DITA objects

DITA consists of several document types each used to describe a particular type of information.

The basic unit of information in DITA is called a topic. A DITA topic represents a single piece of information that can stand alone. Topics can be reused in different document deliverables (for example, a PDF or online help system) as required.

Document deliverables are controlled and managed by DITA maps. DITA maps are files that collect and organize references to DITA topics to indicate relationships among the topics; they basically make up your table of contents.

topics and maps

The following are the common topic types available:

Topic Types Description
Concept The concept topic type is for topics that answer the question "what is?", and sometimes "why?". Concepts often define functionality and/or the purpose of a feature. They may also explain background information necessary for understanding the context of use.
Task Tasks answer the question “how?”. They provide step-based instructions that tell the user how to achieve a specific goal.
Reference Reference topics should contain quantified information about a specific thing: a product version, technology implementation, or design.
Topic This is a more generalized type of topic, which is not oriented towards specific content.
Referable-content The referable-content topic type is an IXIASOFT specialization. It is designed to hold the target text for conrefs – that is, a block of text that is referenced from many different other topics.
Glossary Entry Glossary Entry (glossentry) topics are to be used for holding glossary terms.
Troubleshooting (DITA 1.3) Troubleshooting topics provide a corrective course of action that a user encounters an issue.