Product companies focus on developing full product suites to cover every possible customer. Their literature focuses on amazing application-specific features and why their products are the best choice for any environment. These companies work hard to sell products and consulting services to implement their full-scale systems.
Several vendors sponsor think tanks and white papers that help implementers understand the components to any single-sourcing system. Many provide resources for information on single sourcing and XML. Often these resources surpass the boundaries of their product line.
Some of the major players in the single-sourcing product space are:
- XyVision [Ed. Note, 2017: Now SDL]
The only problem with this side of the triangle is the problem that faces nearly every vendor. Competition is fierce. Products and implementation strategies are expensive (even if you DIY) and generally generic. Depending on the product, it can take a considerable amount of customization before you have any sort of working environment. These companies do their best to make sure their products fit your requirements—rather than making sure that your requirements fit their product suites. It’s a rare vendor indeed that recommends a competitive product instead of one of their own.
In the end, with any of these companies, customers will get an implementation that works. They all have professional services that provide expert implementation assistance. So, at that, they are very good. But this group too is missing the rest of the triangle. Often solutions are awkward and don’t scale well to meet changing requirements as companies grow: they’re focused on sales rather than the general theory and technology that are essential for a well-designed customer-specific solution. They miss the application-specific opportunities where documentation meets source development because they’re designing a system for the here-and-now. So again, we find that they are not alone.
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