AuthorBridge web-based XML editor for SMEs | Try for free!

Not just another XML editor

Let’s face it, there are many good XML editors out there already – so why reinvent the wheel?

We recognized that a different approach was necessary to meet the authoring requirements of occasional contributors who had no knowledge of DITA and for who the rigorous structural constraints of an XML editor would be too restrictive.

The objective was to develop a low-cost, web-based, easy-to-use XML editing tool that could be used by SMEs with no knowledge of DITA and was complementary to the XML editors traditionally used by technical authoring teams. However, it needed to be more than “just another XML editor with an attractive interface”.

 

Removing the constraints imposed by XML

Removing the constraints imposed by XML

User-friendly XML authoring tools try to hide the complexity of XML and be WYSIWYG – however, the structure just keeps getting in the way! Depending on the tool, the author is confronted with content structure in different ways, for example:

  • Popups with element name choices whenever user hits ENTER
  • Attribute sidebar with esoteric contents
  • Non-local changes to content when inserting things
  • Poor copy and paste support

It is these rigorous structural constraints that restrict the way in which authors can create content. So we figured, if the XML structure is too rigid for authoring, why not lose it?

 

Unique architecture for fluid authoring

It is the unique architecture ‘under the hood’ that makes AuthorBridge so different from all other XML editing tools. It provides SMEs with a less rigid XML structure, which is then converted to a more rigorous DITA XML structure behind the scenes.

As a result, content creation is easy and efficient. The SME is unencumbered by the authoring tool, and provided with an intuitive and free-flowing authoring experience (much the same as when authoring in Word).

The AuthorBridge unique architecture integrates CKEditor, the world-leading, Open Source HTML text editor. With more than 17 million downloads and over 10 years of continuous development, it is trusted by companies worldwide, including IBM, Microsoft and Oracle.

It is the unique architecture ‘under the hood’ that makes AuthorBridge so different from all other XML editing tools.

 

 

IBM

Collaborative development with IBM

AuthorBridge was developed in close co-operation with the Central ID Tools Team at IBM, the originators of the DITA standard and long-time experienced practitioners of working with leading XML editing tools. It has subsequently been deployed in production by IBM to help collect contributions from hundreds of SMEs, acting as a complementary tool to the existing XML editors used by more technically aware authoring professionals.

 

Guiding SMEs to make contributions in DITA
– and not a template in sight

The AuthorBridge editor includes an unobtrusive guidance panel that can be readily customized to help SMEs understand precisely where they are in the structure, and is much less constraining than a typical templated approach.

It is designed to guide the author naturally, with no explicit tagging or structure to directly manage. When changes are made to the content, the AuthorBridge conversion engine automatically computes and applies the appropriate semantic markup, allowing the SME to concentrate exclusively on authoring the content.

The AuthorBridge editor includes an unobtrusive guidance panel that can be readily customized to help SMEs understand precisely where they are in the structure
Guiding SMEs to make contributions in DITA – and not a template in sight

 AuthorBridge provides SMEs with guidance as to the most appropriate topic type to use

 

 

Advanced Copy & Paste

Trying to make sense of structure (e.g. numbered or bulleted lists, tables) when copying and pasting from Word directly to an XML editor is typically challenging. Not so with AuthorBridge, the conversion server makes sense of it all under-the-hood. By leveraging visual cues & context, it is able to determine the appropriate markup to apply and ensure that it is valid at the target location.

AuthorBridge provides advanced copy & paste support

 

 

AuthorBridge provides support for the <CALS table> model

Advanced Table Handling (CALS)

AuthorBridge provides support for the <CALS table> model (also known as the Oasis Table Exchange Model). The CALS table supports the spanning of multiple rows or columns for special layout or organizational needs and provides a wide variety of controls over the display properties of the data and even the table structure itself. These more complex table formats are often used in technical documentation for formatting purposes.

AuthorBridge also supports the <simpletable> format. As the name implies, it is structurally less sophisticated than the CALS table.

 

 

AuthorBridge sets a new paradigm in the pricing of XML editing tools and is affordable for authoring teams both large and small! AuthorBridge can be configured to incorporate a broad range of CKEditor ad-ons AuthorBridge can be readily integrated with local file systems, shared repositories (such as GoogleDrive, Box or GIT) in addition to central CCMS systems.

Low-cost DITA authoring for large and small teams

Starting from as little as US$100 per named user, per annum (minimum 10 users), AuthorBridge sets a new paradigm in the pricing of XML editing tools and is affordable for authoring teams both large and small.

Support for a broad range of CKEditor add-ons

AuthorBridge can be configured to incorporate a broad range of add-ons, with ongoing support provided by Stilo for the total enhanced solution.

CKEditor community add-ons include Google docs viewer, track changes, templates, form elements, equation editor, math editor, YouTube embedding, list, formulae, floating tool bar and many more – 300+ at last count.

Ease of integration

AuthorBridge can be easily integrated with local file systems, shared repositories such as Git, or integrated with component content management systems (CCMS).

 

 

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Why Stilo?

Stilo has been involved in the development of structured content tools and technologies for more than two decades, helping major organizations solve some of the most complex content processing problems. We are the developers of OmniMark, an SGML/XML content processing language and Migrate, a ground-breaking cloud XML content conversion service. We have helped our customers convert over a million pages of content to DITA XML from source formats including Word, FrameMaker, InDesign, RoboHelp and Madcap Flare. It is our deep understanding of DITA and our ability to solve difficult content processing problems that led us to the development of AuthorBridge.