What is DITA, anyway?

Have you ever read through a 60-page PDF just to find a few scattered comments from a reviewer? Are most of your technical content processes completed with the cut and paste function? Do you have 18 versions of the same document at any given moment (4 of which seem to have disappeared into the ether)? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you are in serious need of some DITA and a robust CCMS.

The Details on DITA

What is DITA?

DITA is the best way for businesses to publish smart and captivating technical content. DITA stands for Darwin Information Type Architecture, and is an open XML-based open standard for managing, creating, and publishing content. Defined and maintained by the OASIS DITA Technical Committee, DITA uses topics, maps, and output formats to generate documents. Simply put: it helps companies streamline technical documentation processes.


Maximum Content Reuse

Within Darwin Information Typing Architecture, each piece of content represents a unique XML file. The XML-based open standard allows for maximum content reuse across multiple publications, including tablets, mobile phones, and for desktop. Unlike a Word document, where content simply exists (like a rock), DITA content is dynamic. In an instant, you can publish a document to PDF, PowerPoint, RTF, or mobile—without ever having to cut and paste! A DITA content management system allows you to standardize and leverage content with effective reuse, publish to multiple platforms, and translate large batches of content with ease.

What is a CCMS?

CCMS stands for “component content management software.” Instead of managing content at the document level, a CCMS manages content on a granular level. Words, photos, phrases, chapters, and even entire procedures are stored in a central repository for maximum content reuse. Components are only stored once. This creates a consistent and trusted source which can be published across all platforms, including PDF, mobile, and print.


Simplified Content Retrieval

Within a DITA content management system, you can search for a word, group of words, or phrase in a certain version of a document. You will get a result containing the search term. Unlike other systems where you must manually locate the file and link to its path, this happens at the press of a button, making content reuse easy.

Inside a component content management system, each version of a document can be traced and recorded. Components can be tracked individually or as an entire documentation set. This ensures full transparency when it comes to the edit and review process.

A desktop, laptop, and Iphone on a white desk.

Why should my company use a CCMS?

Let’s say your company manufactures cell phones on a mass scale. Like most products, cell phones come with a user manual (that thing you so often toss out and immediately wish you hadn’t).


In preparation for the release of phone X, your technical documentation teams work towards creating and publishing a user guide. This manual will be delivered in multiple formats, including: as a printed booklet, an online document on your website, and as a PDF embedded on the phone itself. It will also be translated into Japanese, German, and French.


Next quarter, you will go through the same process for phone Y.


Is your head spinning yet?


A CCMS simplifies the process by offering a solution that covers technical documentation from A to Z. IXIASOFT CCMS provides an easy-to-use interface guaranteed to improve collaboration at all levels. Now, team members can contribute to the review, editing, and publishing process of any document. Not only is content available for print, is is also available to your end-users on the web, their mobile app or through a QR code.


Manage Multiple Product Releases at Once

You can also manage and automate parallel and multiple deliveries, or even continuous deliveries, while maximizing reuse within IXIASOFT CCMS. All bits of content are stored in a central repository, and can be re-purposed for publishing in several publications, products and languages. The CCMS is designed with an easy-to-use interface that can easily be adopted by anyone, even non-DITA users.

What’s more, you can filter and create targeted content depending on the product options! This creates slimmer but more targeted guides. End-users won’t need to skim through non applicable/unnecessary content.

The Benefits of DITA

Reduces translation costs

Easier collaboration among content developers and reviewers

Enhances content consistency throughout the technical information sets

Single sourcing – can push content to multiple channels, print, web, mobile, chatbots, embedded helps...

Separation of layout and content so writers focus on content

Easy updates on branding (new logo, new colors…)

The Benefits of Adopting a DITA-Focused CCMS

Traceability: track who did what, when, and where

Reduces review bottlenecks and increases competitive edge

Automated publishing

Easier and enhanced content reuse

Link tracking

Enhanced content development team collaboration (for dispersed teams)

Adhesion of DITA standard and updates on the standard