How is the distribution and delivery of IT documentation managed in DITA outputs?

In DITA, managing the distribution and delivery of IT documentation involves a structured approach to ensure that the right content reaches the right audience in a format that suits their needs. This process typically includes:

Output Generation:

Generating DITA outputs involves using tools like the DITA Open Toolkit (DITA-OT) to convert DITA XML source files into various output formats, such as HTML, PDF, or other custom formats. Configuration files, known as “output scenarios,” specify the desired output format, styling, and branding for the documentation.

Content Filtering:

Content filtering is essential to ensure that only relevant information is included in the output. DITA provides mechanisms like conref (content reference) and conditional processing attributes (such as “props” or “audience”) to include or exclude content based on specific conditions. This allows you to tailor documentation for different audiences or use cases.

Multi-Channel Delivery:

Modern IT documentation often needs to be delivered through various channels, including web portals, mobile apps, and print. DITA supports multi-channel delivery by allowing you to create different output scenarios for each channel. This enables you to optimize content for various devices and delivery methods.


Here’s an example of managing distribution and delivery in DITA:

  <title>IT Documentation Map</title>
  <topicref href="overview.dita"/>
  <topicref href="installation.dita"/>
  <topicref href="configuration.dita"/>
  <topicref href="troubleshooting.dita"/>

In this example, the DITA map specifies the structure of the documentation. Each “topicref” references a DITA topic, and different output scenarios can be applied during the output generation process to produce HTML, PDF, or other formats. Content filtering can be applied within each topic, allowing you to include or exclude information based on specific conditions.