Beyond Editing: Guided XML content capture for Subject Matter Experts

Presentation Abstract

This presentation describes a web-based application that uses a guided user interface to capture information from Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). The application converts user inputs to specialized DITA XML and stores it in a Content Management System (CMS). The content can also be accessed by technical communications specialists and edited in a conventional XML editor if desired. The system provides an alternative authoring approach for SMEs with no knowledge of DITA, but the integration between the web based application, the CMS, and the XML editor provides complete content life cycle management capability for all users.


• Captures complex data structures through Web
• Transforms web data to specialized DITA
• Allows common content model and lifecycle for SMEs only or for groups with dedicated technical communications resources
• Allows content reuse
• Manages content in an enterprise CMS
• Content can be maintained in an XML Editor
• Provides track changes function on both the Web interface as well as in XML Editor
• Provides access to functions for publishing content, including publication as packages of XML with binary files

What can attendees expect to learn?

The presentation describes the tools and approach for capturing and managing content from non-expert authors while still allowing the content to be shared with, enhanced, and maintained by technical communications professionals if desired. Content capture is separated from editing and formatting, reducing the learning requirement on the non-expert authors. Content is captured in structured form, easing the burden on technical communications professionals who wish to use it later.

Meet the Presenters

Shivaram Gaonkar works as a Business Process Manager for Technical Communications, EMS at Schlumberger. He has an engineering degree in computer science and has over 17 years of experience in designing and implementing XML-based information production frameworks and publishing systems and content conversion and migration solutions.



Steve Parker works as Business Analyst for Technical Communication Applications at Schlumberger. He has been in the Technical communications field for over 35 years. After obtaining a degree in literature, Steve went to work in the IT field and soon became a Technical Writer. While working as a technical writer he gained experience in content reuse, multi-channel publishing, and markup languages. At Schlumberger he has worked on the original enterprise content management system and participated in its evolution. He is now working with the TechComIT on its replacement.

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