Are there best practices for integrating content from government software and applications into DITA documentation?

Integrating content from government software and applications into DITA documentation can be a streamlined process when following best practices. Here are key considerations to ensure a successful integration:

Structured Data Export

Government software and applications should provide structured data exports in a format that aligns with DITA’s XML structure. This structured data can include information such as configuration settings, data models, or any other relevant content. Exported data should be organized into DITA-compliant elements, making it easier to map to corresponding topics and sections in the documentation.

Automated Data Import

To ensure efficiency and accuracy, automate the import of structured data into DITA documentation. Government agencies can develop scripts or workflows that take exported data and transform it into DITA XML. These automated processes should also handle updates, ensuring that changes in the software or applications are reflected in the documentation without manual intervention.


Here’s an example of how structured data from government software can be integrated into DITA documentation:

<topic id="software_configuration">
  <title>Software Configuration</title>
    <para>This DITA topic provides details about configuring the government software.</para>
    <structured-data-import source="software_export_script" />
    <para>The <code><structured-data-import></code> element is automatically populated with data exported from the government software using an export script, ensuring that the documentation remains up-to-date.</para>

In this DITA topic titled “Software Configuration,” the <code><structured-data-import></code> element is used to automatically import structured data from government software, facilitating seamless integration.