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DITA and Topic Maps: Bringing the Pieces Together

By murray - Posted on 03 April 2008

The Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) is an XML-based architecture for authoring, producing, and delivering technical information. Named for the naturalist Charles Darwin, DITA uses the principles of specialization and inheritance in order to build content reuse into the authoring process.

DITA divides content into small, self-contained topics that can be reused in different deliverables. The extensibility of DITA permits organizations to define specific information structures and still use standard tools to work with them. The ability to define company-specific and even group-specific information architectures enables DITA to support content reuse and reduce information redundancy.

This presentation describes how combining DITA with Topic Maps provides significant advantages and helps capitalize on the investment of implementing a topic-oriented approach to content development and management.

Traditionally, content development has been dictated by documentation deliverables. This presentation introduces a methodology for combining DITA with Topic Maps. The methodology extends the topic-oriented approach to content development and optimizes the process of deciding what content needs to be created.

Such an approach is crucial for truly reaping the benefits of moving to DITA or any other topic-oriented architecture and generating return on investment, especially for large documentation sets.