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Arbortext Putting Business Users in Control


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Arbortext   Putting Business Users in Control

Easing the Pain of Implementation

Arbortext, Inc.

Epic, Epic Editor, E3, DCAM, Styler, Architect, Companion and Contributor are trademarks of Arbortext, Inc. Windows is a trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. All other names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

1103/500 Rev 1.

1 Executive Summary

The Arbortext 5 release, scheduled for availability in the first quarter of 2004, makes it easier for your organization to implement and deploy publishing systems that automatically produce information on multiple types of media from a single source.

This white paper begins with a review of the problems of traditional publishing systems, describes how an automated publishing system can solve those problems, and then explains the challenges of implementing such a system. This white paper concludes with showing how Arbortext 5 addresses those implementation challenges, with the result that it slashes development time and costs by giving business users greater control and reducing or eliminating the need for specialized technical support.

Arbortext 5 Solution Components

Arbortext 5 makes implementing single-source dynamic multichannel publishing systems easier by putting more control in the hands of business users.

2 Introducing Arbortext 5

As companies increasingly struggle to accomplish more work with fewer resources, Arbortext aims to offer a competitive advantage by helping them deliver fresher and more relevant information in all the forms their customers expect, while reducing the cost and effort involved. Arbortext makes this possible through its XML-based authoring and automated publishing technology, which enable enterprises to build a single media-neutral source of information that can be automatically assembled and published for any audience on any medium.

Arbortext software meets the needs of applications that are much more difficult and critical than word processors were designed to meet. Arbortext is used for the most difficult and critical content within an organization, such as product catalogs, datasheets, user guides, service instructions, policy & procedure manuals, regulatory submissions, and similar technical, reference and regulatory information.

On May 5, 2003, Arbortext announced Arbortext 5, our next major product release and perhaps our most significant. We expect to ship this release in the first quarter of 2004.

Arbortext 5 will include several new products as well as major updates to existing products. The primary goal of Arbortext 5 is to streamline the implementation of our software while helping our customers take advantage of Microsoft Office 2003 where appropriate. To achieve this goal, Arbortext 5 includes the following:

Epic Editor – an XML editor for content architects and power authors that support the creation of dynamic content for multiple types of media – Web, print, CD-ROM, wireless – with advanced features to give authors control over content aggregation, personalization, assembly and publishing. Epic Editor is the industry leader and widely recognized for its power and performance.

Contributor – a new Web-based XML editor that runs in a browser (Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 or later). Contributor fills a gap for companies who want to provide widespread access to simple XML content creation capabilities without the time and expense of a desktop install.

Contributor can serve as a cost-effective stopgap for organizations who cannot immediately deploy Office 2003, or as an alternative for organizations that do not use Office or choose not to upgrade to Office 2003.

Companion – a new add-in for Word 2003 from Arbortext, Companion will provide several capabilities in support of using Word for XML authoring and automated publishing. In particular, Companion will enable the use of stylesheets to control the on-screen appearance of XML documents in Word. (These stylesheets will come from Styler, another new Arbortext product described below.) This feature will let authors create and edit XML documents in Word while enjoying the productivity improvements of automated styling.

Architecta tool for developers to create data models (both DTDs and Schemas) and configure many Epic Editor and Contributor authoring functions.

Styler – a new development tool that allows designers to create stylesheets to drive automated publishing from a “single source of style” to print, PDF, Web, HTML Help, and even wireless devices.

In contrast to tools aimed at programmers, Styler offers a powerful, easy-to-use graphical user interface that designers will find instantly familiar. Styler supports the creation of a single modular stylesheet that can drive multiple types of media, simplifying development and maintenance.

In addition to its support for publishing, Styler will also generate stylesheets in support of XML authoring. In particular, Styler will generate stylesheets for Epic Editor, Contributor and Arbortext Companion for Word 2003.

E3 – Arbortext’s server for multichannel publishing, E3 provides on-demand personalized documents with professional-quality formatting in a variety of media formats: print, PDF, Web, HTML Help and other electronic formats. E3 does not provide content management capabilities; instead, E3 works with files stored on the file system or on leading content management systems.

DCAM – a new add-on to Arbortext’s E3 server that provides advanced and easy-to-use support for dynamic content. In contrast to content management systems, which manage content and support dynamic content at a component level, DCAM manages relationships inside each component to allow individual elements to be dynamic. Dynamic elements include cross-references, variable text, database-driven fields, database-driven tables and both static and variable links to graphics, other content and other media.

