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DITA and Metadata on an Enterprise Scale

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Presentation by Kristen James Eberlein at CMS/DITA North America 2019, Durham, NC

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DITA and Metadata on an Enterprise Scale

  1. 1. simplea.com DITA and Met adat a on an Ent erprise Scale CMS/DITA North America | 2019 Kristen James Eberlein
  2. 2. simplea.com Kristen James Eberlein ● Chair, OASIS DITA Technical Committee ● Principle content engineer, [A]; owner, Eberlein Consulting LLC ● 17+ years working with DITA [A] is the Content Intelligence Service. We help organizations reduce costs and increase the business impact of content assets. ke@simplea.com kris@eberleinconsulting.com
  3. 3. simplea.com Agenda 1. Audience poll 2. What is metadata on an enterprise scale? 3. [A] Content Intelligence Framework 4. DITA metadata mechanisms & their strengths and weaknesses 5. Looking beyond the DITA silo 6. Emergent practices for DITA metadata on an enterprise scale 7. Resources
  4. 4. simplea.com Audience poll
  5. 5. simplea.com Audience poll 1. Your DITA content has metadata (not including index terms, filtering attributes, or @outputclass). 2. You are struggling with how to best implement metadata-enriched DITA. 3. You have successfully implemented a metadata strategy that enables you to do smart things with your DITA content. 4. You are engaged with other parts of the enterprise on aligning metadata and semantics for a unified customer experience.
  6. 6. simplea.com Metadata on an enterprise scale
  7. 7. simplea.com ● Most generally, “information about information” ● In DITA circles, metadata usually means “information that classifies, describes, and identifies content” ● Primary purposes for metadata ○ Describe the content asset ○ Facilitate content retrieval and dissemination ○ Assist in preservation, retention, and archiving ○ Control access to content ○ Identify ownership of content What is metadata?
  8. 8. simplea.com What is “enterprise scale”? ● Multiple divisions or business units, each with their own tools, processes, people, and terminology ● Content inevitably siloed within the divisions or business units ● Content authored in multiple formats, using multiple authoring tools ● Content stored in multiple repositories: DAM, CEM, CRM, Web CMS, document CMS, DITA CCMS, etc. ● Content distributed through multiple channels ● New emergent channels: Voice, chatbots, augmented reality ... Viable for use in companies with …
  9. 9. simplea.com What is enterprise scale? (continued) ● New business drivers, such as plans to commercialize content through syndication, which requires: ○ Finer-grained access to content (sub-document level) ○ Ability to license content based on particular subjects, rather than the entire content repository ○ General current state: Metadata disparate, disjointed, inadequate to the challenges
  10. 10. simplea.com What is “metadata on an enterprise scale”? ● Let’s start with assumptions: ○ There will be NO master silo in which all content is stored … ○ We need to work with people “where they are”; that means accepting that people will use multiple authoring formats, storage and management applications, delivery platforms, terminology, and taxonomies. ● And then move to the key questions: ○ How can we bring some order to the chaos? ○ How can make it easier for content to move within the enterprise? ○ How can we respond quickly (but intelligently) to demands for new channels?
  11. 11. simplea.com Metadata on an enterprise scale ○ Metadata that is designed, planned, and implemented to facilitate movement of content throughout the enterprise ■ Across silos ■ Across different authoring formats ■ Into multiple output formats ○ Metadata that is designed, planned, and implemented to enable a rich, pleasurable, and faceted experience for content consumers
  12. 12. simplea.com [A] Content Intelligence Framework
  13. 13. simplea.com [A] Content Intelligence Framework • Separates structure and semantics. • Structure is handled by the Master Content Model. • Semantics are handled by the Master Semantic Model.
  14. 14. simplea.com What is a Master Content Model? ● A map of how content is created, managed, published, translated, and archived across the enterprise ● Includes authoring and delivery formats (the different representations that content takes through the content lifecycle) ● Suggests a lowest-common-denominator content model, which includes metadata ● Corollary to the IT concept of a master data model ● Not “one model to rule them all”! Master Content Model
  15. 15. simplea.com How does DITA fit into the Master Content Model? ● DITA provides the baseline XML representation. This is the equivalent of a pivot language. ● In localization, a pivot language: ○ Is an intermediary language for translation. For example, Korean source is translated to English before it is translated to German. ○ Reduces the number of source language/target language pairs.
  16. 16. simplea.com And content authored directly in DITA is most efficient ... DITA reduces the number of transformations Source formats (6) Representations/Output formats (7) Infrastructure Formula Number of transformations ● Word ● Google Doc ● Custom application ● HTML ● Markdown ● Framemaker ● HTML ● HTML5 + Schema.org ● PDF ● Legacy application #1 ● Legacy application #2 ● In Design ● Chatbot Without DITA # source formats times # output formats 6 ✕ 7 42 With DITA # source formats plus # channels 6 + 7 13
  17. 17. simplea.com Metadata + structure Master Content Model Metadata- enriched, structured content Thesaurus Taxonomy Ontology Discoverable Personalized Predictive Master semantic model Structured content Content experience High-level approach ...
