What is the purpose of the @product attribute in DITA?

The @product attribute in DITA serves the purpose of specifying the product or version of a product to which the content is relevant. It is a metadata attribute used to associate content with a particular software product or a specific version of that product. The @product attribute helps in organizing, categorizing, and targeting content for different software products or product versions.

Key Concepts

  • Metadata Association: The @product attribute is used to provide metadata information about the content. It helps identify the context or scope of the content in relation to a software product.
  • Product Identification: Content creators assign a specific product or product version to the @product attribute, indicating which software product or version the content pertains to. This information is crucial for documentation related to software applications, where different versions or products may have unique features or requirements.
  • Content Targeting: By using the @product attribute, content can be precisely targeted to the appropriate audience. Users seeking information about a particular product or version can easily find content relevant to their needs.
  • Conditional Processing: The @product attribute can be used in conjunction with other conditional processing attributes to control the inclusion or exclusion of content based on the selected product or version. This allows for the generation of tailored documentation for different scenarios.


Documentation is being created for a software application called “ExampleApp,” which has multiple versions. The @product attribute can specify the relevant product version for each piece of content:

    <title>Getting Started with ExampleApp</title>
        <p>This guide provides instructions for using ExampleApp version 2.0.</p>
        <data name="product" value="ExampleApp 2.0"/>

In this example:

  • The <topic> element contains content related to using ExampleApp version 2.0.
  • The @product attribute is represented using a <props> element with the name “product” and the value “ExampleApp 2.0.”
  • This clearly associates the content with the specific product version, ensuring that users looking for information about ExampleApp 2.0 can easily locate and access this content.