Best Practices for Component-Based Authoring: Third in a 3-Part Series
Knowledge Center contributor Eric Severson's 3-part series on component-based authoring began with an introduction of the notion of component-based authoring and a description of component-based authoring's significant business benefits over document-based authoring. In his second part, an explanation was given about how component-based authoring actually works. In this third and final part, Eric provides you with a variety of practical advice to help you get started with component-based authoring and to ensure your success using component-based authoring in your business.This is the third installation of a 3-part series on component-based authoring. Click here to read the first article, "How and Why to Use Component-Based Authoring: First in a 3-Part Series" and click here to read the second article, "How Component-Based Authoring Works: Second in a 3-Part Series." I will start this third and final part of my 3-part series on component-based authoring with a definition of the content model. Even though DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) is already a defined specialization, the first step is still to determing how your content will be structured. DITA uses a very flexible content model in which many different kinds of topic structures can be defined. This is done through a powerful and unique DITA feature called specialization.
Consistent with the information typing aspect of DITA, specialization allows you to create your own variations of the generic topic structure, each of which becomes a different topic type. Three out-of-the-box specializations are included with the DITA standard: concept, reference and task topic types.