Stilo International: Delivering on the Promise of Automated Content Conversion

Stilo InternationalThe world of technical content publishing has changed drastically over the last 20 years, but automating content conversion processes to reduce costs and streamline delivery remains a common challenge and often an elusive goal.

During this time, Stilo International has worked with both publishers and content developers to develop innovative, world leading software solutions for XML content conversion and transformation. From the beginnings of its OmniMark software to its latest cloud conversion service, Migrate, Stilo remains at the forefront of XML/SGML technologies to support the high-performance content processing and conversion needs of companies around the world.

For more than six years, the technical team at Stilo has continued to develop and advance the Migrate service – which converts a wide range of source files including InDesign, FrameMaker, Word, RoboHelp and DocBook to DITA and other XML formats. Using OmniMark ‘under the hood’, Migrate brings the power of OmniMark into play for the analysis and processing of complex content, while shielding its complexity from non-technical users.

With Migrate, customers can implement highly automated conversion processes and dramatically reduce the amount of manual pre- and post-cleanup tasks otherwise involved. Conversion pipelines can be quickly configured for specific documents, or groups of documents, and conversion rules can be easily modified to refine conversion results. Migrate users need not know about XSLT, or be a developer to use the service, and conversions can be undertaken in real-time, 24×7. Using a schema-generated conversion process, Migrate generates valid XML every time.

Stilo recently introduced version 3 of Migrate, which features advanced levels of automation that ensures successful, error-free conversion of the most complex content.

For example:

  • Automatic conversion of complicated tables
  • Use of context to differentiate between ‘steps in a task’ and ‘numbered lists in a reference topic’
  • Use of context and pattern matching, in addition to styling, to identify and correctly mark up inline styling
  • Configuring the structure of your BookMap or DITA map
  • Access to information not always visible in the content flow:
    • index markers to index terms
    • conditional text to DITA attributes
    • variables to conrefs or keyrefs
    • content from masterpages, or headers and footers, to metadata of the topic or DITA map
Stilo’s Migrate conversion process meets the unique content needs of a variety of organizations

Stilo’s Migrate conversion process meets the unique content needs of a variety of organizations

Because organizations’ requirements and challenges vary so greatly, Stilo provides Migrate delivery options far superior to traditional outsourced conversion services or in-house DIY solutions. Customers can opt to operate their own Migrate portal, allowing documentation teams to work on a self-serve, pay-as-you go basis; or they can elect to have Stilo operate Migrate on their behalf. Both options are ideal for customers whose users are non-technical, but still require a robust solution.

Migrate 3 also includes DocBook to DITA conversion functionality to help users convert from older XML content management systems to DITA-based CMSs.

Stilo has helped customers of all sizes, with a range of conversion challenges, to successfully convert more than 400,000 pages of legacy content to the DITA XML standard—with projects ranging from converting a single user guide to full documentation sets comprising tens of thousands of pages.

Among the most recent success stories is IBM Sterling Commerce, which used Migrate to successfully convert over 200 FrameMaker books (20,000 pages) to DITA within a six-week period. Migrate enabled them to deliver high-quality content more rapidly than outsourced or DIY approaches, reduce their conversion costs and meet their product release schedules. (Read more about IBM Sterling Commerce’s use of Migrate and associated metrics.) Other customers include Cisco, Oracle, VCE, TIBCO, Cassidian, Extreme Networks, Micron and Varian Medical Systems.

Convert Sample Content to DITA for free

If you’re in the process of assessing your content conversion options, Stilo offers to convert, free of charge, a sample document of up to 20 pages for testing and evaluation purposes. This is particularly useful for those customers ready to embark upon a conversion project, or those still at an early stage and considering how their content might best migrate to a DITA structure.

Visit stilo.com/ migrate-conversion-offer for details.

 

Connie Giordano

Connie Giordano is a partner in INKtopia Limited and editor of TechWhirl's Tech Writer Today online magazine. She has been a list member and contributor since the days when 14,400 baud was high speed communications, and Windows 95 was state-of-the-art.

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