DITA Publishing Architecture in Ingeniux CMS

The Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) is not only a powerful open standard for writing, editing, and reviewing content, it also offers a high-level of versatility in how content can be transformed to meet the needs of your organization and its information consumers. Ingeniux CMS provides an end-to-end DITA solution for customers that author, manage, and publish DITA content exclusively or for those that integrate DITA content with non-DITA document types. As XML, DITA documents can be transformed with the same languages and framework -- namely XSLT and ASP.NET MVC -- as other XML document types within Ingeniux CMS.

DITA Architecture in Ingeniux CMS

EXtensible Stylesheet Language Transform (XSLT) is a functional programming language applied to XML documents and is XML itself. XSLT uses XPath, an XML query language, to navigate DITA documents managed in Ingeniux CMS. XSLT templates are its main building blocks and define the transformation rules that are applied when Ingeniux CMS runs XSLT against the targeted XML.

Once DITA documents enter the Ingeniux CMS publishing pipeline, they are processed by the DITA Open Toolkit (DITA-OT), an open-source collection of XSLT files and other resources. The DITA-OT, in conjunction with an XSLT processor such as Saxon, applies its XSLT rules across a set of DITA documents to generate an interim build. The XML format that results from this interim build is commonly referred to as normalized DITA. In this case, normalization means that the DITA-OT's pre-processing operations have resolved ditamap references, keys, content references, code references, etc. in the resulting XML format. Keep in mind that the normalization build is an XML-to-XML transformation, resulting in fully resolved and expanded XML; it is not the final presentation rendition.

The DITA-OT can take the normalized DITA content and transform it into a variety of output formats. However, in a typical Ingeniux CMS scenario, the view layer of ASP.Net MVC transforms the normalized DITA content into the desired output and presentation for display on the DSS server. The use of ASP.Net views for the presentation of output is a natural fit within the Ingeniux CMS architecture: It requiring no "retooling" by MVC developers because rendering XML content through views is the same as with any other XML document type in the CMS, and the process of setting up a DSS server to display content is the same as well.