for Content Management
A corporation's documents form an integral part of its critical knowledge
base. Document sets are significant corporate assets and the widespread
use of electronic documents has deepened the asset base and made it more
difficult to manage.
The Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), an ISO standard which
provides the specification for describing and enforcing a document's structure,
was developed to provide a standards-based way to represent data in an
exchangeable format. SGML document management solutions capitalize on the
knowledge of document structure to provide access, control, distribution
and archiving of documents.
SGML-based documents separate a document (e.g., memos, reports, manuals)
into three components: structure, content and formatting, each controlled
independently of one another. As a result, a structure, which is similar
to an outline, can be reused as often as needed to build new documents.
Because SGML-based documents separate the formatting of information,
a single document can have different formats for different purposes. One
formatting specification could govern paper printing, another to control
formatting of on-screen display or CD-ROM publishing.
As an open, international information management standard, SGML provides
true hardware and software independence and enables the easy exchange of
documents across systems, departments and industries, reducing business
costs and increasing productivity.
When an SGML-based document adheres to the structure defined by its
Document Type Definition (DTD), or document model, it is complete, accurate
and created right the first time. Industries worldwide have implemented
SGML as the standard with which they manage the content in their documents.
Traditional Document Container Management
The future of a business can depend on how it manages and uses its corporate
information. Document management systems based on SGML enable businesses
to leverage their corporate information efficiently and cost effectively
and to improve information access, sharing, management and distribution.
Business benefits of document management include faster product time-to-market,
reduced costs, and consistent, up to date information.
Document management systems have done a good job of managing documents
as files or containers for print publishing. But now, businesses need more
than a document management system can deliver. The emergence of the World
Wide Web has driven the need for managing document content. The World Wide
Web is responsible for the demand by businesses for effective, efficient
ways to reuse, republish and manage the most valuable part of their documents
-- the content. Content management in which document elements in their
various forms such as text, graphics, sound and video are managed and distributed,
is the next evolution of document or container management systems.
Mainstream SGML for Content Management
SGML remains the best technology for facilitating content management
at a fine level of granularity, but for the majority of businesses, it
has been too complex and expensive to use. Adopting SGML traditionally
meant investing in training to teach authors who had formerly been using
a word processor, how to create documents based on native SGML applications.
This generally involved tagging, a time-consuming process that yielded
a slow return on investment. Mainstream SGML provides an alternative to
costly, complex native SGML authoring tools and SGML-focused or dedicated
SGML document management systems.
Mainstream SGML for content management uses practical SGML functionality
that promotes the straightforward implementation of SGML. Mainstream SGML
is not another standard. It's an open architecture based on partnerships,
which removes the barriers to widespread use of SGML and enables authors
to create documents in their familiar word processor environment.
Mainstream SGML delivers the benefits of SGML-based document management:
document reuse, sharing and repurposing, protection of current investments
in corporate information and technology, and multiple output formats, plus
content management, without the pain of learning SGML syntax.
Traditionally, an organization that considered adopting SGML was confronted
with the need to support an industry-defined document model that may or
may not have supported the organization's information requirements. In
addition, these DTDs are typically very complex and are not what authors
are accustomed to using when creating documents.
Because industry-standard DTDs are often too complex or too general
for most users, Mainstream SGML offers document models oriented to the
author, rather than the author's computer.
Mainstream SGML Architecture
The Mainstream SGML architecture begins with an author-centered interface
such as, Microstar's Near & Far® Author, Corel® WordPerfect®
SGML Edition, or Microsoft® SGML Author for Word. Mainstream SGML is
inherently flexible and easy to use because of elements like the human-tuned,
graphical interface for document creation and customized authoring models
for a variety of applications. A word processor-based document can be exported
to SGML with the push of a button, and published to paper or the Web. Mainstream
SGML users obtain the benefits of SGML's functionality, without needing
to learn SGML syntax.
Publishing scripts provide the instructions on how the document must
change to be suitable for a particular output requirement: HTML, industry
standard DTD for interchange, paper or CD ROM. Publishing is a downstream
process and is removed from authors' hands whether it is done through a
publishing application or specialized transform engine.
The foundation for the Mainstream SGML architecture is a mainstream
compound document management system. Mainstream SGML's architecture integrates
with document management systems, to store, manage, and distribute word
processor-based files or other files, as Web or printed pages. The right
document management system manages the instances, the maps and the various
authoring models and will ultimately generate the target document, whether
it is an industry-standard DTD, web pages or printed pages.
Mainstream SGML gives authors an evolutionary path to follow from document
creation application, to Mainstream SGML, to traditional SGML. Using Mainstream
SGML, the majority of internal business processing can be performed by
managing document content and using a user-centered DTD.
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