Reaching diverse audiences
Schneider Electric Automation helps customers stay informed about its latest innovations with technical documentation produced using an XML-based tool chain consisting of Adobe FrameMaker XML Author as the XML editor, Ovidius TCToolbox as the XML content management system (CMS) and Datazone Miramo and Adobe FrameMaker Publishing Server for automated PDF, CHM, HTML, XML and HTML5 publication.
Documentation supports vital processes such as install hardware, setting up communications networks and programming automation tasks. Because Schneider Electric Automation offers solutions for specific industries—including textiles, food and beverage, automotive, minerals and mining and product packaging—the company has to tailor documentation to meet the needs of diverse audiences and make it available in multiple media formats.
The company’s Technical Publication and Translation Department maintains the tools and processes for creating documents. It supports text authoring and editing, graphics creation, content localisation and helping to ensure documents’ legal compliance. As technical publishing has evolved from unstructured to structured authoring workflows, Schneider Electric Automation has transitioned smoothly from DTP-based solutions to the XML-based tool chain that includes TCToolbox, Miramo and FrameMaker.
“We have a successful history with Adobe FrameMaker, especially with the migration from unstructured content to XML,” says Silke Köhler, Process Manager, Technical Publication and Translation at Schneider Electric Automation GmbH. “FrameMaker XML Author provides us with the best balance between WYSIWYG and XML editing. The broad range of publishing formats in Adobe FrameMaker is also a big advantage—offering real, single-source publishing.”
Currently, Schneider Electric Automation produces about 300 documents annually, which average 150 to 200 pages each, but some documents have up to 2,500 pages. Of the 60 technical writers on the Schneider Electric Automation team, only three are in-house and the rest are contractors. To support the globally distributed team, Schneider Electric Automation updated to FrameMaker (2015 release).
Ovidius GmbH, a Berlin-based XML solution provider, first helped Schneider Electric Automation 18 years ago to move from a DTP-based system to structured publication. Most recently, Ovidius streamlined Schneider Electric Automation workflows by building a new automated server-based publication chain that uses Ovidius XService for process control and workflow automation, Datazone Miramo as a fast, parallelised publication processor and FrameMaker Publishing Server for PDF and HTML5 publication. Due to this architectural change, Schneider Electric Automation can run large numbers of publication processes in parallel without bottlenecks at peak times.
“Our team can easily create valid XML content in Adobe FrameMaker XML Author and collaborate using PDF based reviews,” Köhler says. “Adobe FrameMaker Publishing Server and Miramo empower our global teams to publish content in various formats—including PDF, CHM, HTML, HTML5 and XML—through our content management system, TCToolbox.”