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AOTk: The Arbortext Open Toolkit

Most customers abandon mixing Arbortext with the DITA OT once they realize they can get Arbortext for Small Teams

The AOTk is a set of plugins that will allow you to use Arbortext products directly with DITA Open Toolkit.

We built them because we could, but found them to be mostly an academic exercise. We've had inquiries into these plugins now and then, over the years, but these plugins have never been deployed for various reasons that are detailed below.

AOTk Publish

DITA OT Add-on for Arbortext Editor

  • Execute DITA OT publishing directly from inside Arbortext Editor
  • Publish to all formats supported by the DITA OT: PDF, HTML/XHTML, HTML Help, RTF, Java help, eclipse help, troff, docbook, ePub, etc
  • Override built-in composition dialogs
  • New menu items and dialogs
  • Use Arbortext Editor's native change-tracking directly with the DITA OT

Why no one needs this

When you deploy a plugin into your environment, you're committing to pay for long-term maintenance that only works in your environment and only applies to your specific needs. Custom Code!

Even if someone were to purchase the plugin from us, they'd be committing to a lifetime of development, maintenance, and support of our custom code in their environment.

Custom code is far more expensive in the end. Especially when compared to the cost of Arbortext for Small Teams.

AOTk Publish Server

DITA OT Add-on for Arbortext Publishing Engine (PE)

  • Execute DITA OT publishing directly from Arbortext Publishing Engine
  • Use the DITA OT to extend the publishing capabilities of Publishing Engine: Java help, eclipse help, troff, docbook,and any other formats supported by the DITA OT

Why no one needs this

While it was fun to develop AOTk Publish Server (the PE plugin for the OT) , it's one product that truly has no customer base.

If you've spent the money on PE, then you likely have Arbortext Editor as well. And if you have both Editor and PE, the OT is completely unnecessary. AE can already communicate directly with PE, and, even more importantly, PE has a web-servlet front end and can be automated out of the box. The OT provides no additional value in this situation.

It provided a lot of learning opportunities for us both from the PE side and the OT side, but we wouldn't wish the effort on anyone. Ever.


AOTk Publish Windchill

DITA OT Add-on for all the flavors of Windchill

  • Execute DITA OT publishing directly from Arbortext Content Manager, Arbortext PDMLink, and Windchill
  • Execute the DITA OT from a Windchill workflow
  • Everything you get from AOTk Publish, only directly from the Windchill environment!

Why no one needs this

It's extremely rare to find someone who has Windchill but not Arbortext. Windchill has an API, so it's possible to do, but, again, this is all custom code and a weird thing to try and do anyway. Windchill is an enterprise server application. The OT is a command-line driven executable that expects all content bits to be in a file system. It doesn't make sense to pull things out of a full-service content management system just for publishing. 

Besides, Windchill can be configured such that dynamic content can be scheduled to be automatically published– every time it changes, on a periodic/time-based schedule, on demand through the CMS or through the Arbortext Editor desktop application. There's just no value-add to inserting the OT into this process.


Use Arbortext Publishing for your PDF composition in the DITA OT

  • Transtype/plug-in for using Arbortext Publishing for PDF
  • Optionally use Arbortext publishing also for HTML, RTF, CHM, and web
  • Replace Apache FOP with Arbortext Publishing Engine in the DITA OT
  • Take advantage of built-in Arbortext Advanced Print Publsher for advanced layout directly from the DITA OT
  • Call Arbortext Publishing Engines directly from the DITA OT

Why no one needs this

See previous comments about AOTk Publish Server.