SVDIG Silicon Valley DITA Interest Group


Meeting: DITA without a CMS, Ben Colborn (Citrix)

Business: Remote access and virtualization, infrastructure products

Organization: Training (also Technical Publications)

Objectives: Temporarily add to functionality of XMetaL and the DITA Open Toolkit, eventually purchase a CMS to handle the same tasks (they have since moved to DocZone)

Requirements, Issues: Automate edit/review of training material, translate into multiple languages, PPT a required target, SCORM package required, search and link management issues

Key Tools: XMetaL, svn, custom tools produced in-house by Ben and others

Sample Custom Solutions: Excel/VBA macros, script to create stub topics to get writers started, search facility using JEdit, script to build SCORM package, semi-automatic transformation to PPT from DITA source

Sample Challenges: Customizing PDF output, multi-volume books, SCORM requirements, instructor requirement to use PPT

Possible Future Challenges or Barriers to Reuse: Training and publications departments are now using different CMSs (DocZone on Alfresco and Astoria)

Conclusions: You don't need $1 million in tools to achieve some of the key CMS functionality required/useful in a DITA environment. What you learn doing custom tool production will help you choose the right commercial CMS when that opportunity presents itself.