So you are finally planning that big move over to structured content. Great! You understand the benefits of reuse and what it means for your business.

But what do you do about the mountains of legacy content? Pack it all up and bring it with you? Leave it behind hoping you will never need to look at it again? Work in two worlds of structured (for the new content) and unstructured (for the old data) authoring?

In this one hour session we talk about the options you have for handling all of that old data. Like the Sherpa guides of Nepal, we can help you. In this session we will share with you what you will need to help you on the journey, what to plan for, and some hard won lessons learned along the way.

About Don Bridges

Don is the Manager of Commercial “Technical Documentation” projects at DCL. He manages DCL activities across divers markets such as aerospace, automotive, life sciences, manufacturing, semiconductor, software, telecom, and utilities. He’s written several articles on the “business” aspects of implementing XML and is a frequent conference speaker.

About Data Conversion Laboratory

Established in 1981, Data Conversion Laboratory (www.dclab.com) has substantial expertise in complex conversion projects, including eBooks, TechDocs, Defense, and Libraries. They have experience with all the key DTDs, including DITA, ePub, MOBI, S1000D, ATA, NLM, DocBook, and TEI. They wrote the book, literally: They wrote the data conversion chapters in The XML Handbook and Columbia Guide to Digital Publishing.

About Single-Sourcing Solutions

Single-Sourcing Solutions (www.single-sourcing.com) is an elite PTC partner specializing in Arbortext 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. We are very active in the global Arbortext community and related information development communities.

Watch the Video

Recorded: August 2011

View the slides

Reviews

Read the review of this session by Ugur Akinci on Technical Communication Center.

Tweet Roundup

In case you missed attending the session live, the event had a live Twitter stream.