  18. 18. simplea.com Master semantic model ● Contains the semantic model for the enterprise ● Includes taxonomies, thesauri, and ontologies ● Best developed and managed in a taxonomy management application: ○ Examples: PoolParty, Topbraid, Semaphore SmartLogic, etc. Thesaurus Taxonomy Ontology
  19. 19. simplea.com Metadata component of the MCM ● Provides the connection between the master semantic model and the Master Content Model ● Defines how metadata will be instantiated in the structured content ● Outlines the elements and attributes that will be used, as well as the specific architectural mechanisms used for metadata ● Outlines strategy for implementing metadata in the content ○ Inserted at authoring time? ○ Applied by semantic specialists? ○ Automatically-inserted by a semantic application? Metadata __________ Content
  20. 20. simplea.com Metadata-enriched, structured content ● Maximizes your investment in DITA ● Staged for delivery to a wide variety of platforms, including some currently unknownMetadata- enriched, structured content
  21. 21. simplea.com Content experience ● Highly personalized ● Easy to find “the right information, at the right time” ● Uses predictive power of natural language processing Rich experience for the content consumer Discoverable Personalized Predictive
  22. 22. simplea.com DITA metadata & semantic mechanisms
  23. 23. simplea.com ● Elements in topics ● Elements in maps ● <data> elements ● Subject scheme maps ● Classification maps DITA metadata and semantic mechanisms
  24. 24. simplea.com DITA metadata and semantic mechanisms ● Element designed to hold subject and lifecyle management information. ● Most elements reflect IBM needs circa 2000. ● Can be difficult to define and reuse these elements ○ Not all elements can appear multiple times in a topic ○ Lack of wrapper elements ● Elements in topics ● Elements in maps ● <data> element ● Subject scheme maps ● Classification maps For more information, see Eberlein, DITA Metadata, 2013.
  25. 25. simplea.com DITA metadata and semantic mechanisms ● Elements in topics ● Elements in maps ● <data> element ● Subject scheme maps ● Classification maps <prolog> <copyright> <copyryear year="2019"/> <copyrholder>Simple A LLC</copyrholder> </copyright> <metadata> <audience type="executive infoDev IT"/> <category>CCMS selection</category> <category>DITA tools</category> </metadata> </prolog> Example
  26. 26. simplea.com DITA metadata and semantic mechanisms ● Elements in topics ● Elements in maps ● <data> element ● Subject scheme maps ● Classification maps Advantages ○ Located in topic and travels with it ○ No dependency on map ○ Can be used for searching within the DITA source Disadvantages ○ Located in topic and thus difficult to maintain ○ Likely to be inaccurate due to authoring errors and omissions ○ Labor intensive for content developers
  27. 27. simplea.com DITA metadata and semantic mechanisms ● The same elements available in <prolog> are available in <topicmeta>. ● Metadata applied in a map cascades: ○ If applied at the root of a map, it cascades throughout the entire map ○ If applied at a lower level in the map, to cascades to the children of the element on which it is applied ● Elements in topics ● Elements in maps ● <data> element ● Subject scheme maps ● Classification maps For more information, see Eberlein, DITA Metadata, 2013.
  28. 28. simplea.com DITA metadata and semantic mechanisms ● Elements in topics ● Elements in maps ● <data> element ● Subject scheme maps ● Classification maps
  29. 29. simplea.com DITA metadata and semantic mechanisms ● Elements in topics ● Elements in maps ● <data> element ● Subject scheme maps ● Classification maps Advantages ○ Metadata is located in map and cascades to topics during processing. ○ Easier to maintain ○ Less labor-intensive for content authors ○ Provides a layer of abstraction Disadvantages ○ Metadata is not located in the topics. ○ Requires a processing step
  30. 30. simplea.com DITA metadata and semantic mechanisms ● Available everyone ● Can be nested ● Can point to external resource by ID ● Elements in topics ● Elements in maps ● <data> element ● Subject scheme maps ● Classification maps
  31. 31. simplea.com DITA metadata and semantic mechanisms Referenced element <data id="100" href="www.taxonomyTool.subject" scope="external" format="rdf"> Label for subject </data> Referencing element ● Elements in topics ● Elements in maps ● <data> element ● Subject scheme maps ● Classification maps
  32. 32. simplea.com DITA metadata and semantic mechanisms ● Elements in topics ● Elements in maps ● <data> element ● Subject scheme maps ● Classification maps Advantages ○ Can be used everywhere ○ Robust specialization base ○ Nestable Disadvantages ○ Requires special processing
  33. 33. simplea.com DITA metadata and semantic mechanisms ● A specialized map introduced with DITA 1.2 (2010) ● Can be used to: ○ Define subjects ○ Define taxonomies (hierarchies of subjects ○ Develop controlled values for an attribute or an attribute and element pair ○ Associate metadata with subjects ○ Define relationships between subjects ● Elements in topics ● Elements in maps ● <data> element ● Subject scheme maps ● Classification maps For more information, see Eberlein, DITA Metadata, 2013.
