Structured content is a modular approach to managing content. Content can be stored in multiple formats including XML, using several XML data models. These include the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA). XML separates content from formatting. This makes it easier to deliver the content to multiple platforms. Adding Metadata to XML content increases its usability.

What is DITA?

The most widely adopted XML standard is DITA. It provides a structure for content with templates and defined types for creating and organizing content into self-contained reusable chunks. The chunks of content are combined and recombined to produce different sets of information. DITA chunks of content have metadata, and you can also tag the chunks with your own metadata.

Why DITA?

Here are some reasons for using DITA to structure your content:

  • DITA information types encourage good writing practices and information structure, which make information easier to understand.
  • It has many ways to support information reuse, so you can avoid duplication and increase consistency by reusing the same piece of content across different publications.
  • DITA makes it easy to update and edit content.
  • An open technology widely supported around the world. If you created your own structure, it would be costly and may not work well with other technologies.
  • DITA can be specialized to fit your information model.
  • It makes single-source publishing easy; DITA separates content from content delivery. So the same set of topics can be quickly and efficiently transformed into different outputs, such as HTML, PDF, WebHelp, EPUB, and more.
  • DITA can reduce translation costs and turnaround because it allows you to send out only modified content for translation.

Structured content and content management?

Content management controls the content lifecycle, including planning, creating, reviewing, editing, translating and publishing. Structuring content with DITA makes it easier to manage the delivery of content for multiple audiences, languages, and outputs types. This is because of the wide ranging global support for DITA.

What is a DITA CCMS?

A Component Content Management System (CCMS) handles content at a more granular level. Additionally, XDocs is specifically designed to support DITA’s unique functionality. Therefore, it provides features that make it easy for your team to find, track, create, edit, and publish DITA and other content.

How do organizations switch to DITA?

DITA adoption requires some planning. Consequently, if your organization is adopting DITA, you will need to create a content strategy, reuse plan, information model, and metrics. You will also need DITA conversion to transform some existing content into DITA content. There are also training and pilot phases to consider before the roll out in a DITA adoption plan. We are here to help or you can talk to one of our solution partners.

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