Did you know you can auto-generate content in more than one direction?
You can auto-generate content...
Documentation for technical manuals can be generated directly from the product source code or other engineering systems. Technical requirements and product specifications can be found in source control repositories in varying formats. Product-specific information may exist in operations databases, price lists or manufacturing database systems.
- Unlock Isolated Business Systems
- Auto-Generate Content
- Simultaneously Generate Content
Writers in Marketing, Technical Publications and Technical Support Groups all independently generate all of the the same content from all of the same business systems across the organization.
Without a single-sourcing environment, all these groups generate the this content repeatedly as the details change and the information, locked in the various business systems, gets updated over time. You need to understand, from an organizational perspective, what it takes to make single-sourcing work.
Application-specific XML tools can unlock the isolated business systems and compile information to auto-generate content simultaneously for:
- Technical Reference Manuals
- Time-Sensitive Release Notes
- API-Specific Implementation Information
Documentation is the foundation for a product collateral and for support reference material. Information about specific technical requirements and product specifications is duplicated in technical manuals, marketing collateral and support knowledge bases.
Keeping information current and in sync in all of these places is an enormous task when all these systems are isolated, separate systems. Customers get better, more accurate, and more consistent information when the information creation and publication is tightly woven together in a single-sourcing system.
- Improved Customer Relationships
- Improved Data Integrity
- Consistent, Accurate Information across the business
Application-specific XML tools development can improve accuracy and information integrity for customers. By developing tools to integrated independent business systems into a larger single-sourcing environment, you see an immediate improvement in data integrity. And customers see an immediate improvement in their relationship with your company.
These are just some of the many ways that other organizations with your company can benefit from content generated from Technical Documentation are:
- Online help required in the Product Source Code
- Technical Support Knowlege Base Articles
- Marketing Whitepapers and Data Sheets
- Customer and Partner Portal Content
Any Application, Any Industry, Any Project, Any Platform
Opportunities for application-specific XML integration exist everywhere in the product-production life-cycle.
Technical Publications organizations have been pursuing single-source solutions primarily to solve issues of quality and production of multiple-output formats. As these organizations mature, many look at ways to automate document creation as well. The tools and applications that we provide are true cross-industry applications.
And, if single-sourcing for reuse and automatic documentation production is the first step, then the integrating content with other business organizations is only the second.
The third step is to look at the entire product development process to identify opportunities for automatic content creation because mechanically-produced schema languages can be converted automatically into documentation and documentation templates.
This means that opportunities for practical XML development and deployment include:
- Full-Gamut Single Sourcing: Code, Definition, Help, Documentation
- Revision Management: Where Source Development Meets Documentation
- Application-specific XML tools development
Many applications have XML interfaces. For products that take advantage of XML as part of their implementation, creating tools that can automatically generate documentation is an obvious target for integration into a single-sourcing solution. For products that don't, tools can be created that transform native programming languages into XML, as needed for documentation purposes.
To customize or not to customize
If you're going to build software—and make no mistake that's what we're talking about here when we talk about customization—always do a deep discovery before starting out. It’s not just about the technology, it’s about understanding what it takes–from an organizational perspective–to implement a single-sourcing solution before you start down the path to implementation. And if you’re lucky, you can get someone else to do it for you–with no obligation to you.
Just make sure they really understand you. A deep discovery is far more than a 1 hour meeting or a 1 day survey of your immediate staff.