Grow Your Skills: Arbortext and DITA

In a tough market, you need to stay ahead the pack. The best way to do that is to make sure your skills are in demand. One of the highest demanded skills in the publications arena is Arbortext. We are offering this one day session for you to learn what it takes to create DITA structured documents using the leading industry tool: Arbortext Editor.

Reserve your seat now

Current Seminar:

“Introduction to Arbortext Editor and the Arbortext DITA Application”


What is Arbortext?

Next-century tools for dynamic product information development. The Arbortext product suite offers solutions at every stage of information development from defining, authoring, illustrating, to managing, and delivering content.

Arbortext is an end-to-end product information delivery system that automates the authoring and publishing processes for the delivery of high quality, tailored product information in the form of operator manuals, service documentation, and eLearning courseware.

What is DITA?

DITA is one of the most important innovations in XML publishing in years

Short for “Darwin Information Typing Architecture,” DITA is an IBM invention that the company contributed to the community under the auspices of OASIS. DITA is an architecture based on XML for publishing technical information, and you can think of DITA as having three distinctive characteristics:

  • DITA is a data model – In other words, DITA defines a DTD and an equivalent Schema that prescribe which tags you may use. What makes DITA unique is that you create your own tags using a mechanism called “specialization” that requires you to define new tags by basing them on existing tags.
  • DITA is a methodology for reuse – Unlike book-oriented approaches to data modeling, which lead authors to continue writing information in a monolithic form, DITA is a topic-based approach to authoring that leads authors to write small, standalone modules that can more readily be reused in multiple document types.
  • DITA is an information architecture – To communicate information with the greatest effectiveness and efficiency, DITA defines an approach to writing and presenting information that embodies decades of experience. DITA specifies that technical information be classified as a Concept, Task or Reference, which guides authors to write more specifically with the fewest possible words.

Arbortext & DITA

As the first vendor to support DITA at IBM, the first vendor to support DITA editing, and the only vendor to participate as a founding member of the OASIS DITA Technical Committee, PTC has led the way for DITA adoption. DITA was developed on Arbortext.

Arbortext DITA provides access to all these capabilities:

  • Conversion capabilities for legacy content
  • Complete authoring support for maps and topics
  • Link management
  • Integrated support for review and approval cycles
  • Conditional text to produce documents that meet the needs of individual readers
  • Reuse of content across multiple documents
  • Integrated functionality for content management
  • Localization
  • Rich publishing capabilities for any media, including print and electronic

Covered in the seminar:

  • Getting Started
  • Background & Resources
  • Structured Application and Authoring Concepts
  • Introduction to
  • Arbortext Editor
  • Working with Structured Markup
  • Structured Information and Document Structure
  • Creating Tables
  • Introduction to DITA and the Arbortext DITA Application
  • Creating DITA Topics, Concepts, and Tasks
  • DITA Cross-References, Links, and Content References
  • DITA Maps and Relationship Tables

You can deepen your understanding of working with DITA by attending the Content Management Strategies Conference right before this seminar, April 19-21 in Santa Clara. Liz Fraley will be presenting an case study of long-term Arbortext Customers.

You can learn more about Arbortext by joining the SF Bay Arbortext PTC/User Group or by visiting the Community Resources page hosted by Single-Sourcing Solutions.

This seminar is designed by Liz Fraley, software engineer, technical trainer, and secretary of the SF Bay Arbortext PTC/User Group and is based on the Certified PTC training courses offered by Single-Sourcing Solutions.

Trainer bio:

Liz Fraley
Liz Fraley
LIZ FRALEY, Single-Sourcing Solutions, is a long-time Arbortext user, customizer, stylesheet developer, and implementer. In addition to being a senior software architect, she is the founder of Single-Sourcing Solutions, a qualified, experienced reseller of Arbortext Products. She has over 15 years experience programming, teaching, and supporting knowledge growth in the community, including more than a decade of experience with the Arbortext product line. She has presented at industry conferences including Content Management Strategies and the PTC/User (formerly AUGI) conferences annually since 2003.

She holds degrees in Computer Science and English from the University of College Park and a Masters in English from the University of Southern Mississippi. Single-Sourcing Solutions provides software and services to support the implementation and operation of a DITA-based publishing system: Arbortext.

Reserve your seat now

Arbortext Bootcamps Starting Up

In a tough market, you need to stay ahead the pack. The best way to do that is to make sure your skills are in demand. One of the highest demanded skills in the publications arena is Arbortext. We are offering this one day session for you to learn what it takes to create DITA structured documents using the leading industry tool: Arbortext Editor.

As far as I know, no one who has experience with Arbortext is out of work today. Companies are looking far and wide for people with Arbortext in their skills toolbox. At least one southern California company is hiring as many as they can get their hands on.

But you’ve got to know the tool. You’ve got to know the technology. In this economy, they aren’t willing to train or let you learn on the job.

We’re in the business of Arbortext and we are dedicated to continuing to grow skills in the community. We have a pageful of community projects to which every one of us here at Single-Sourcing Solutions dedicates our time. We blog and we podcast in the hopes of getting a lot of that Arbortext tribal information out of the heads of the experts and into the hands of people learning the tools.

Our latest idea to help foster skill development is the: Arbortext Bootcamp.

For a nominal fee, we’re offering a one-day professional development seminar[1]: Arbortext and DITA.

Here’s the URL:

Here are the quick and dirty details:

2665 N 1st Street, San Jose, CA 95134Date & Duration:
Two dates!: April 17, 2010 and September 18, 2010
Registration: 8:00 am, lecture 8:30 am – 4:00 pm


  1. Seminar Only: $150.00
  2. Copy of the Software: $350.00 (60% discount!)
  3. Copy of JoAnn Hackos’ book: $54.00

Prerequisites: Basic understanding of XML or SGML

DITA and Arbortext

Registration is online

[1] This idea was inspired by the Professional Development Seminar series done by the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the ACM, of which Liz Fraley, our founder, has been a Council Member since 1999 and is a past Chair of this chapter and a Chair or Member of two other ACM chapters in the United States.