What is DITA, and why should I use it?
Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA for short) is an OASIS open standard Extensible Markup Language (XML) that helps you to create, sort and distribute content.
DITA enables authors to write and store words as XML – which is essentially plain text. Then, from this content a separate, automated process publishes this to the different formats it is needed in, whether that be in printed user guides, website copy or published to an online portal.
The suitability of DITA will depend on what you are trying to achieve. When companies do deploy it, the benefits are typically:
Helps to reduce your costs by rationalising the way you manage, reuse and repurpose your documentation
Reduces your translation costs, as content is standardised across mutliple sources, and stored in a central repository as plain text
Increase author productivity, because they can focus on what they do best – writing great content
If you are using a content management system (CMS), DITA authoring helps you organise and rationalise your content, helping your CMS run more efficiently.
Not only is your content easier to find and manage, but multiple users can work on it at the same time.
Using DITA content alongside a CMS, you get better support for your review and content development workflows.”
How can we help you?
We can help your organisation benefit from the experience of people who have adopted structured XML in previous projects. As part of the DITA consulting our consultants can help you choose the XML publishing tools that are best suited to your organisation.
We can also provide you with technical authors who can use their experience in structured authoring to:
Convert exsisting documentation to XML
Help your documentation team to review and revise its processes to fit the new authoring environment
Support your authors as they learn new tools and techniques
XML consulting to help you make a successful transition
3di can work with you during the analysis and planning stages. We can help you understand what’s needed to help you achieve a successful transition to structured authoring.
We can help you decide what XML applications to use and whether you need to replace your traditional authoring tools. You may need to invest in a content management system, including special software that transforms the XML into publishable files.
Your authoring team and other content contributors will likely need to adapt their processes, and 3di can support this as well.