How does DITA support the integration of content from third-party software vendors in IT documentation?

Integrating content from third-party software vendors into IT documentation is a common need, especially when incorporating information about external tools, applications, or services. DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) provides a structured approach to support this integration seamlessly.

Custom DITA Elements

A best practice is to create custom DITA elements tailored to the specific content provided by third-party vendors. These custom elements can encompass information such as product features, APIs, configuration details, and usage guidelines. By defining custom elements, you ensure consistency in documenting external content while maintaining the structured nature of DITA.

Structured Organization

Organizing the integrated content is crucial. DITA allows you to structure documentation logically by creating maps and topics. For instance, you can have a top-level topic for third-party vendor content, and within it, organized subtopics for different products or services. Structured organization enhances navigation and helps users quickly locate the information related to third-party software vendors within your documentation.


Here’s an example of how DITA facilitates the integration of content from a third-party software vendor:

  <name>Vendor XYZ Tool</name>
  <description>A powerful software tool provided by Vendor XYZ.</description>
    <feature>Feature 1: Description of the feature.</feature>
    <feature>Feature 2: Description of the feature.</feature>
    <endpoint>Endpoint 1: Description of the API endpoint.</endpoint>
    <endpoint>Endpoint 2: Description of the API endpoint.</endpoint>

In this example, a custom DITA element <vendor-product> is used to describe a product from a third-party vendor. It includes the product’s name, description, features, and API references. Structuring the content this way ensures it is well-organized and easy for users to access.