DCAM also provides an easy-to-use interface for authors to reduce or eliminate the need for highly skilled technical assistance.

3 Overview

An organization should research the following when analyzing their requirements for authoring and publishing to multiple outputs:

Hidden inefficiencies in creating and sharing information

Envisioning a solution

Implementation challenges

Arbortext 5 puts control in hands of business users

3.1 Hidden inefficiencies in creating and sharing information

One of the most important functions of an organization is to capture and share intellectual content both internally and outside the organization. The simplest form of intellectual content is email; at the other end of the spectrum are formal publications such as product catalogs, operating instructions, reference works, legal contracts, regulatory submissions and similar documents. This white paper focuses on the latter: business-critical content that represents the “heavy lifting” of content within an organization.

Ten years ago, most organizations only delivered their information in print. With the advent of the World Wide Web, every organization found itself compelled to deliver information in electronic form too. Electronic formats are proliferating rapidly; today, content may be delivered to any combination of Web, print, PDF, CD-ROM, PDA, cell phone, eBook and others. In fact, according to researchers at Berkeley’s School of Information Management and Systems at the University of California, “new stored information grew about 30% a year between 1999 and 2002.” Moreover, “the amount of information printed on paper is still increasing.” The explosive growth of electronic media over the last decade – not only the Internet but also handheld and wireless devices – has most organizations struggling and failing to keep their information accurate, consistent, fresh and complete across all types of media.

Creating and sharing intellectual content is a painful and time-consuming process, plagued by enormous manual effort to design, write and lay out publications. The problem arises because traditional tools for creating and publishing information only support one type of media well; for example, Macromedia’s DreamWeaver publishes to the Web while Adobe PageMaker is oriented to print. To provide information on additional media, organizations employ additional manual processes, one for each media type. For instance, the Web team may start with content from the print team, but after the initial conversion, both teams must maintain the same content indefinitely, doubling the cost.

In the traditional processes, several additional inefficiencies exist as well:

For each type of media, authors waste one-third to one-half of their time because they are formatting documents instead of writing.

Because traditional tools provide little or no support for reusing information at a modular level, authors often spend time re-creating information that already exists. This raises the cost of information creation; increases the risk of inconsistencies which could in turn lead to legal liabilities; and increases the cost of ongoing improvements because authors must update each of the multiple copies that exist.

When authors reuse existing information, they typically commit “cut-and-paste abuse” which creates multiple copies of the same information that authors must locate and change every time a revision is necessary.

For organizations who deliver their information in multiple languages, the failure to reuse existing content increases translation costs, in some cases increasing the cost many times over what should be necessary.

The inefficiencies in the process affect the quality of the information these processes produce. For example, organizations tend to release updates to their information less frequently, which means that stale information remains available longer.

At the same time as companies are struggling with expensive, slow and sloppy processes, customer expectations are rising. The advent of the World Wide Web has provided a world of information at the fingertips. As a result, customers have a lower tolerance for inaccurate and incomplete information. Providing exactly the information customers want, when they want it, and in the form they want it not only improves customer relationships, it can also be a competitive advantage.

Inefficiencies in Existing Processes

A significant amount of manual effort goes into supporting multiple types of media in existing publishing processes. In this illustration of an actual process, authors create the source information using word processing tools. After review and approval, a web publishing team manually converts, fixes, formats, and reviews the content for publication to the Web.

This process must be repeated for each output media supported and, if significant updates are made to the content during composition, the authors go through the same process to convert the content back into their word processing tools.

3.2 Envisioning a solution

Many world-class organizations have already realized that by addressing the inefficiencies in their processes for capturing and sharing critical information, they can slash costs while improving the quality of the result. They have obtained these benefits by implementing an automated publishing system based on XML, the Extensible Markup Language. An XML-based publishing system creates a “single source” of content that consists of reusable objects; the system automatically publishes these objects to multiple types of media – Web, print, PDF, CD-ROM, even wireless devices – all from a single source.

The benefits of XML publishing include not only dramatic cost savings but also significant improvements in the accuracy, completeness, consistency, relevance, and time-to-market of information. However, the cost and time required to develop these systems has restricted their deployment to high-volume documents in large organizations.

