DITA, Metadata Maturity & the Case for Taxonomy
Many organizations have turned to component-oriented content to create more sophisticated knowledge products, in more languages, at lower cost. For most organizations these days, component content is achieved by using DITA, the Darwin Information Typing Architecture. Finding content in your file system or content repository is hard enough when you’ve got simple text documents to deal with. When you’re using DITA and other component-oriented methods, you increase the difficulty by two or three orders of magnitude, because you’re looking for smaller needles in bigger haystacks. It’s logical that DITA users would turn to taxonomy and metadata to improve findability of their reusable content.
Our research confirms that organizations that use XML authoring are more mature than their peers with respect to the adoption of best practices for search and metadata. However, the use of native DITA metadata capabilities is rare, and many are also missing out on opportunities to use taxonomy for reuse and improved findability. We will explore the metadata capabilities within DITA and component content management systems, discuss two major benefits that can be achieved by using descriptive metadata and taxonomy, and recommend some best practices for getting started with metadata for component-oriented content.