XML Prague 2019 – A Review

What comes to your mind first when you think of Prague? Karlsbridge? Karel Gott? Goulash and beer? First of all we think of the meeting of XML disciples at XML-Prague. There are three days of concentrated input in the form of lectures and Meetups: On the Pre-Conference Day (7 February), various meetings of companies and organisations took place. Among others our partner AntennaHouse was present: there were news about the status of PDF generation with CSS, as well as general insights into the further development of AntennaHouse, e.g. containerization and cloud solutions.

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Heidelberg and DOCUFY: Why it fits!

Dr. Marco Müller has been involved in the strategic development of Heidelberg Platforms since 2013. Here he explains why Heidelberger Druchmaschinen AG and DOCUFY are a good match.

DOCUFY has been part of Heidelberg for more than a year. The entrepreneurial background is explained in the press release. Why I am personally convinced that the integration of DOCUFY into the Heidelberg Group is a good idea and “it just fits” is what I would like to briefly explain here.

First of all, the acquisition has caused a big question mark for many: for the new colleagues in Bamberg, for DOCUFY customers and also for some of my colleagues in Heidelberg.

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20 years DOCUFY, 12 years cooperation with kothes

It has been more than twelve years since I walked over the tekom annual conference and looked around for a new component content management system. In 2006, the editorial staff at kothes consisted of about 20 employees. We wanted to make ourselves more professional and the use of XML was a very important criterion. So I took a close look at all the systems available on the market.

I didn’t even have DOCUFY on my screen. At that time Uwe Reißenweber was the only representative of his company at the booth of his partner OCE. I let him show me his editorial system COSIMA. At that time DOCUFY was clearly an outsider on the market. The company had only a few (but quite representative) customers and the system was not yet a ready-to-use standard system. It was rather a “project kit”, which was strongly customized.

A shared passion turns into a long-term partnership

I liked the technical approaches in the software and had the impression that we could work efficiently with it in the editorial department. I also liked the passion and depth with which Uwe explained his software. We soon realized that we were on the same page in many respects. Uwe’s readiness to develop the software into a standard system together with us made me all the more happy, and so the first approach of COSIMA go! was born.

Meanwhile a lot of time has passed and both companies have developed strongly. The business cooperation has become a friendship in many places. We have survived many turbulent times. Even though the business horizon of both companies has expanded considerably, we still work together constructively and amicably.

I would like to congratulate you on 20 years of successful business development and look forward to another 20 years of DOCUFY. Finally, a big thank you to all DOCUFY employees.

5 questions about DOCUFY Layouter

Interview partner: Holger Rath, Product Manager COSIMA and DOCUFY Layouter.

What is DOCUFY Layouter and what can he do?

DOCUFY Layouter is an easy-to-use cloud solution that allows editors to design their own output layouts.

Once defined, layouts can be transferred to derived layouts via intelligent inheritance mechanisms. This not only ensures consistent, corporate design-compliant output, but also saves a lot of time and annoying coordination rounds.

What benefits does DOCUFY Layouter have for me and how does the software change my daily work?

Whether you are an editor in your own company or a documentation service provider, customized documentation requires an adaptable layout. A layout suitable for technical documentation instructions is already defined in DOCUFY Layouter. Use it as the basis for your layouts and benefit from only adapting the title page, header/footer, logo, font and font colors.

You react flexibly to new format requirements or changes in the corporate design. You ensure a harmonious appearance of all published documents and at the same time remain open to new ideas.

Which elements of my documentation can I specifically design with DOCUFY Layouter?

With the flexible and at the same time simple box model, you can design

  • title or cover pages
  •  headers and footers
  • grip marks
  • logo and wallpaper on the cover
  • column titles in the header line
  • copyright and page number in footer
  • outline number in the grip mark

You can format your content to the exact point with just a few clicks.

You can set the page format and column width, and format document content with fonts, spacing, alignment, colors, and borders. You can flexibly adapt the presentation of security notices and warnings within the legal framework. The software offers you the necessary parameters. Not too many, but also not too few.

Furthermore, the sequence of opening credits, directories, content, glossary, index and appendix can be defined by drag & drop. You can also manage your fonts, colors and media such as logos centrally and use them in your layouts.

What role does DOCUFY Layouter play in multi-level documentation?

The DOCUFY Layouter is the tool for designing your documents for print, ePaper or online publication. The stylesheets created in it can be transferred directly to COSIMA and TopicPilot. Without DOCUFY Layouter, the multi-level documentation would not be so nice and simple.

Is COSIMA a prerequisite for using DOCUFY Layouter and is there introductory training for the new product?

COSIMA and DOCUFY Layouter work hand in hand. You create the test data for your layouts in COSIMA and upload it to DOCUFY Layouter. You import the designed and tested layouts into COSIMA and use them to publish your documents.

The intuitively designed web interface can be operated by any editor without expert knowledge. A step-by-step tutorial explains the individual design steps and the central concepts such as the box model and the inheritance mechanism. After one or two hours of reading and testing, you can operate the software and get started. And because it’s a cloud solution, there’s no installation effort at all.