Although the potential returns on investing in an XML publishing system can be very high, the implementation of such a system can be difficult and expensive. By reducing the pain of implementing such systems, Arbortext 5 allows organizations to expand their application of the technology so that they can achieve savings across more types of documents as well as across more parts of the organization.

Multichannel Publishing Solution

Arbortext enables businesses to automate publishing by creating a single source of XML content and automatically publishing it to multiple types of media. Automated publishing allows organizations to eliminate the manual steps of converting, fixing and formatting content for individual output media, which reduces costs, speeds time to market and improves quality.

3.3 Implementation challenges

Implementing XML publishing systems involves considerable effort because they are still relatively new. The issues fall into three broad areas:

Application development – Because XML publishing systems rely heavily on automating manual processes to deliver their benefits, implementation requires more up-front work including both planning and development. In particular, you must set up data models for your information (using either DTDs (Document Type Definitions), or Schemas, which are newer and not as widely supported) and you must write the programs to drive automated processes.

For example, automated publishing involves a specialized program called a “stylesheet,” which contains the rules that describe how each XML element should be formatted. When you send a stylesheet and some XML content to an automated publishing engine, it transforms the XML content into a publication suitable for viewing or printing. To publish that XML content to multiple types of media, you apply multiple stylesheets to the same content and the publishing engine automatically produces that content in all the forms you desire.

Technical skills – Application development requires highly specialized skills, including knowledge of XML, data models (DTDs and Schemas), stylesheets, other XML-related technologies such as linking and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), as well as traditional programming. In addition to the expense of acquiring the skills to develop the initial implementation, the organization pays again every time they need to make a change. This extra expense inhibits frequent adjustments and therefore makes the system relatively rigid, reducing the ability of the organization to adapt quickly to business changes. This results in fewer opportunities for organizations to apply the same technology in other areas of their organization which limits the benefits that can be gained.

In most cases, the technical skills required to build an XML publishing system are unavailable in-house so you must contract with outside consultants. Even when the skills are available in-house, the time required to implement the system delays the moment when an organization begins to realize a return on their investment.

Access to technology – In order to obtain the full benefit of XML publishing, everyone in the organization should be able not only to contribute content in a reusable form but also find and reuse existing content.

Implementation Pain Points

Implementing a single source multi-channel XML publishing system results in increased productivity, lower costs, and faster time-to-market, but can be costly to build.

In particular, many individuals within an organization are Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who tend to have jobs other than creating content all day long. SMEs need to be able to capture information and make it available to others to read and reuse. The path of least resistance would be to set up a process to convert word processing and desktop publishing formats to XML, but this involves considerable setup and ongoing manual cleanup. On the other hand, replacing these tools with new ones not only raises the cost but also meets stiff resistance from users who don’t want to change and IT organizations who want to avoid the high cost of installing and maintaining desktop systems.

3.4 Arbortext 5 puts control in hands of business users

To ease the pain of implementing XML publishing, Arbortext 5 puts more control in the hands of business users. Arbortext 5 addresses the difficulty, cost, and time of implementing a system by allowing business users to configure much of what must currently be customized using highly skilled technical resources.

While Arbortext 5 offers many new features, following are the key innovations in this release which is scheduled for availability at the end of 2003:

Easy Stylesheet Development – Arbortext introduces Styler, a tool that allows designers to create stylesheets for automated publishing without the need for programming or acquiring the specialized skills for different media output. Styler offers an easy-to-use interface that delivers functionality to support multichannel publishing.

Easy Dynamic Content – DCAM (Dynamic Content Assembly Manager) allows authors to create dynamic content while ensuring the validity of the resulting document. DCAM manages dynamic elements such as links, graphics, text and database information that vary based publishing context. By creating a “master document” authors can generate subsets of the document on demand, while DCAM ensures that the resulting combination of content works properly.

Enterprise Content Creation – Arbortext 5 allows content contributors and Subject Matter Experts across the organization to create content directly in XML using either Word 2003 or Arbortext’s new Web-based editor, Contributor:

o       Arbortext Companion for Word 2003 – With the availability of XML editing capabilities in some versions of Microsoft Word 2003, Arbortext 5 customers will be able to use Companion, a new add-in from Arbortext for Word 2003, to incorporate Word directly into an Arbortext solution. Previously, the only path was through the Word-to-XML capability built into Arbortext’s Enterprise E-Content Engine (E3), which requires both more work to set up and ongoing manual effort to repair content that fails to convert cleanly.

o       Contributor – Contributor is a low-cost, easy-to-use XML editor that runs under a browser so that anyone anywhere can have access to XML content contribution. For organizations considering Word 2003 but unable to deploy it immediately, Contributor can serve as a low-cost stopgap; for organizations who must provide XML editing both within and outside the organization, Contributor offers easy self-installation over the Web so that everyone can have access.

