A decade has passed since the emergence of XML. XML is now considered the established common data format across systems. However, its actual value as a format to integrate and reuse corporate content has not yet been fully realized.
The globalization of economic activities has led organizations to offer products and services worldwide and in multiple languages. This new reality forces all organizations to significantly increase their documentation productivity by reducing the time it takes to create and publish documents.
To address these issues, it becomes necessary to create documents in a more systematic way. Most documents that accompany corporate activities are usually created by modifying existing documents. It is therefore essential to build a document system that enables the efficient reuse of existing documents.
To accomplish this objective, documents must be componentized. While this appears easy on the surface, it is actually difficult to accomplish in reality.
The XML technology can be effective in the componentization and reuse of documents. Up to now, proposed and prevailing XML document structural standards such as DocBook and OpenXML were huge monolithic document structures that were never intended to be componentized.
This is where DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) demonstrates its usefulness. DITA is a standard specification designed to componentize and systemize documents. With DITA, a document is created with topic units that are assembled in a map.
DITA was developed by IBM for its own internal use. However it was approved as a standard by OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) in 2005. DITA is now being used in Europe and the United States.
To use DITA to its full potential, it is essential to understand its concepts, its specialization of document structures, and its document componentization. Japan is far behind Europe and the United States when it comes to embracing consultation and design in the upper processes of building a document production system.
For a successful implementation of DITA, organizations must reassess not only the document production process but also business processes as a whole. They must undertake a cross-organizational restructuring effort to make corporate content consistent from the upper processes of design and production to the lower processes of document publication into various media.
DITA Consortium Japan aims to contribute to industries in Japan by seizing the initiative to re-engineer corporate content production, specifically by spreading the use of DITA in Japan, accumulating knowledge on DITA, and providing information on DITA worldwide.
- Spread the influence of DITA stakeholder organizations by jointly performing DITA educational and promotional activities to build market share for DITA in Japan.
- Expand the market by centralizing technical and use case information on DITA from inside and outside of Japan and uniformly providing information to users.
- Work with OASIS and OASIS-related organizations inside and outside of Japan. In addition, submit Japanese-specific requests and feedback on the DITA standard specifications.
- Promote the development of DITA technology by educating DITA engineers and researching the standardization and optimization of DITA technology.
- Stimulate the market by exchanging knowledge and forming new networks among users, vendors, and service providers.
- Determine operation policy and execute this policy with the organizations that form the administrative board of the Consortium.
- Publish and accumulate research and outcomes from the working groups.
- Hold DITA-related conferences and symposiums.
- Operate a DITA website.
- Host DITA-related seminars.
- Cooperate with related organizations inside and outside of Japan.
* Advantages of participating organizations
- Gain trust and initiative as a member that commits to DITA technology
- Acquire general technical information and ‘know-how’ on DITA
- Monitor the use and requirements of DITA and implement them in the organization’s own products and services
- Discover potential DITA users
- Form personal networks in the industry and related organizations
- Expand market share through joint promotional activities with other organizations, which cannot be done by a single organization
- Acquire preliminary information by organized DITA information sources
Promoters (in random order)
Antenna House, Inc.
IBM Japan, Ltd.
Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd.