Can organizations define rules for managing the deployment of DITA specializations?

DITA specializations are deployed and used in production environments to tailor DITA’s standard architecture to meet specific content requirements. This process allows organizations to leverage the benefits of DITA while ensuring that their content is structured and formatted in a way that aligns with their unique needs. Deploying DITA specializations involves several key steps.

Firstly, organizations define their specialization requirements. They identify the elements, attributes, and structures that need customization to accommodate their content. This often involves creating specialized elements that are not part of the DITA standard, adding attributes to elements, or modifying existing structures.

Once the specialization requirements are established, organizations create DITA specialization modules. These modules contain the specialized definitions and rules. These modules are integrated into the DITA environment, and the content creators use them to author, manage, and publish content. This enables organizations to use DITA while adhering to their specific content models.


Suppose a healthcare organization deploys a DITA specialization for medical documentation. In their specialization module, they define a custom element called <medical-condition> and a new attribute <severity>. The element allows for specific medical condition descriptions, while the attribute indicates the condition’s severity. This specialization enhances the standard DITA structure to meet the organization’s medical documentation needs.

<!-- DITA Specialization Module for Medical Documentation -->
<!-- Custom Element Definition -->
<element name="medical-condition">
  <topicref conref="medical-topic-base.dita"/>

<!-- New Attribute Definition -->
<attribute name="severity">
  <datatyperef href="severity.datatype"/>

In this example, the healthcare organization deploys the DITA specialization module in their production environment, allowing content creators to use the specialized <medical-condition> element and the <severity> attribute to create medical documentation that aligns with industry standards and requirements.