In addition, Arbortext’s customization and integration capabilities have been greatly improved for developers with: a) out-of-the-box support for accessing and saving to WebDAV-enabled repositories; b) support for SOAP to simplify E3 integration with Web Services; c) much easier customization of Epic Editor toolbars and dialogs; d) support for inline ActiveX controls which will make it easier to develop specialized authoring controls that improve author productivity; and e) full Schema support within Epic Editor that eliminates the current requirement for a DTD to be present as well. (Epic Editor will continue to support both DTDs and Schemas; Contributor and Word 2003 work only with Schemas.)

4 Easy Stylesheet Development

Because XML contains no built-in instructions for displaying or printing it, stylesheets provide instructions to convert XML information into PostScript/PDF for printing, or to convert XML to HTML for delivery to Web browsers and other electronic devices.

Setting style in traditional word processing and desktop publishing tools is easy to learn and do but, until now, creating stylesheets to drive XML publishing has been a task for programmers with specialized skills. In particular, programmers must learn different languages for different types of media: XSL-FO for print and PDF, and XSL-HTML for the Web and other electronic delivery formats. And even if 80% of the formatting is identical, a stylesheet developer must create and maintain separate stylesheets for each media type.

Multichannel stylesheet development should be as simple as in word processors and desktop publishing software. Multichannel stylesheets should be easy for designers to create and maintain – programming should not be required. Designers should be able to work within a friendly and familiar user interface and should not have to learn multiple stylesheet programming languages. Furthermore, designers should be able to work from a single master stylesheet that drives publishing to multiple types of media, and they should be able to specify formatting for specific media when desired but otherwise use the same formatting for multiple media types, even if they require separate programming languages.

4.1 Styler: a “single source of style”

Arbortext’s Styler, a new stylesheet development tool available in the Arbortext 5 release, puts stylesheet creation in the hands of designers and reduces or eliminates the need for programming. With its simple user interface, which offers a comfortably familiar set of formatting controls, a designer can define style settings for both electronic and print output without learning any of the stylesheet programming languages.

Designers can also define styles for specific types of media so that, for example, body text may appear in a serif font for print and in a sans-serif font on the Web. In its first release, Styler supports the creation of stylesheets for print, PDF, HTML, HTML Help and the Web (framed web pages). In future releases, Styler will add direct support for even more output devices; if you need to support these devices in the meantime, the first release of Styler can bring you very close to your goal.

In addition to generating stylesheets for publishing to multiple types of media, Styler also generates stylesheets for multiple editing environments, including Arbortext’s Epic Editor, Arbortext Contributor, and Arbortext Companion for Word 2003. You can easily use Styler to set up all three editors so that they all know how to display XML on-screen. That means that Styler can serve as a “single source of style” for everything that requires XML formatting, both for editing and publishing.

Arbortext designed Styler to provide extensive control over formatting through its graphical user interface. If you need more complex or specialized formatting than Styler can support, a stylesheet programmer can take advantage of Styler’s extension mechanism to insert small stylesheet programs for specific elements. A stylesheet programmer can extend Styler’s capabilities using XSL expressions and XPath, and by directly editing the style language source (e.g., XSL-FO for print, XSL-HTML for Web). For all other elements, a designer can continue to use Styler to maintain style through its graphical user interface.

Single Source Styling for Multichannel Publishing

Using Arbortext’s Styler, style designers can create stylesheets for XML publishing without the need for programming skills. With its powerful user interface and extensible functionality, Styler helps designers create professional-quality stylesheets for multichannel publishing. From a single user interface, Styler can emit stylesheets for publishing to multiple types of media and for editing in multiple tools.

In operation, Styler is similar to styling tools found in popular word processing programs. The interface for designing stylesheets is intuitive and familiar. However, its capabilities reach far past those of word processing styling tools in several key ways:

When creating stylesheets for XML documents in Styler, designers can specify conditions and context rules for which certain styles apply. For example, elements can have different styles based on the tags that enclose them (called “contextual styling”), so that titles can look different if they’re within chapters as opposed to sub-sections.

