Content Conversion to DITA: A Three-Pronged Approach

Healthwise has a large database (~ 40,000 “pages”) of consumer health information representing many different products. To make this content more nimble, versatile, and accessible, Healthwise is converting this content into DITA. To accomplish that daunting task in a timely, consistent, and efficient manner, three different approaches have been developed that result in DITA content with minimal clean-up. The approaches range from programmatic to manual, and involve some reuse mechanisms to minimize repeated language. Come along on the journey to learn how Healthwise is making this transformation happen.

What can the audience expect to learn?

The three methods Healthwise is using to convert XML documents into DITA have generated valuable learnings and unexpected bonuses. Learn about the criteria we used for determining the appropriate path and the specialized elements and topic types we created that promote consistency. And because reuse is an important reason for converting to DITA, we’ll also outline the reuse mechanisms we employed.

Meet the presenter

Maria G. Essig, MS, ELS, has been involved in structured authoring for more than 15 years. She has led content development teams through a transition from unstructured to structured authoring using tools such as Arbortext, oXygen, and XMetaL. In addition, Maria has extensive experience acting as a liaison between content developers and software engineers involved in the creation of tools and features for content developers and in product publication.

Currently, Maria is the Healthwise Content Technical Manager and the DITA subject matter expert (SME) on the content development team. She also serves as a voting member of the OASIS DITA Technical Committee. As the DITA SME and technical leader for content developers, she regularly provides formal presentations and conducts technical trainings for Healthwise staff.

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