More information is available at www.docufy.de

7 years – and not a bit of boredom

A partnership is often referred to as the bloody seventh year. After seven years one knows the quirks and virtues of the other, and knows how to appreciate one’s partner. For seven years now I have been working as a freelance press officer for DOCUFY. And even in the seventh year we are still happy together. Perhaps the formula for success for our cooperation is that we both like dynamism and progress – and not boredom. When I started working for DOCUFY, there was only the COSIMA and DOCUFY Machine Safety editorial system. This alone could have been boring in the long run.

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WE are DOCUFY

WE – this is a “colourful bunch” of different age groups, educational levels, genders, strengths and knowledges. By now we have grown to a proud 103 employees (as of 01.04.2018) and the trend is still rising, because we are pursuing a common goal:

The revolution in technical documentation.

We work daily to optimize systems, processes and procedures, to develop new concepts and fill the information space with life. Hand in hand, for our customers, every day anew, fully motivated and with fun!

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XML Prague: 20 years of XML and CSS in detail

XML, short for Extensible Markup Language, – celebrates its birthday and DOCUFY celebrates, too! That’s right, because we’ve both been around for 20 years now. Our declared goal then as now: To optimize editorial processes based on XML as a pioneer. Reason enough for us to travel to Prague from 8 to 10 February for the meeting of XML friends. There we not only met well-known people from the XML universe (Michael Kay from Saxonica, Tony Graham from Antenna House, Norman Walsh – inventor of the DocBook format and many more), but also had the opportunity to discuss interesting application examples from various fields as well as ideas and approaches around XML.

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New in COSIMA: IGEL – the integrated callout editor

Explaining complex issues in a simple way – often a very difficult task. Images can help illustrate what you want to say. Because you know: A picture says more than a thousand words! Especially in technical documentation graphics are used to put things in a nutshell. The reference of the graphics to the descriptive text is important. These references are created using item lines and/or item numbers, the so-called callouts. With COSIMA Release 7.0 you now have an integrated callout editor at your disposal with which you can easily add position numbers to your images yourself.

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COSIMA 7.0 or: How our Component Content Management System is now saving you even more time

Is there a technical writer out there who wouldn’t want to concentrate exclusively on content while the content management system takes care of all of the (annoying) details such as layout corrections as if by magic? The latest release of COSIMA 7.0, which we also presented at the tekom trade fair in Stuttgart, now makes it even easier to work with our software, namely with three new features:

IGEL makes it possible to write on graphics: quickly and easily

IGEL is the name of our new tool that you can use to add item numbers to graphics and images in COSIMA directly. You simply open the image in the corresponding editor, which provides you with all of the tools that you need to add, align, shift, delete or copy position numbers. Existing images without callout information can also be transformed into IGEL images – that is, ‘igeled’ – during the editing process. You can zoom in and out of the image to work with precision. And: You can also use the information from the position numbers to automatically create image legends.

Enter and align position numbers in the IGEL editor. There are different formats and colors available for your callouts.

Zoom in on individual areas in the graphic using
the IGEL magnifying function. Callouts are automatically incorporated into the
publication’s image legends and text.

Click here to read more about IGEL.

Maintenance tables automatically linked to instructions

New automatically generated maintenance tables also save you time and effort. In COSIMA, semantic tables that can be edited with maintenance activities and maintenance intervals are automatically generated as maintenance tables. This makes life easier for service technicians, because individual maintenance steps are now linked to the specific instructions in COSIMA. Checkboxes show which maintenance activities need to be performed at which maintenance intervals and can be processed directly.

DOCUFY Layouter: the tool to design

Carrying out comprehensive technical documentation for every conceivable machine variant in just a few hours, automatically publishing the information in a perfect, CI-compliant layout, on a mobile device or as a PDF… This is the ideal way to work for a technical writer. DOCUFY Layouter makes this dream a reality. Although the tool is a standalone product and not a COSIMA feature, the DOCUFY layouter offers significant added value in editorial work, and it should not be missing from the list of novelties in combination with COSIMA.

Using DOCUFY Layouter, you can easily design PDF output layouts (and TopicPilot layouts in future too) all on your own. DOCUFY Layouter can be used to quickly and easily carry out and save things like the design of cover elements and the positioning of company logos on the title page; adjustments to font, text colors, tables or the way that security and warning information is presented; and changes to headers and footers. The result: an automatically coherent appearance for all published documents. This cloud solution is ready to use and can be used without any installation or any internal IT input. (DOCUFY Layouter will be available from 2018.)

For further information on DOCUFY Layouter click here.

Digitalization? Industry 4.0? Take a step into the digital future with COSIMA

With all releases, our goal is to provide our users with even more benefits while making it easy for them to perform complex tasks. With COSIMA 7.0, technical documentation has moved even further into the age of digitalization and industry 4.0. And that’s important, because technical documentation is facing new challenges: Standardized products manufactured in large batches are increasingly becoming a thing of the past, making the document-based writing process more and more cumbersome. You can use COSIMA and its new features to create an Information Space [Link] that allows you to precisely address specific units of information and each of their variants. This makes it possible to automatically create product-specific information ad hoc and then publish it in different media using TopicPilot [Link]. This means that with COSIMA you can be sure that you will be able to keep working efficiently and in compliance with the law, even in the face of great diversity, equipping you to face the challenges of Industry 4.0.