Interview with Todd Hicks, Wolters Kluwer, tool builder

This week’s podcast features Todd Hicks from Wolters Kluwer.  I’ve been looking forward to this podcast for a long time. Todd Hicks has been an Arbortext community member for a long time. Todd presented at AUGI and at PTC/User conferences. He started out supporting a division of Wolters Kluwer but now supports their global Arbortext deployment. He’s built custom applications and extensions to Arbortext that even PTC wanted (then developed).  Long-time community members never miss a presentation by Todd Hicks or one of his team at WK. They’re always doing something special, innovative, and technically spectacular.

It’s been my pleasure to get to know Todd better over the years and it’s a greater pleasure to share his knowledge, experience, and advice with the community through this podcast today. Continue reading “Interview with Todd Hicks, Wolters Kluwer, tool builder”

Common Questions: XML and Standards Support

WIth the recent release including new XML technology, we thought we’re talking about standards support and XML technology support in the Arbortext product suite

This week’s topic: XML and Standards support in Arbortext

With the most recent release of Arbortext there’s a lot to talk about with respect to standards and XML technology support in Arbortext. Arbortext has been part of the W3C since the early 1990s and still maintains seats on nearly XML-related committee there today.

One long-time, useful ISO-standard, XML validation tool, Schematron, is now shipping as part of Arbortext. This has been something that the more talented Arbortext developers, who have been using the tools for a long time, have implemented themselves. PTC has heard them talking in the Technical Committees, seen how much more effective their customers are having this technology at their fingertips, and they’ve responded.

As a result, we thought we’d take this opportunity to talk about standards support and XML technology support in the Arbortext product suite. So today, we’re answering some of the more common and general questions about Standards and XML support in Arbortext. 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!

Question: XML technology support

Does Arbortext support the transclusion feature of XML technology, such as xInclude, conRef?

Answer:

The functions cited are supported via the authoring, styling and publishing components within the Arbortext solution suite.

XML databases can have inverse performance to the number of elements in the database. Every element is broken out and assembling large documents with extremely large numbers of elements can take hours to assemble and publish.

Rather than leave granularity decisions to the CCMS, Arbortext Content Manager allows you to define the rules that control the granularity of the elements that are extracted and separated into individual components of the database, so that this “bursting” best fits your business requirements.

Question: XML validation support

What kind of schema does Arbortext support for Validation? For example, DTD, XML schema, schematron, RelaxNG?

Answer:

All of these technologies are supported by the Arbortext solution. Validation of source files (using the DTD, or schema) is done by the editor, styling, and publishing tools, which are integrated with the Arbortext Content Manager. Because all the tools utilize the same underlying technology, consistent processing is ensured at all levels (editing, publishing, styling).

Schematron has been included OOTB in the latest release.

Question: More XML technology support

Can the CMS support XQuery that is built on XPath expressions when performing full-text searches that includes metadata?

Answer:

The functionality exists in a different manner.

Question: Pure XML

When a writer edits an XML file with an XML editor, is the extraction necessary as well?

Answer:

You are perhaps thinking of a different tool. There is no “extraction” with Arbortext.

Arbortext is a Pure XML Editor and does not require a user to “extract XML”. This eliminates one of the steps in your current process which requires you to re-validate the XML created. With Arbortext the XML is always valid to your DTD/Schema.

Question: DITA support

Do you support specialized DITA functionality?

Answer:

Yes. In fact..

  • IBM designed and built DITA on Arbortext.
  • Arbortext was the only vendor invited as a charter member of the OASIS DITA committee when it was released from IBM.
  • DITA support in Arbortext became publicly available in version 5.1 released in April 2003.
  • DITA 1.2 support in Arbortext was first available in version 5.4M50 released in June 2010. (The DITA 1.2 specification was released for public comment in September 2010 and has not yet been finalized as of October 2010.)

Question: Standards support

What standards does Arbortext support (Open DITA Toolkit, etc.)?

Answer:

Arbortext supports XML, SGML, and XML- or SGML-based standards.

The DITA OTK is not a standard. The DITA OTK is a Java-based implementation of the OASIS DITA Technical Committee’s specification for DITA DTDs and schemas.

That said:

  • Arbortext Editor is completely compatible with the DITA Open Tool Kit.
  • Because the OTK provides the ability to replace the Apache FOP engine with other rendering tools, you can plug Arbortext Publishing Engine into the OTK. There’s nothing required on the Arbortext side to get PE to work with the OTK. You only need to change the configuration files in the OTK to point to the Arbortext Publishing Engine.
  • If you have both the Editor and the Publishing Engine, you don’t really need the overhead of the OTK. Editor and Publishing Engine already know how to talk with each other and both can be automated without any additional external tools. 

For programming language support, you should check the related links attached to this post.

Monster Garage off to a roaring start

Watch the Video for Arbortext Monster Garage, “Pop the Hood – Get Started with Arbortext Editor in 20 Minutes”

Last Friday we held the first session of the Arbortext Monster Garage. Lynn Hales, long time Arbortext community member, user, ACL developer, FOSI expert, and trainer, did a fantastic job explaining the basics of how XML editors work generally, and how Arbortext works in particular.  He did a little tour of the product UI and answered some questions the audience posed. It was a great foundation for the series.

Here’s what one of  the attendees had to say:

  • @TsarSPb Friday 14 Jan 2011, 10:55 AM PT”@SingleSourcing Great start with the series! Thanks to Lynn for this intro webinar. Looking forward to the following sessions.”

Lynn will return as a Shop Coach again, later in the series: He’s scheduled for one or two more sessions coming up.

In the meantime, catch the video from this session on YouTube.