  34. 34. simplea.com DITA metadata and semantic mechanisms ● Elements in topics ● Elements in maps ● <data> element ● Subject scheme maps ● Classification maps
  35. 35. simplea.com DITA metadata and semantic mechanisms Advantages ○ Easy to create a list of controlled values ○ Easy to bind a list of controlled values to an attribute or attribute + element pair ○ Useful for prototyping semantic models ○ Can be extended by using <schemeref> elements Disadvantages ○ Not suitable for a robust semantic model ○ Controlled values are not usable for attributes that take a space separated list of values ● Elements in topics ● Elements in maps ● <data> element ● Subject scheme maps ● Classification maps
  36. 36. simplea.com DITA metadata and semantic mechanisms ● A classification map is any DITA map that includes the classification domain. ● The classification domain provides elements for: ○ Referencing subjects defined in a subject scheme ○ Defining relationships between topics and subjects ● Elements in topics ● Elements in maps ● <data> element ● Subject scheme maps ● Classification maps For more information, see Eberlein, DITA and Metadata, 2013.
  37. 37. simplea.com DITA metadata and semantic mechanisms ● Elements in topics ● Elements in maps ● <data> element ● Subject scheme maps ● Classification maps
  38. 38. simplea.com DITA metadata and semantic mechanisms ● Elements in topics ● Elements in maps ● <data> element ● Subject scheme maps ● Classification maps Advantages ○ Provides abstraction layer ○ Enables topics to have different metadata applied depending on the context defined by the map Disadvantages ○ Makes DITA maps difficult for content authors to work in ○ Requires a new set of DITA map knowledge for content authors -- or a new role for an information architect to add metadata to maps ○ No out-of-the-box DITA-OT processing for classification maps
  39. 39. simplea.com Scenarios: Looking beyond the DITA silo
  40. 40. simplea.com The company wants to deliver marketing, technical documentation, and service content from a single portal. Customers viewing content in the portal should receive relevant recommendations from all three streams. Each content stream has their own taxonomy. What’s the best approach? Bridging silos
  41. 41. simplea.com Map taxonomies ● Requires the three groups -- Marketing, Service, and TechDoc to become familiar with each others’ terminology and taxonomies ○ What’s the same? ○ What’s different? ● Requires creating manual mappings between taxonomies ● Example: If a customer is reading marketing content about the super-duper deluxe widget, the portal should recommend: ○ TechDoc: System overview ○ Service: Replacement parts
  42. 42. simplea.com Develop unified taxonomies ● Marketing, Service, and TechDoc decide to standardize their disparate taxonomies ● Unified taxonomies = Taxonomies that manage relationships and differences intentionally and explicitly
  43. 43. simplea.com Emergent practices: DITA metadata on enterprise scale
  44. 44. simplea.com Emergent practices ● Develop a Master Content Model (MCM): ○ A map of how content is created, managed, published, and translated ○ Includes authoring and delivery formats (the different representations that content takes through the content lifecycle) ○ DITA is at the center of the MCM; it serves the equivalent purpose as a pivot language in the translation and localization environment ● Develop a master semantic model (MSM) ○ A comprehensive model that describes concepts and their relationships ■ Example: Concepts might be “User task,” “Installing”, and “Widget A” ■ Example: “Installing” is part of the larger concept “User tasks” ○ Includes terminology used in different contexts -- for example, marketing, product development, technical documentation, and service ○ Informs the metadata component of the MCM
  45. 45. simplea.com Emergent practices Use a enterprise-wide application to develop and maintain the master semantic model ○ Examples: ■ PoolParty ■ Topbraid ■ SmartLogic Semaphore ○ Should be accessible through API ○ Explore auto-classification …
  46. 46. simplea.com Emergent practices Build transformations so that each application in the environment can ingest applicable taxonomies ○ CRM ○ DITA authoring environments ○ Other authoring environments ○ Web CMS ○ CEM systems Extend applications to be able to implement appropriate metadata based on the enterprise classification
  47. 47. simplea.com Markup solution ● <data> element with attribute values controlled by an associated subjectScheme map ● <data> elements stored in dedicated topics and conref’d into DITA source ● Solutions can be more or less elaborate ● Build a solution that fits with the authoring environment and provides most support for authors
  48. 48. simplea.com Resources
  49. 49. simplea.com ● Stan Doherty, Getting to First Base: Managing Cross-Organizational Content with Basic Metadata, CMS/DITA NA 2016. ● Kristen James Eberlein, DITA Metadata, session at CMS/DITA North America 2013. ● Joe Pairman, Create a Smooth & Satisfying Reader Experience using Metadata-Based Links & Suggestions, tcworld 2017. ● Joe Pairman, Taxonomy Now! Building a stress-resistant knowledge architecture in your current tools, session at CMS/DITA North America 2017. ● Amber Swope, Taxonomy: When you need to move beyond standard metadata, easyDITA Ask the Expert Series, July 2012. Resources

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