Our latest webinar, “Document Structuring 101: The Difference between Unstructured and XML” was a discussion by Scott Abel and Tom Aldous, Adobe Product Evangelist about the difference between Unstructured and XML content.
The webinar was an action-packed 60 minutes and the recording and Q&A are now available below.
Are there any down parts when using a structured information authoring approach?
The only downside may also be considered an upside depending on your role in the organization. Structure content development is by definition very restrictive. If you are used to being able to free form format your document set, this will be limited.
How do you decide if you need to move to XML or not?
There are many factors to consider. Do you have a need to reuse content at the topic level? Will this reused content be translated to multiple formats? Will there be a need to transform your content into multiple structured output formats? There are a few very good unstructured to XML ROI Calculators. Ann Rockley has one on her website. Adobe has an ROI Calculator on our Technical Communication Suite Product Page. Feel free to connect with me. I can point you in the right direction.
If a client does decide to move to XML, is it an all or nothing proposition? Do we have to stop publishing/producing content during that transition time?
It depends on the authoring / publishing tool you decide to use. With FrameMaker 10, you can have both unstructured, structured and XML content in a book, while still editing and publishing as though all files had the same source format. That means editing and publishing does not slow down during the conversion process. If you use an unstructured or XML-only product to edit / publish, it will be an all or nothing prop.
A STC case study reported that a company converted 11677 pages of unstructured content at a cost of 4100 hours — < 3 pages per hour. What about the outsourced conversion services like DCLab that will do the same thing for < $5 per page?
That is correct. There are many options for converting content from Unstructured to XML. You can do it in-house, if you have the bandwidth with tools built into an application like FrameMaker 10’s Conversion Table. You can also use 3rd party vendor tools like mif2go.
Many times it may be more cost effective to outsource the total process to a 3rd party vendor, who will handle the total process from start to finish. I can make 3rd party vendor conversion recommendations based on project scope, if you would like to reach out to me.
Interested in attending our next webinar?
Tune in with Scott Abel and Amanda Cross Friday, August 12, 2011 in “How Interactive Documentation Builds Corporate Value (and Esteem from your Colleagues)”. Sign up Now!