Designers can configure individual elements to display differently in each editing environment or media type in which they appear. For example, body text is frequently presented in a serif font in printed documents, but studies have shown that a sans serif font is easier to read for online editing and Web display.

From the single stylesheet source that a designer creates, Styler can automatically generate a stylesheet for each different media type in the appropriate stylesheet language: FOSI, XSL-HTML and XSL-FO.

5 Dynamic Content

Dynamic content is information that is more relevant and fresher than static content. It’s more relevant because it’s automatically customized according to each individual’s needs, and it’s fresher because it incorporates real-time data.

You may want to make content dynamic because you want to deliver customized information based on a wide variety of factors; for example:

Consumer attributes such as relationship (customer, prospect, employee, supplier, partner) or security clearance (top secret, classified, unclassified)

Product attributes such as model number or product options

Type of media to which the information is being delivered (such as low-resolution graphic images for the Web and high-resolution graphic images for print)

Requests from information consumers for specific collections of information

Inclusion of real-time data from multiple data sources into a single document on demand

5.1 Implementation challenges

When dealing with large documents or large amounts of information, there are two primary approaches available to fulfilling the need for customized information:

Master documents – You can set up a master document from which subsets can be automatically extracted and published

Dynamic assembly – You can set up a process to assemble content components into a single document based on queries

There are two important factors that complicate the implementation of these approaches:

Links – To simplify navigation, authors frequently insert “links,” also called “cross-references,” that make it easy for the reader to find related information. With static documents, authors can verify relatively easily that the links work correctly. However, with content that can be assembled or subsetted in limitless combinations, there’s no way for authors to validate that links will work in all combinations. To avoid producing documents with broken links, some automated method of verifying links and handling broken links gracefully is needed.

Reuse – Since dynamic content rests on making documents modular, it’s desirable to be able to reuse modules in multiple situations and for multiple purposes. This requirement adds complexity, since a component that contains a link target could appear more than once in the same publication. How should links be resolved when the same target exists more than once? A mechanism for resolving such ambiguities is needed.

In some cases, a reusable component is absolutely static – it appears exactly the same regardless of where it’s used. We refer to this as “static reuse.” In contrast, sometimes a reusable component must vary depending on which document contains it or on which media it appears. For example, a component may use a low-resolution graphic image for a Web publication and a high-resolution graphic image for that same publication in print. We call this “dynamic reuse.”

Static reuse is relatively easy to support, but achieving dynamic reuse today involves considerable complex programming. To simplify implementation of dynamic reuse requires some mechanism.

5.2 Dynamic Content Assembly Management

To address the problems of creating dynamic content out of reusable components, Arbortext is introducing a new capability called DCAM (Dynamic Content Assembly Manager). DCAM will provide several key capabilities:

Let authors easily find links, insert links, and ensure that the links remain valid

Let authors easily create dynamic elements that vary based on the “context” of the component; for example, an author could create a single battery replacement procedure that handles different batteries by varying part numbers, pictures, and other specifics; this is superior to the traditional approach of creating and managing a different battery replacement procedure for each different battery because it eliminates the redundant creation and maintenance that would be required

Check links within dynamic content to ensure that they are valid or to handle broken links gracefully so they do not appear in the resulting publication

Automatically create lists of available link targets within newly created content so that authors can easily find them and link to them


Arbortext’s DCAM is a key element in enabling dynamic assembly of content. With DCAM, organizations can reuse content in multiple situations for multiple purposes and ensure that links are always resolved and validated to keep content accurate, consistent and timely. DCAM also provides authors with an easy way to define and locate reusable content.

6 Enterprise Content Creation

In order to maximize the efficiency of an automated publishing system, organizations must capture information as structured content – XML – at the source. That means that everyone within the organization who creates or reuses content must be able to access that content in XML.

While you could provide enterprise access to XML editing by installing on every desktop an XML editor like Arbortext’s Epic Editor, which is ideal for content architects or for long complex XML documents, casual authors resist changing to unfamiliar tools, and IT resists supporting additional desktop software.

Most authors are familiar with Microsoft Word and do not want to learn a new tool, but until recently, Word did not support XML. Arbortext’s Enterprise E-Content Engine (E3) provides the capability to convert Word files to XML, but this can be a complex process to set up and often involves manual cleanup after each document is converted.

