Table of contents


Typography versus velocity

Support of DITA features

The DITA OT and an XSL-FO processor

DITA-capable XML authoring tools with PDF file conversion

ePublisher 2009

Help authoring tools with DITA import and PDF file conversion

DITA-capable page layout software with PDF file conversion

XML publishing tools


XML publishing tools

Some programs are integrated with the DITA OT but use their own internal conversion process to convert DITA to a PDF file rather than going through an XSL-FO processor. XML Professional Publisher and Arbortext Publishing Engine fall in this category.

These tools are known to be more expensive than any other tool mentioned in this paper; therefore, they’re typically only practical for enterprise-level publishing.

XML Professional Publisher

XML Professional Publisher (XPP) is the SDL XySoft dynamic publishing engine for automated print and PDF file publishing. XPP produces high-volume, intricately formatted publications. This publishing engine includes specialized features to accommodate commercial publishers, financial printers, journal producers, and in-house technical publishing departments that produce newsletters, books, magazines, loose-leaf manuals, or catalogs.

XPP has an interface called XyView that lets the user edit documents and inspect or override formatting decisions. The styles in a document can be updated so that a particular block is processed in a specific way and the changes don’t apply to the entire document. More complex formatting can be accomplished with Perl scripts.

XPP is integrated with the DITA OT through a plug-in SDL XySoft provides. The plug-in applies ditaval filtering, creates an XML file, and then applies styles to produce the PDF file. XPP plays the role of an FO processor but uses proprietary FO language instead of FO.

Publications can be produced in batch mode, through an interface, or through the Web Services API. XPP runs on Windows 2003 or 2008 server, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Red Hat Linux, Solaris, and AIX.

SDL XySoft wouldn’t provide pricing information. Visit SDL XySoft’s website for more information:

Arbortext Publishing Engine

Arbortext Publishing Engine is a high end web-based publishing server from Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC). The Publishing Engine pulls content from various content management systems or file systems and a host of file formats (including Microsoft Word, Adobe FrameMaker, HTML, text, and PDF files). PTC offers two versions—a server that only generates PDF files, and a full-featured version, which converts content to HTML, HTML help, wireless, and more.

The tool uses its own publishing engine to create PDF files. Extensions are supported for index generation, change bars, column-wide footnotes, and more. The publishing engine can be called from other applications using Perl, C, Python, and ANSI C. It runs on Windows, Solaris, and UNIX.

PTC wouldn’t provide pricing information. Visit PTC’s website for more information:


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