Despite the claim that PDF is dead, it remains one of the most popular document delivery formats. If you're using DITA and publishing to PDF, you know there are limited options for producing high quality output. XSL-FO is very popular (it's "free", right?), and can do a good job, but its technical aspects can be challenging and costly. FrameMaker is a good option, especially if you have Frame expertise in-house, but that also has its issues.
Now, a new option is available which combines the benefits of both XSL-FO and FrameMaker. MiramoPDF provides a fast and reliable path from DITA to PDF using their enterprise level Miramo publishing engine and the MiramoDesigner GUI template layout tool. The publishing workflow is handled by the DITA-OT, so it's easy to integrate into most existing systems.
Miramo (from Datazone), had been in the database to PDF publishing business for close to 30 years. Their platform gives you the flexibility, speed, and scalability to create all types of sophisticated documents (hundreds of documents per hour, or single documents containing thousands of pages including indexes and TOCs). And now, they are making this platform available to the DITA community.
Download the current (beta) version of MiramoPDF and MiramoDesigner from www.miramo.com (link at bottom of page).
Scott Prentice is planning to demo this software at 7pm PDT on Thursday, April 20.
Any additional details will be posted here and sent to the SVDIG Yahoo group.
RSVP to Scott .. he will send a GoToMeeting invite (this is a virtual meeting).
More info to come!
Scott Prentice, president of Leximation, Inc., presented a demo of DITA to PDF publishing through FrameMaker and DITA-FMx. The new FMx-Auto addon for DITA-FMx, unlocks the API features in DITA-FMx to allow automated processing and publishing (in particular PDF publishing). With FMx-Auto installed, you can create your own scripts using the FDK (FrameMaker Developers Kit), FrameScript, or ExtendScript. Or, you can use the AutoFM plugin provided with FMx-Auto, which lets you open, process, and publish your DITA map into a PDF.
DITA-FMx supports FrameMaker versions 7.2, 8, 9, and 10, and FMx-Auto is available in server and desktop versions depending on your workflow and needs.
Even if you're not using FrameMaker for authoring, you can take advantage of its superior and easy to use PDF publishing capabilities.