What role does conditional processing play in tailoring regulatory submission documentation for different regulatory jurisdictions, submission types, and product categories?

Conditional processing in DITA plays a pivotal role in tailoring regulatory submission documentation to meet the specific requirements of different regulatory jurisdictions, submission types, and product categories. This capability allows organizations to efficiently manage variations in content while maintaining a single source for documentation. Here are key aspects of how conditional processing is employed:

Content Variability

Regulatory submissions often require variations in content, such as different safety information, product descriptions, or formatting, depending on the target regulatory authority or region. With DITA, conditional processing instructions are used to define these variations within a single source document. For instance, specific content sections may be marked as “conditional” for certain jurisdictions, ensuring that the content appears or is excluded as needed.

Conditional Attributes

DITA allows authors to assign conditional attributes to content elements or topics. These attributes, such as “audience,” “product,” or “regulatoryJurisdiction,” are used to specify conditions under which content should be included or excluded. For example, product-specific warnings may be conditionally included only for certain product categories, streamlining the documentation process for multiple products.


Here’s an example of how conditional processing can be implemented in DITA XML:

<topic id="safety_information">
  <title>Safety Information</title>
    <p>This is general safety information.</p>
    <conditional-attr class="regulatoryJurisdiction" value="us">
      <p>Additional safety information for the US jurisdiction.</p>
    <conditional-attr class="regulatoryJurisdiction" value="eu">
      <p>Additional safety information for the EU jurisdiction.</p>

In this example, conditional attributes are used to include safety information specific to the US and EU jurisdictions based on the value of the “regulatoryJurisdiction” attribute.