Curated for content, computing, and digital experience professionals

Day: January 9, 2006

Centric Acquires Product Sight’s Product Data & Enterprise Search Technology

Centric Software, Inc., leading provider of OpenPLM for the extended enterprise, announced that it has acquired substantially all of the assets of Product Sight Corporation of Bellevue, WA, a privately held developer of product data and enterprise search technology. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Centric will immediately integrate Product Sight’s data search technology into its existing product line to offer solutions that leverage existing product data and resolve immediate, high-value product development challenges common to all manufacturers. Centric InSight searches for information in multiple sources of product data content and other enterprise data and classifies the results presenting a unified view of information sources. Centric MultiSight BOM manages global part and BOM data from multiple sources delivering different BOM views to different teams in different locations, based on their role and function in the product development process. Centric Software is now a PLM vendor with the ability to search, classify and connect to multiple MCAD, EDA, CAE, PDM, ERP, SCM and document management systems for related pieces of product data. The combination of search, classification and connectivity provides distributed product and project teams with automatic extraction and aggregation of real-time product and operational data, presenting cross-disciplinary information that enables more informed decision making.

CambridgeDocs Announces Support for Dynamic Re-Publishing to DITA

CambridgeDocs announced that it would provide out-of-the-box support for the DITA XML standard in all of its upcoming content migration and distribution products. DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) is an XML standard that is both a set of DTD’s (Document Type Definitions) and an architecture for re-using and dynamically assembling content. Developed by IBM, DITA is widely regarded as an ideal architecture for fragmenting XML content and enabling content re-use. CambridgeDocs’ xDoc Converter product will include sample content and templates for transforming Microsoft Word content into DITA XML, including transformation into DITA topics and topicmaps. These samples can be customized to convert any legacy content, such as Microsoft Word, Framemaker, HTML, and PDF files, into the database DTD or into their own DTD-based DTD’s and architecture. The sample templates will also automatically break up DITA topics into separate XML fragments and generate a DITA topicmap for the source content. The fragmented content can then be put into an XML repository, Enterprise Content/Document Management System or other XML based publishing system. By combining xDoc Converter with the DITA Toolkit available from IBM, the fragments can then be re-displayed or re-assembled into new documents.

IPTC Starts Testing NewsML 2 Architecture

The International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) begins testing this month on NewsML 2 Architecture, a proposed standard for news exchange formats. Developed by a consortium of more than 40 of the world’s major news agencies and news system vendors, NewsML 2 Architecture is based on XML. The basic goal of the NewsML 2 Architecture is to provide a single generic model for exchanging all kinds of newsworthy information. Not only will this give news agencies and software developers a unified method for handling news, but it will also provide an XML framework for a future family of IPTC news exchange standards covering such diverse specialties as sports, entertainment and financial news. Under the IPTC model, text, photo, graphics, video or any combination of media types, can be bundled into packages that neatly wrap the news content, information about the content and a management layer. Senders can make the XML wrapper as simple or complex as desired, tailoring the final package to the exact needs of their customers. As with all IPTC standards, when work is completed NewsML 2 standards will be released for use without payment or royalties. In addition, it is compatible with the World Wide Web Consortium’s “Semantic Web” framework, building a universal data exchange using XML and other standard tools. NewsML 2 Architecture Version 1.0, Experimental Phase 1, will end on 15 February 2006. Although testing is generally intended for IPTC members, non-members may be invited to join. All documents and specification files for the current draft of the NewsML 2 Architecture are available at

DITA Directions Webinar

So I will be participating in Wednesday’s webinar with Idiom and Blast Radius, “DITA Directions: Topic-Oriented Single Source Publishing for the Web and Beyond.” Most of my presentation will be based on our upcoming white paper, Success in Standards-Based Content Creation and Delivery at Global Companies, which is subtitled, “Understanding the Rapid Adoption of the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA).” The white paper focuses on two highly successful case studies of DITA in use at Adobe and Autodesk. Both of these companies have already produced tens of thousands of pages of documentation and Help using DITA. In both cases, the documentation is being simultaneously, or near simultaneously, released in more than 15 languages. The case studies are impressive and offer a lot of insight for other companies who are considering going down this path.
We continue to be struck by the rapid adoption of DITA across the product support marketplace, and are starting to see uses of DITA outside this specific application. We are hard pressed to come up with other document-management or content-management standards or technologies that have enjoyed such rapid adoption and widespread use. So one of my slides, sampled below, has a litle fun with Gartner’s now classic Hype Cycle chart. Has DITA avoided the Hype Cycle, where the “Peak of Inflated Expectations” is followed necessarily by a steep drop to a “Trough of Disillusionment”? Here we are in the midst of the hype over DITA (indeed, the standard was only formally published in May 2005), and the case studies show productive work being done in advance of the approved standard. Impressive, don’t you think?

David Berlind ACT Interview on the Massachusetts ODF Decision Video

Bob Doyle at CMSReview has once again generously devoted his time and resources to record and produce one of the events at our recent Boston conference. David Berlind from ZDNet, who has tracked the controversial Massachusetts decision to standardize on OASIS‘s ODF on Between the Lines (a blog you should subscribe to) in more detail than anyone, interviewed lobbyist Morgan Reed from the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT) before a live audience at Gilbane Boston. ACT, who lobbies for small businesses, but also Microsoft, is against the Massachusetts decision – Morgan was gracious enough to submit to David’s penetrating skepticism. Bob Doyle says he keeps this interview on his video iPod! Bob says you should use the QuickTime player. Here is the full interview, or you can choose chapters below:

Frank Gilbane – the Background
The Debaters – Morgan Reed and David Berlind
Lobbyist for Microsoft (MS) and Small ISVs
How Much Money Spent Lobbying Open Formats?
MS to Mass: Do you respect IP?
MS Press Release: Mass ODF Plan has failed!
By 2007 only ODF-compliant applications?
Does Massachusetts have any leverage with OASIS?
What if MS OpenOffice was chosen as standard?
Do MS and Internet Explorer encourage non-standard HTML?

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