Enterprise Content Creation

The challenge of enabling content creation across the enterprise is that one authoring tool does not fit all authors. By providing and supporting authoring tools that are appropriate for different types of authors, Arbortext 5 enables organizations to capture information as structured XML content at the source.

In Microsoft Office 2003, Word has the capability to handle XML according to a user-specified Schema. Arbortext 5 will support the use of Word 2003 as part of the Arbortext solution through Companion, a new add-in for Word 2003. In addition, Arbortext is introducing a new Web-based XML editor, Arbortext Contributor, which will provide a stopgap to organizations who have not yet deployed Office 2003 or an alternative to organizations who must provide access to XML content creation both within and outside their organizations.

The following table describes the applications for which each product is best suited:


Types of Users

Types of Content

Arbortext Contributor

Occasional content contributors, Subject Matter Experts

Short, simple components of content

Arbortext Companion for Word 2003

Occasional content contributors, Subject Matter Experts

Short to medium content of simple to moderate complexity

Arbortext Epic Editor

Content Architects; Power Authors; Subject Matter Experts

Long, complex, compound documents; master documents; dynamic content

6.1 Arbortext Companion for Word 2003

Currently, Arbortext supports Word users through the “Interchange” capabilities of the Arbortext’s Enterprise E-Content Engine (E3). Interchange allows content contributors to create their information in Microsoft Word and import that content to XML.

With the release of Arbortext 5, our support for Word will extend beyond simple conversion. Because Microsoft Word 2003 supports XML, Arbortext is introducing a new add-in for Word called Companion that will make Word 2003 a highly capable component of an Arbortext-based publishing system.

Arbortext will support Word 2003 users in several key ways:

Applications – Because Word 2003 supports only Schemas and not DTDs, Arbortext will ensure that both Epic Editor and Contributor work with Schemas written for Word. In Arbortext 5, Epic Editor will support Schemas without requiring the presence of a DTD; Contributor supports only Schemas.

Content – Arbortext will ensure that XML content can be interchanged seamlessly between Arbortext products and Word 2003.

Style – Arbortext Styler will generate stylesheets that work with Arbortext Companion for Word 2003 so that a user can open an XML document and view on-screen formatting appropriate for that document. This will allow Word 2003 to open XML files from any source – not just Word 2003 – and see that file presented with appropriate formatting.

Publishing – Arbortext Companion will also allow Word 2003 users to publish XML documents automatically for multiple types of media through Arbortext’s Enterprise E-Content Engine (E3).

Arbortext Support for Microsoft Word 2003

Through Arbortext Companion, an add-in for Word 2003, Arbortext 5 will support content creation in Microsoft Word 2003 through stylesheets created in Styler. Companion will also allow Word authors to publish using Arbortext’s E3 publishing server.

6.2 Contributor

Although Arbortext will be working with Microsoft to support Word 2003, some organizations will delay deployment of Word 2003 for months or even years because of the time and costs to upgrade every desktop operating system to Windows 2000 or Windows XP and then to upgrade every Office user to Office 2003.

To help customers implement XML publishing before Word 2003 is deployed, Arbortext developed Contributor, a thin-client, browser-based XML editor. Through Contributor, content contributors and Subject Matter Experts will be able to create XML content within a browser. Contributor will allow multiple authors in diverse physical locations to create and edit XML documents and document components.

Contributor provides authors with a simple browser interface for creating text, tables, and lists, and it will provide word processing features like cut and paste, multiple levels of undo and spell checking. Contributor validates XML content in real time using XML Schemas, which means that it allows authors to insert only the tags that are valid at the current cursor position.

Because it works with structured content, Contributor also provides viewing and editing functions that are specific to structure. Contributor can show multiple views of the content depending on the stylesheet that you load into it. Stylesheets also define which content elements are editable and which are read-only.

Contributor is easily customized using JavaScript and XSLT for the interface and Java for server-side functionality. The look and feel of the area surrounding the Contributor editing surface is also fully customizable using HTML.


Arbortext Contributor is a fast and easy way to make XML editing available to content contributors. Its simple browser-based interface allows anyone to create content without the need for complex training or installation of new desktop applications.

