How is conditional processing integrated with content management systems (CMS) in DITA workflows?

Conditional processing is integrated with content management systems (CMS) in DITA through the use of DITA-specific CMS solutions or the incorporation of conditional attributes and metadata within standard CMS platforms. These integrations enable organizations to efficiently manage, organize, and deliver content with variations based on conditions, ensuring that content is consistent, adaptable, and tailored to diverse audiences and outputs.

DITA-Specific CMS Solutions:

DITA-specific content management systems are designed to natively support DITA’s conditional processing capabilities. These CMS solutions provide dedicated tools and interfaces for managing conditional attributes, conditions, and content variations. They allow organizations to define, control, and apply conditions within the CMS, making it seamless to create, store, and deliver content tailored to specific conditions.

Conditional Attributes and Metadata:

In cases where organizations use standard CMS platforms, they integrate conditional processing by leveraging conditional attributes and metadata. These attributes can be incorporated into the metadata schema of the CMS, allowing content creators to specify conditions for each piece of content. Metadata fields can capture information about conditions, such as audience, product version, or language, enabling organizations to filter and retrieve content based on these attributes.

Content Organization:

Integrated conditional processing ensures that content is well-organized within the CMS. Content management systems facilitate the categorization and tagging of content with appropriate conditions, making it easy to locate and retrieve content tailored to specific requirements. This organization simplifies the management of content variations.

Content Delivery and Publishing:

Integration with content management systems streamlines content delivery and publishing. Organizations can configure publishing workflows that take into account the conditional attributes. As a result, the CMS can generate output versions that align with the active conditions, producing content that caters to different audiences, languages, or product versions.


A global tech company employs a DITA-based content strategy to create product documentation. They have integrated conditional processing with their content management system, which is a standard CMS platform.

Conditional Attributes and Metadata: The company’s CMS includes metadata fields specifically designed for capturing conditional attributes. Technical writers specify conditions such as “audience,” “product version,” and “language” within these metadata fields for each piece of DITA content. For example, a topic might have metadata indicating that it’s intended for the “end user” audience and “product version 3.0.”

Content Organization: The CMS allows for organized categorization of content based on these conditions. They have a structured taxonomy that makes it easy to filter and retrieve content based on specific conditions. This organization ensures that content variations are well-managed and readily accessible.

Content Delivery and Publishing: When it’s time to publish product documentation, the CMS’s integration with DITA’s conditional processing capabilities comes into play. Publishing workflows are configured to consider the conditional attributes defined in the metadata. As a result, the CMS generates output versions that cater to different audiences, languages, or product versions, ensuring that the published content aligns with the active conditions.