Common Questions: Bursting

Bursting, chunking and content reuse in Arbortext

This week’s topic: Bursting

We start talking about something we call “bursting” when we get questions like the following:

Can a writer or translator work just on paragraph chunks while an editor can see entire sections?

This question is nearly always followed by this question:

Can this level of granularity be specified in ACM?

Before we can answer either question, we need to address some of the implicit assumptions here.

First, we’re assuming you’ve using the component content management functionality of Arbortext Content Manager (ACM). This means you have created reusable chunks, or have implemented bursting rules so that ACM creates the chunks for you. Once you have the chunks in ACM, you can set permissions so that individual users can only access those parts that they have permission to see.

In Arbortext, we call this process of automatically chunking your documents into individual, reusable pieces “bursting.”

Arbortext Content Manager performs document bursting based on configuration files that are stored on the server.  If no burst configuration is specified, the ACM will treat each document as a single document object. For some document types, such as the DITA document types, the burst configuration is used to import document objects rather than burst a larger document into smaller objects. DITA documents are already modular and typically do not require bursting.

Bursting rules are also used when you use the Documentum Adapter, the DB2 Adapter, or the Oracle Adapter with Arbortext Editor.

Note that much of the “work” involved in document bursting is researching your authors’ requirements and determining a burst configuration that meets their needs. It may be helpful to get some assistance defining your first burst configuration and then using an advisor to confirm your first solo bursting project.

As always, if you have a question that we haven’t answered or if you want more details, remember to send us your questions or add them to the comments!

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Author: Liz Fraley

Liz Fraley has founded two companies, sits on the boards of three non-profits, and is constantly coming up with new ways to share knowledge in the technical communications and content industries.