While I'm a big fan of XML for many purposes, it's a misconception that it's the single best solution in every scenario, and it's worthwhile to consider the alternatives in situations where the benefits of XML are not necessary. In this article, I discuss alternatives to XML, SGML, and HTML that might be suitable when budgets are more limited. While XML is perfect for highly coded information, other options can work well for many kinds of information. Markup languages are at the high end of the cost spectrum, so if you don't need the benefits they provide, you certainly should consider the alternatives discussed below.
OK. So you have your documents in XML. How do you deliver them to readers? You've heard great things about separation of form and content, and would like different kinds of readers to see the documents styled in different ways. And in order to make the collection of documents more useful, you would like to have full-text search. The quality assurance people would like some help with tools for checking documents and finding errors and inconsistencies in existing ones. Oh, and by the way, we just took a budget cut, so can you do it without breaking the bank?
For years you've been hearing about how structured authoring and XML-based workflows can help technical authors reuse content more efficiently. By converting all of your topics to an XML standard, investing in a CMS, and building custom DTDs and XSLT translations, you can avoid having to maintain duplicate content. The downside? Months of time invested in research, evaluation, and conversion only to be followed by a steep learning curve as your team adjusts to a new workflow.
Although managing costs is important anytime, it is especially important in today's economic reality where budgets are shrinking drastically. Getting your money's worth as well as what you need to support your data should be a core factor of any data project. The two biggest cost factors are the type of conversion work you need done and how much of it you'll need. This article focuses on how your goals for your project relate to the output format you choose, and how that format impacts costs. While some outputs, like XML, provide higher capabilities, they also cost more to create.
A major topic among information development managers these days is single sourcing--writing information once and using it many times. Structured documents are critical for single sourcing. So, let's explore: what we mean by structuring documents; why structuring is useful; some of the concerns that writers have about structuring documents.
Business integration is at the heart of many of today's industry trends. As businesses consolidate infrastructure, and look at rolling out service-oriented architectures, they are finding they need to link previously isolated applications. It's not easy. You can't link applications without some form of middleware, an extra application layer that lets their various systems communicate. Whether you use web services, or a message-based solution, there's one key feature that's at the heart of modern integration technologies: XML.
Intelligent content is content which is not limited to one purpose, technology or output. It’s content that is structurally rich and semantically aware, and is therefore discoverable, reusable, reconfigurable and adaptable. It’s content that helps you and your customers get the job done, often automatically.
This white paper discusses the role of an XML repository into today’s enterprise infrastructure. Virtually every database and repository provide some degree of XML support; however, there are important distinctions between support for XML as a data type and the role of a repository whose architecture and operations are optimized to support the broad family of XML recommendations and standards. Specifically, this white paper will explore: The nature and extent of XML use across the enterprise, cost and quality of service implications of an infrastructure with, and without, an XML repository, the evolution of XML repositories from both a technology and a market segment perspective, criteria to determine when an XML repository would add significant value to an existing infrastructure, and capability and packaging recommendations for XML repository functionality that can be used to evaluate specific offerings.