7 Integration and Customization

In order to reduce costs and speed time to results, Arbortext is introducing several new capabilities to simplify the customization of Arbortext software to suit specific business needs and to simplify the integration of Arbortext software to other business systems:

Data integration – Most organizations store their information in a variety of business systems, such as ERP systems, relational databases, and content repositories. In a single-source multichannel publishing system, the information from these various systems should be incorporated into documents by reference instead of being copied and pasted.

This approach offers two key benefits: first, it reduces the cost of updating information because it takes only one change to the information to update it everywhere it appears automatically; and second, it allows the publishing system to deliver real-time dynamic information straight from business systems.

In the Arbortext 5 release, a new “Data Merge” capability that is standard in Epic Editor and E3 will provide an interface so that authors can easily insert data into documents from business systems such as databases.

Web Services – Organizations are seeking to use Web Services to reduce the cost of integrating disparate applications. For publishing applications, using a Web Services approach will reduce or even eliminate significant custom programming that occurs today. In Arbortext 5, the E3 publishing server will provide a SOAP interface in support of Web Services that will simplify E3 integration with other business systems.

WebDAV – Although Arbortext provides excellent integrations with leading content management systems, some customers are using other systems. To simplify integration with these systems, Arbortext 5 will support the WebDAV standard for accessing and saving to WebDAV-enabled repositories.

ActiveX – In Arbortext 5, Epic Editor will support inline ActiveX controls so that a developer can easily add functions to streamline authoring and improve productivity.

XInclude – Arbortext 5 supports XInclude, which provides a standards-based way to support reuse in a Schema-based application. XInclude is a W3C standard for including information components within a document. XInclude is critical for Schema-based applications because Schemas do not support the “external text entities” capability of DTDs. Arbortext 5’s XInclude capability will support both Schema- and DTD-based applications, but it will work only with XML and not with SGML.

8 Summary: Arbortext 5 eliminates the pain of implementation

Arbortext 5 eliminates the pain of implementing XML publishing systems by putting more control in the hands of the business user. By reducing or eliminating the need for highly skilled technical resources to control every aspect of the system implementation, organizations can get their systems deployed faster and for a lower cost, which enables them to realize the benefits sooner with a higher return on their investment.

With Arbortext Styler, designers can, for the first time, create multichannel stylesheets for automated publishing to multiple types of media. Designers can create stylesheets without the need for technical skills or an understanding of the technical standards on which the stylesheet technology is based, which reduces the cost of stylesheet development and eliminates the cost of acquiring specialized skills. The user interface for Styler allows users to create and maintain styles in a familiar interface that automatically generates the appropriate stylesheet for the desired media output.

To reduce the cost and time required to develop and deploy dynamic content, Arbortext 5 will support dynamic content and reuse across multiple documents with the new DCAM option for Arbortext’s E3 publishing server. This product has been developed to enable authors to create, manage and validate links and dynamic elements across multiple contexts and documents, eliminating the significant manual effort and custom programming that would otherwise be required.

Data Merge, a new capability that is standard in Arbortext software, will enable authors to integrate data from databases, spreadsheets and other business systems directly into fields and tables in a document. This capability extends the concept of a “single source” to data as well as documents, enabling documents to contain information with up-to-the-minute freshness and accuracy.

Using Arbortext Contributor and Arbortext Companion for Word 2003, organizations can deploy XML content creation capabilities across the enterprise without having to install and maintain a new application on every desktop and without the need to provide extensive training to all of their authors. Contributor and Companion for Word can be used by content contributors and Subject Matter Experts for whom content creation is not their primary function. The availability of these products within a powerful and mature multichannel publishing system means vastly expanded opportunities for organizations to take advantage of the power of XML to improve information quality and reduce costs.

Epic Editor remains the power tool of choice for creating long, complex XML documents, as well as for authors who are responsible for content assembly and delivery. Epic Editor lets content architects make content dynamic, identify it for reuse, aggregate content from the organization’s business systems, and publish customized, personalized documents.

Finally, not only does Arbortext 5 reduce the need for skilled technical resources for deployment and maintenance, it also simplifies whatever integration and customization is necessary, further reducing development time and costs.

By removing the need for extensive programming in every aspect of a content creation system implementation, Arbortext 5 has greatly simplified the implementation process and enabled business users to have greater control during implementation and maintenance. This allows organizations to deploy their systems in less time and with a lower cost, as well as empowering the business user to adapt the system as needed, on the fly, to keep up with changes in the business itself.

Arbortext 5 is scheduled to be commercially available in the first quarter of 2004.

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