News from PTC: Arbortext Supports DITA

Arbortext Announces Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) Support
Enables Information-Architected Topic-Based Authoring

Ann Arbor, MI. - April 13 2004 - Arbortext [now PTC], the leading provider of Enterprise Publishing software, today announced its newest product release, Arbortext 5.1, is now available. In addition to many product enhancements, Arbortext has also expanded its support for Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA), an IBM-created, OASIS-sponsored initiative that is an XML-based, end-to-end architecture for authoring, producing and delivering technical information.

Arbortext's XML-based single-source publishing architecture "helps companies capture their information in a single media-independent form and automatically publish from XML to multiple media types, including Web, print, CD-ROM and wireless devices." Arbortext's software is applicable especially to the production of catalogs, datasheets, operating instructions, user guides, service manuals, training courses, technical journals, reference publications and other complex documents.

The Arbortext Version 5.1 release features several enhancements for DITA. The Darwin Information Typing Architecture was originally designed by IBM, and is now under development in the OASIS DITA Technical Committee. DITA is an architecture for creating topic-oriented, information-typed content that can be reused and single-sourced in a variety of ways. It is also an architecture for creating new information types and describing new information domains based on existing types and domains. This allows groups to create very specific, targeted document type definitions using a process called specialization, while still sharing common output transforms and design rules developed for more general types and domains.

Five new document types have been added for DITA support in Arbortext Version 5.1 (Topic, Task, Reference, Concept, and Ditabase) these types enable authors to create content based on the DITA methodology. Arbortext now provides custom table support: "Arbortext 5.1 supports custom tables, also referred to as semantic tables, which not only conforms to DITA's table models (simpletable, choicetable) and properties, but also allows users to select their own tags to be displayed and edited in a tabular form."

The Arbortext Version 5.1 software includes 'Conref' support: "Conref is DITA's inclusion method used to include content from another file, which enables efficient reuse of information."

Enhanced specialization support is also feature in the Arbortext release: "With the ability to use a single stylesheet to control the style of Topic, Task, Concept, Reference and other DITA applications, users can quickly expand their publishing applications as well as easily incorporate content produced in other DITA-aware systems."

According to the company's announcement, Arbortext is "experiencing strong demand for its Enterprise Publishing software in key industries such as life sciences, manufacturing, aerospace, and publishing, where organizations are tackling the challenges of regulatory compliance issues, enterprise collaboration initiatives, customer service enhancements, and national security concerns. Current customers include American Express Financial Services, Audi, Boeing, Bombardier, British Aerospace, Caterpillar, DaimlerChrysler, Ericsson Telecom, Ford, General Electric, GM, IBM, International Thomson Publishing, Lucent, Nokia, Nortel Networks, PeopleSoft, Pfizer, Ricoh, Sun Microsystems, Toyota, United Airlines, Volkswagen and Volvo. Arbortext is a founding member and active participant in the XML Activity of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)."

DITA Enhancements

Arbortext 5.1 DITA enhancement includes:

  • Five document types added. Topic, Task, Reference, Concept and Ditabase have been added to support DITA and enable authors to create content based on the DITA methodology.
  • Custom table support. Also referred to as semantic tables, Arbortext 5.1 supports custom tables, which not only conforms to DITA's table models (simpletable, choicetable) and properties, but also allows users to select their own tags to be displayed and edited in a tabular form.
  • Conref support. Conref is DITA's inclusion method used to include content from another file, which enables efficient reuse of information.
  • Specialization support. With the ability to use a single stylesheet to control the style of Topic, Task, Concept, Reference and other DITA applications, users can quickly expand their publishing applications as well as easily incorporate content produced in other DITA-aware systems.

New in Arbortext 5.1

Arbortext 5.1 also contains many enhancements, including:

  • Styler. Numerous usability improvements to reduce the learning curve and streamline usage, including help with creating XPath expressions, no style support within Style Helper, undo/redo buttons on the toolbar and column sorting on elements
  • DCAM. Viewing available targets within the current document is now presented in a familiar tree structure, which simplifies finding and selecting link targets. Customers also have the capability of searching for a link target within the insert link dialog, which further streamlines the user experience.
  • Epic Editor. Users can use the custom table support for DITA to specify their own tags for displaying content in a table format, which lets users gain easier processing of their tabular information while displaying that information in an intuitive and easy-to-edit view.
  • E3. Composition improvements provide more layout flexibility and include the addition of XSL-FO side regions.

"Arbortext 5.1 builds on the strong foundation of Arbortext 5.0," said PG Bartlett, Vice President of Product Marketing for Arbortext. "We're particularly excited about offering support for DITA, which promises to streamline development and maintenance of technical publishing systems within a system built on best practices. Arbortext will continue to add to its support for DITA in upcoming releases."

The company is experiencing strong demand for its Enterprise Publishing software in key industries such as life sciences, manufacturing, aerospace, and publishing, where organizations are tackling the challenges of regulatory compliance issues, enterprise collaboration initiatives, customer service enhancements, and national security concerns.

Arbortext is the leading provider of Enterprise Publishing software that enables organizations to create and automatically publish large amounts of information, such as technical manuals, pharmaceutical product information, legal information and software documentation. Enterprises around the world use our software to publish in multiple languages to multiple audiences in multiple hardcopy and electronic output formats. Arbortext's software is installed at over 1,400 organizations worldwide.

Current customers include American Express Financial Services, Audi, Boeing, Bombardier, British Aerospace, Caterpillar, DaimlerChrysler, Ericsson Telecom, Ford, General Electric, GM, IBM, International Thomson Publishing, Lucent, Nokia, Nortel Networks, PeopleSoft, Pfizer, Ricoh, Sun Microsystems, Toyota, United Airlines, Volkswagen and Volvo. Arbortext is a founding member and active participant in the XML Activity of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, Arbortext has offices around the world. For more information, please visit www.arbortext.com.

About Arbortext

Arbortext is the leading global provider of automated publishing software that enables organizations to provide more personalized, dynamic and easily searchable content for Web, mobile and print usage. Arbortext's software is installed at over 1,400 organizations worldwide.

Current customers include American Express Financial Services, Audi, Boeing, Bombardier, British Aerospace, Caterpillar, DaimlerChrysler, Ericsson Telecom, Ford, General Electric, GM, IBM, International Thomson Publishing, Lucent, Nokia, Nortel Networks, PeopleSoft, Pfizer, Ricoh, Sun Microsystems, Toyota, United Airlines, Volkswagen and Volvo. Arbortext is a founding member and active participant in the XML Activity of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, Arbortext has offices around the world. For more information, please visit www.arbortext.com.

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About PTC

PTC (Nasdaq: PMTC) provides leading product lifecycle management (PLM), content management and dynamic publishing solutions to more than 50,000 companies worldwide. PTC customers include the world's most innovative companies in manufacturing, publishing, services, government and life sciences industries. PTC is included in the S&P Midcap 400 and Russell 2000 indices. For more information on PTC, please visit http://www.ptc.com.

E-mail: info@single-sourcing.com

About Single-Sourcing Solutions

Single-Sourcing Solutions is reseller of PTC’s Arbortext and Arbortext Content Manager (Windchill) products. With over a decade’s experience with the Arbortext toolset and in the practical development and deployment of mission-critical, custom XML development, Single-Sourcing Solutions has the expertise required for successful dynamic information delivery. Single-Sourcing Solutions is active in the global Arbortext community and related information development communities. For more information on Single-Sourcing Solutions, please visit http://www.single-sourcing.com.