You may have been pondering a content management system, but your staff already has enough to do. If your team does not have time to learn about a new system, understand XML and get to grips with new software tools, then look no further than to DITA Exchange.
DITA Exchange uses Microsoft Word to enable your content Management team to create DITA Topics in Microsoft Word.
If you have read our previous blog on DITA you will know that it is a structured authoring system that uses XML with the ability to adapt to other formats. It uses a building block format whereby writers can keep their content divided into topics, eventually building a complete piece of copy. When the time comes to update a piece of information, DITA enables the content writer to only re-use the chunks of information that need to be changed, rather than the whole document – saving time and money. If you want to read a blog written by someone who truly appreciates its benefits, have a look at Karen Lowe’s blog about DITA on her DITA Chicks Blog.
The DITA Exchange software tools can be used by your content creators, without them having to learn about DITA or XML. They can carry on using Microsoft Word, but the content is converted to DITA topics thanks to the installed software. So, whilst your team appears to be creating content in Word, they are in fact using DITA and creating topics in XML, which can be accessed by experienced XML users if necessary. Completed content is saved into Microsoft SharePoint, which creates a topic library for the content team.
Like any new system, employees will need a certain amount of training. They will need to learn how to use the topics and adapt to the DITA software, but these are skills that can be easily acquired, unlike training to use XML.
This means that staff training costs are lower and less work time is lost, whilst employees take part in training schemes. It is less disruption and faster to implement.
Obviously any company large or small that produces and re-produces content will benefit from DITA Exchange. It means that your content is managed, maintained and re-used efficiently, without having to spend a great amount of cash on staff training. Its use of topics and the building block formula makes re-using content for translation or updating documents easier to achieve and cost effective.
DITA is used by a wide range of brands throughout the world, including USA, Canada, France and Japan. If you are curious to see who some of these companies are, then have a look at the list of DITA users compiled by Keith Schengilli-Roberts at DITA Writer.
Terralingua is a professional ISO certified translation company specializing in localization and desktop publishing who implements DITA. We have worked with many of the world’s industry leaders and if you would like to talk to us about your company’s global communications, please visit our website for further information.