Read the tweets
SingleSourcing
Webinar Today “Conquering the Mountain of Legacy Data” 10 AM Pacific/US with Data Conversion Labs & Don Bridges
SingleSourcing
#S3IWebinar starting w/ @dclaboratory We will be high volume for next 60 mins
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: DCL celebrating it’s 30th year of finding themselves in complex data conversion projects
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: Situations where XML is a good idea, what the options are, and how to plan for it.. and a few tips too
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: why xml? less publishing centric/complex than SGML, more robust than HTML with wider bizcom acceptance
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: XML is a good fit if you have tecnical docs, need print + electronic, fast, frequent update, versions..
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: XML also key if you have print on demand
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: XML usu shw postive ROI – open standard, lots of vendors (relatively easy to switch) interchange simple
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: want an XML ROI calculator? Reply to the tweet
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: DITA is single source authoring, like lego blocks to go build anything you want
Single-Sourcing
#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: What does it take to build an XML system? Need 3 things: CCMS, delivery aspect, authoring tools
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: BTW, there’s also conversion: how do you fill the tank of content?
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: What else do you need? Someone who’s been there who can guide you. A Sherpa
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: What else do you need? Training. Get past the technical aspects of XML
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: What else do you need? Some way to get your content into XML
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: two ways to get your content converted: new content in XML/old content in old sys OR convert old stuff
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: very few writers have the clairvyance to author content thinking it will EVER be converted in future
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: it’s def more fun to author anew, but not necess faster or cheaper
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: but ask yourself — do you need to convert it?
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: 3 options: convert nothing ($0, Delay ROI), convert everything ($$$ low ROI), convert some (max ROI, $)
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: convert with intelligence – convert docs that are favorites, frequently used, long product lives,
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: when in doubt, start in the present and work backwards deciding on what to convert
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: Some people believe Automation not possible; some believe it is; some believe cheap labor 1st try works
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: What about rewriting? Think about cost – minimalism, simplified Eng, topic-based – Typically $60/pg
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: Rewriting typically takes 1 hr/pg — do the math
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: rewriting may be technically the right way to go, but there might be a higher value option
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: if you’ve only got a couple hundred pages, cut and paste works, right?
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: Humas are rarely 100% correct and consistent in performing tagging
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: STC presentation of CSG Systems in-house conversion 11K pgs – 6 months & 4K hrs http://bit.ly/nBORX9
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: If you just cannot release the content outside the confines of your building & have the time/$ do it
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: SAAS: really requires consistent, well-styled, maps well. You do manual clean-up before AND after
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: be sure to budget in the cost of clean-up
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: Oursourced conversion – no surprises, know $, schedule, quality up front.
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: out-sourced conversion typically turn-key operation for one-time events
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: One-Time Event: you intend to stay in XML forever. Often happens for aquired contnet
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: conversion can be topic-sourced or book-sourced
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: topic-sourced – analyze similar content and rewrite – manual process, maximized reuse
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: I discourage making paragraphs their own topics
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: book-based conversion: designate topics by type based on heading level, automated, limited reuse,
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: book-basd conversion when topics dnot need reauthoring right away, can do after conversion
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: there are 3 things to do before converting content 1) harmonize content – spelling/punct differences
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: content faux pas: tables created without table editor.
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: content faux pas: references to pages or locations
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: graphic overlays on tables
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: content faux pas: graphic overlays on tables — think about your other formats
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges:content faux pas: extra spaces for composition — only applies to Print Presentation
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges:XML separates Content and Format. Need to think about that when prepping for conversion
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges:Style over-rides — manual applications that can’t be tracked easily
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges:Content Model Violations easy when you’re in a non-structured environment; hard to get right
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges:know your new content model and refit your content before conversion
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges:Look for those procedures authored as tabled #DITA content model violation
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges:notes authored as tables another #dita content model violation
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges:Other dita content model violations: http://bit.ly/mSADx0
Making Friends with Your DITA-Unfriendly Documents DITA is a hot topic in the ‘Tech Docs’ arena, and for good reason. DITA is an open standard that addresses many of the needs of technical documentation producers – most notably content reuse needs.
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges:Things to remember? Be able to Justify ROI to management for XML system
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges:Make sure your process is scalable – do a pilot or two or three
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges:know your new content model and refit your content before conversion
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges:Hire a Sherpa to talk to other people in the industry and to learn from their experience
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges:notes authored as tables another #dita content model violation
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges:You don’t know what you don’t know — the unknown unknowns — learn from others, hire someone
dclaboratory
RT @SingleSourcing
: #S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: Make sure your process is scalable – do a pilot or two or three
Single-Sourcing
#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges:Be prepared! Train content experts. Working with XML is DIFFERENT. Working with DITA is MORE DIFFERENT
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges:invest in tools that are XML-enabled and designed to enhance, not restrict, the process
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges:let the tool do the work so you don’t have to
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges:use robust, comprehensive DTDS and purge the instinct to say “how does it look, how does it look”
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges:Go to “what does it say” rather than “how does it look”
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges:do your homework, ROI is hard to identify initially..
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges:DCL celebrating it’s 30th year of finding themselves in complex data conversion projects
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges:know what you know, and get help for what you don’t
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges:train one person to super-user status and have them train the rest
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges:It can be as easy as, all updates go in at 2 AM and the website is updated at 2:01. It can happen
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges:Resources: http://bit.ly/nDjN68 and http://bit.ly/oufovS
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges:DCL’s #1 article: how to convert from Quark
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges:Questions ? Lots of good ones…
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges:if you’ve only got a couple hundred pages, cut and paste works, right? http://bit.ly/o1y4Ca
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory D.Bridges: Thanks everyone for attending.
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#S3IWebinar @dclaboratory L.Fraley: Next session: what single source information sharing really means & how to set about accomplishing it
CedricsMom
Single-Sourcing @dclaboratory Thanks for having the webinar.
CedricsMom
Single-Sourcing I’m a neophyte trying 2 understand SS, CM, DITA & XML & how they all work 2gether. Your webinar increased my understanding.

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Key concepts

data conversion, make your business case, topic based writing

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