Are there best practices for integrating content from regulatory databases and defense authorities into DITA documentation?

Integrating content from regulatory databases and defense authorities into DITA documentation is essential for ensuring that defense documentation complies with the latest regulations and standards. While the specifics can vary depending on the organization’s needs and the content sources, there are some best practices to consider when implementing this integration:

Content Mapping

One of the key steps in integrating external content into DITA documentation is to map the external content to the appropriate DITA structure. This involves identifying the relevant DITA topics and elements that can accommodate the external information seamlessly. For instance, regulatory requirements may need to be mapped to specific DITA elements or metadata fields, ensuring that they are correctly placed within the documentation structure.

Automated Updates

To maintain the accuracy and relevance of integrated content, it’s advisable to establish automated processes for content updates. This can involve setting up scripts or connectors that periodically fetch updates from regulatory databases and defense authorities. When new information becomes available, the automated process can seamlessly update the corresponding sections of the DITA documentation. This ensures that compliance-related information is always current and reduces the risk of outdated content.


Here’s an example of how content integration with DITA can be automated:

<topic id="regulatory_compliance">
  <title>Regulatory Compliance</title>
    <p>This section contains information on regulatory compliance requirements as provided by external sources.</p>
    <include href="regulatory_updates.xml" />

In this example, a DITA topic titled “Regulatory Compliance” includes an external content file named “regulatory_updates.xml” using the <include> element. The automated process periodically updates the “regulatory_updates.xml” file with the latest compliance information, ensuring that the DITA documentation always reflects the most recent regulatory requirements.