Innovative and unique features to power progressive help documentation (Dynamic user-centric content; integrated Google search; external content search; community-generated content; automated context-sensitive help authoring)
  • Next-generation help documentation with Adobe® AIR® Help 2.0 (Content Curation and moderation-enabled commenting; professional, personalized, and customizable appearance)
  • Cross-browser, cross-operating system delivery mechanism
  • Support for EPUB, Java Help, FlashHelp, and Eclipse Help
  • Easy customization to meet business needs
  • Compliance with industry standards
  • Robust and scalable solution
  • User-friendly, intuitive interface

DATE: 13th December, 2011 (Tuesday)

TIME: 10.00 AM PST



RECENT ON-DEMAND WEBINARS – We couldn’t send you prior updates on these webinars before, sincere apologies.

On-Demand Webinar 1:

TITLE – Adobe FrameMaker and DITAToo – A Complete Solution for Your DITA Content (featuring Andy Lewis, leading expert from Adobe Partner iG5 Authoring Tools <>)


On-Demand Webinar 2:

TITLE – Competing on the Edge with a Successful Strategy for Structured and Unstructured Content (featuring industry experts Maxwell Hoffman and Jennifer Beaupre)


On-Demand Webinar 3:

TITLE – Enhance your Help Systems and Documents with Simulations – Easily and Quickly! (featuring Adobe Partner Joseph Ganci)


On-Demand Webinar 4:

TITLE – Leveraging FrameMaker Server 10: How to automate publishing tasks/jobs, and publish your content to multiple channels and devices


On-Demand Webinar 5:

TITLE – Why upgrade from older versions of FrameMaker (7.X, 8 or 9) to FrameMaker 10? What is the value proposition for your business?


On-Demand Webinar 6:

TITLE – XML Document Best Practices


On-Demand Webinar 7:

TITLE – S1000D Customer Success Story with Adobe FrameMaker & Mekon Eclipse (featuring S1000D industry experts Mekon Ltd. <>)


On-Demand Webinar 8:

TITLE – Powerful Creation and Versatile Management of XML and DITA (featuring Chip Gettinger, VP of XML Solutions at SDL, a leading Component Content Management System provider)


On-Demand Webinar 9:

TITLE – Delivering S1000D Data with Adobe FrameMaker & Mekon Eclipse (featuring S1000D industry experts Mekon Ltd. <>)


On-Demand Webinar 10:

TITLE – Leveraging RoboHelp Server 9: How to enhance, manage, track and optimize your Online Help Systems and Knowledgebases


On-Demand Webinar 11:

TITLE – True Round-tripping in Action: Review and Approval Features in Adobe Technical Communication Suite (featuring Alan Houser, Adobe Partner and a distinguished consultant and trainer in the technical communication space)


On-Demand Webinar 12:

TITLE – Super-charge your content: Ten ways to deliver smarter content to your global customers (featuring Jennifer Beaupre, VP Global Marketing, Acrolinx)


On-Demand Webinar 13:

TITLE – Creating, Managing & Delivering S1000D Content for Print, Interactive PDF and IETP (featuring S1000D industry experts Mekon Ltd. <>)


Announcing The Availability Of The FrameMaker Patch 10.0.2

It gives me great pleasure to announce the availability of the FrameMaker patch 10.0.2 in which we have fixed several outstanding issues. The main focus of this patch was to fix several issues related to use of CMYK colors in FrameMaker documents and generating CMYK PDF. To read more details on the fixes and how to download it, please read Kapil Verma’s (FrameMaker Senior Product Manager) blog post at