Bluestream XDocs DITA CCMS solves problems faced by software and hardware companies. Products are under constant development and the documentation needs regular updates to stay aligned. It often needs to be translated and made available on various platforms to various types of users. These include Customers, Customer Support Staff, and potential buyers.
The multi-channel delivery requirements of IT documentation, especially when localization is involved, make it an ideal candidate for DITA. DITA was conceived by IBM for their own hardware and software before passing to the open source community via OASIS.
XDocs DITA CCMS provides a central repository for all information types including video. It enhances the creation of software documentation in several key areas:
Complete Control Over Multiple Versions of Documentation
With the next release always on the horizon, developers are constantly updating and evolving their documentation. And they are often running multiple variants of the same documentation.
For example version 2.0 of a product being developed while version 1.9 is still being worked on. The document sets for version 1.9 and version 2.0 would share many topics, but there will be some variations.
XDocs branch and merge capability solves this by allowing users to run instant comparison of the two document sets. It highlights where changes have been made, indicating where older content on either the branch or trunk should be updated/replaced. Changes made to both the original topic and on the branch, users can review changes in a track changes view. Here they can decide whether to keep or reject changes or maintain two separate topics.
Easily find content
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. Therefore, helping you retrieve and deliver your content with greater precision.
XDocs Extended Metadata Module allows you to harvest glossary terminology from your DITA directly into XDocs. The Extended Metadata Thesaurus can then 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 terminology.
Companies are under pressure to get products to market as soon as possible but have many ‘moving parts’ both within the Technical Publications Department and across the company.
The best way to take control of this is to utilise a designated workflow. This controls when the various contributors need to be involved, notifies then accordingly and tracks all processes and actions.
The XDocs Workflow Module is based on the BPMN 2.0 industry standard and the de facto standard Activiti workflow engine. XDocs workflow process definitions can be created using other tools or within the system and the potential is limitless.
Subject Matter Expert Contribution
The in-depth product expertise does not typically reside within the Technical Publications Department; rather, it is spread across the organization and multiple roles. Historically, bringing SMEs into the document production process has often proved difficult. Time is tight and there is no appetite to learn new software. To address this, Bluestream has developed WEX — a web-based application. WEX is used to review, amend and even create DITA content from scratch without the need for any training.
When WEX is coupled with XDocs Workflow, SMEs can be notified by email when content needs their attention. Clicking on a link takes them to a web page. Here, functionality mirroring MS Word or Google Docs will let them accept the content, add notes or suggest changes. The intuitive, easy-to-use interface speeds up the process. Once their task is complete, the workflow engine advances the project to the next task. For example notifying the originating author that the review has been completed.
Multiple Languages Easily Managed
Software is used globally, and the documentation needs to reflect this. It is important that the correct documentation can be delivered in the relevant language.
Bluestream XDocs Localization Module provides you with a range of powerful features to help you comprehensively manage your localization projects.
XDocs streamlines the localization process and gives you dexterity in managing the task files in your project. The diagram below shows a simple workflow process where source content is authored in a source language and is then localized into one or more target languages. This process scan be iterative as shown by the “Repeat as Necessary” dotted line.
In today’s modern world it is no longer sufficient to deliver just printed documentation. With a growing move to mobile devices PDFs have become a hindrance more than a help. Users want to be able to find answers to their problems quickly. In addition, they often prefer a self-service portal over long waits on the telephone. Service Engineers require instant access to the latest documentation delivered to a mobile device. Potential customers want to see how a product might meet their needs. Often outside normal office hours and on a mobile device.
Bluestream’s XDocs Dynamic Delivery Platform lets you simultaneously deliver approved content to multiple devices and platforms. This includes websites and self-service portals. The Dynamic Delivery Platform can be configured for a wide range of solutions. In addition, the content comes directly from the XDocs CCMS. Above all, this means no conversion processes to run and approved content can be published instantly.
Unlike some rival systems, XDocs Dynamic Delivery Platform can be fully configured and maintained by your own Administrators. There is no need to come back to Bluestream every time you want a change.