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It’s been over a month since the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) announced it had formed a new subcommittee, DITA for Enterprise Business Documents. We got really excited about this announcement because, if successful, the effort could help propel DITA into the world of narrative business documents, drastically improving the adoption of structured XML content across all departments in the enterprise. But, we are very disappointed by the lack of participation from software vendors, many of which can’t make a complete sentence without uttering the DITA acronym.

So far, and JustSystems are on board and ready to spread the DITA gospel far and wide. Elkera and Flatirons Solutions are, too. But, where is PTC? How about Adobe? How about all of the independent consultants in the space? Anyone seen the folks from Innodata-Isogen? How about any one of the dozen content management and online help vendors who spend much of their marketing effort touting support for DITA? How about localization and translation experts and service providers? Better yet, how about IBM?

In order to grow DITA so it can be used by more than just technical writers, we first need the involvement of all of our experienced industry members. This should be obvious to most software and services companies—firms always on the lookout for new markets. The market for technical communication solutions is only a tiny drop in a very big enterprise content bucket. For companies that are looking for the next big thing, DITA for business documents offers much promise.

So, if you work for a software or services firm and are reading this article, consider joining the OASIS subcommittee, DITA for Enterprise Business Documents.

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