XML Documentation Add-On for Adobe Experience Manager

Adobe recently launched a new Add-On Package to Adobe Experience Manager, specifically targeted at bringing technical communication closer to Adobe Experience Manager. The new package is being marketed as “XML Documentation Add-on for Adobe Experience Manager” and on Adobe.com. The Add-On provides the capability of managing DITA content and publishing it from AEM. If you have ever worked on Technical Documentation, you would be conversant with DITA. From a very long time, AEM did not have a solution for natively handing Technical Communication content. However, this Add-On seems to be a step in this direction. It will open doors for large enterprises that manage documentation in DITA to publish directly via AEM without having to go through the conversion process – which was one off and had to be repeated.

Apart from the basic ability of publishing DITA content, Adobe seems to be positioning this as a CCMS (Component Content Management System). This is very interesting and intriguing. In some form, AEM with it components was already a Component Content Management System. However, AEM has always pushed the envelope when it comes to web and connected experiences. It would be really interesting to see how this evolves and helps promotes content reuse. There was a key feature added in AEM 6.2 called Content Fragments, which could also be looked as a step in the direction of content reuse. From a strategy perspective, it is very clear that Content reuse is something that Adobe is now serious about.

What I like the most is the idea of a single Content Management System for both Marketing and Technical Communication. It is a huge benefit for large enterprises and system integrators like us offering the following key benefits:

  1. Standardizations of content platform and processes: Enterprises can now think about putting AEM at the center of all things Content. They can invest in building standardized content workflows and processes across the organization – Review workflows, SEO/SEM workflows, Translation workflows and Publishing workflows. This opens up immense opportunities for standardization.
  2. Reduction in Costs: Develop once and use across all sites and content. No duplication of assets (templates); look and feel etc. Integrate once and with one platform. Integration of other services like Analytics, SEO/SEM, personalization, translation is a huge effort and cost. By having one platform, we are saying that it needs to be done once.
  3. Consistency:There is consistency at both levels – for users of the Platform and end customers. For authors (marketing content authors and Technical documentation authors), it is the same system. The experience is consistent and same. The reports and processes are the same. For an end customer, it is going to provide a consistent experience when they move from Marketing section to Help and Learning section. We are already seeing the boundaries blur and this is going to help even more.
  4. Upsell Opportunities: One trend that we see in the market is the option to upsell offering while you are struggling with a problem – In-context Upsell offers. One single platform opens up the possibility of sharing Technical Documentation insights with the marketing side of the house to provide Upsell offers.

The more I think about this option, the more excited I get. I am going to peel this onion in next few days and will continue to share insights here in this blog.

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