XDocs CCMS core components provide a rapidly deployable enterprise class CCMS and comprise of server, desktop, and web applications. Whether deployed for globally distributed teams, or on a single site, XDocs CCMS is rooted in a small-team working environment and provides easy-to-master components for all members of the team.
Bluestream’s development philosophy has always been to create easy-to-master and scalable components in a “zero administration” system, beyond common operations, such as setting security.
The XDocs CM Admin web-based application allows for remote and seamless administration of the XDocs CCMS.
The system administrator can easily set and control user permissions and accounts, configure workflows, set baseline publish dates, and configure projects. User permissions can be scoped to include all descendant folders without a clumsy copy down model. This greatly reduces the number of permissions you need to maintain.
The XDocs Repository is the core database and stores all content. The XDocs repository uses an underlying fully featured MYSQL relational database management system to store both XML and binary content.
Content is easily imported to and created in the XDocs repository. When DITA content is imported or saved to the repository, a validation check is performed as well as a link check.
As content repositories grow exponentially each year and content reuse grows more complex, content management challenges are also increasing. XDocs Extended Metadata Module provides a system to help you transform content tags into information operatives that help you retrieve and deliver your content with greater precision.
XDocs Extended Metadata Module allows you to harvest terms and glossary entries from your DITA directly into XDocs. After the harvest, the Extended Metadata Thesaurus can organize the terms according to your classification structure.
Harvested terms can also be used to Browse and Search through content, and you can associate non DITA files with the harvested terms as well.
XDocs automated Workflow is based on the BPMN 2.0 industry standard and the de facto standard Activiti workflow engine.
Workflow is configured and edited in CM Admin component, and the settings carry through all XDocs CCMS components. Workflow task candidates can be set from project roles, from user lists, or from both.
For an organization to truly benefit from structured content, all parties must be able to contribute in a meaningful way without having a technical mountain to climb.
WEX is a web-based module in the XDocs CCMS that enables reviewing and contributing of DITA content in the web. The premise behind the application’s development was simple – no training or installation required. The target audience for this application is anyone in the organization who needs to be part of the content development lifecycle.
WEX is tightly integrated with the Oxygen Web Editor, but Wex can just as easily support any other DITA web-based XML editor (such as Fonto XML, XEditor, etc.). The application is role and workflow capability-centric, which means the user can be restricted to adding review mark up to a particular set of topics or the user may be permitted to create a new topic and upload new images to the repository. This allows for greater control while delivering publications within a particular workflow, and it does not restrict users from contributing meaningful content when great ideas arise outside of workflow. Furthermore, the WEX authoring experience is completely transparent with the interface resembling that of MS Word or a Wiki.
XDocs Explorer is used by the content creation team for managing content in the XDocs Repository. XDocs Explorer is installed on a local computer and uses a local cache to allow the use of rich desktop XML authoring tools such as Oxygen XML Author and non-XML tools such as Excel, SnagIt, and Visio. From XDocs Explorer, we can open in a file in any kind of editor that supports the file type.
Content is easily imported to the XDocs repository. When DITA content is imported a validation check is performed as well as a link check. Valid DITA content, including DITA maps and all dependencies, are easily imported into the XDocs repository with all links, content references, and content key references maintained. If unresolved links are encountered, users have the capability of searching for link targets to resolve links upon import. XDocs can be customized to assign CCMS metadata as part of the import operation.
Export allows files to be exported from the XDocs repository to your local hard drive. The links in these files are fixed up to be file-relative links, so the exported files are truly independent of XDocs. Content is DITA content with its metadata intact. Metadata not supported by DITA can be exported as a standard OWL2 XML file.
Regarding security and auditing, XDocs provides password protection, encrypted format, and logs user-log in and log out.
Branch, Merge and Release Management
Organizations must be able to respond to rapid developments in their industry and to respond to market needs for product diversification and customization, the demands for up-to-date and accurate documentation have never been greater. XDocs Branch Management Module provides documentation teams with extensive access to and control over all versions of content.
Release management in a CCMS concerns how to manage the content for different releases of one or more products as time progresses. Release management focuses on addressing the challenges that arise when managing content, for example, for parallel versions of a product, where an organization must maintain support and document versions 7.1, 7.2 and 7.3 while simultaneously developing content for version 8.0.
XDocs Branch Management provides features for documentation teams to manage content with agility in complex content development environments. XDocs provides your documentation team with the freedom to time travel in content, to fully access and modify content “As of” any date and time, while maintaining historical integrity. Historical integrity means histories cannot be rewritten and the links at any point in history remain intact. Additionally, XDocs also allows you to create and apply labels to mark significant points in the content history.
The XDocs Release Management feature allows you to isolate versions of content at some point in time and register those versions of content on a new branch in the XDocs CCMS. Using the Branch Copy feature, documentation teams can isolate content, so versions of content can be developed in isolation and later the content can be merged or consolidated from branch to branch if desired.
The Branch Copy feature produces reports on the differences in content on branches, and it allows the merging, or consolidation, of branches in either direction. The report provides mechanisms that allow you to perform the following actions at the time of the Branch copy:
- Fix link errors
- Modify merged and other XML
- Skip existing, identical content
The Branch Management feature is integrated system-wide in XDocs. As you move content to and from branches according to your content management strategy, you can bring your documentation projects through automated Workflow processes and Localization cycles, apply Extended Metadata, easily locate content across branches using Browse and Search, and publish your content to your preferred output format, parameters, and filters.
CM Portal allows for quick access for anyone in your organization to preview content via a browser. For example, send a link to your manager, and they can easily view a file rendered in HTML or PDF or view an image or text file using a web browser.