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Common Arbortext Questions

Level 9

Common Arbortext Questions

We answer a lot of questions about Arbortext, in a lot of different places.  This is only one of them. Why? Because we're one of the few qualified PTC-Arbortext partners. Because we've been working with the Arbortext solution for more than a decade.

Arbortext is not simply an XML Editor or Illustration tool. It’s a big-picture solution that includes all the pieces required for creation, management, and  publishing of enterprise content. In fact, Arbortext is the only out-of-the-box, end-to-end solution. Since the acquisition by PTC in 2005, Arbortext has been focused on making sure the products are  integrated and play nicely with each other. We have all heard horror stories from publication groups who have had to ducktape a solution together in order to get the full solution. Often times, despite years of work, they never really realize the full capabilities of a complete end-to-end solution.

We get questions from customers and prospective customers who are at  all points of the spectrum. Some are techpubs groups looking at tools; some are VPs thinking about their larger, enterprise content strategy.  Some understand XML and publishing and how it all fits together; some understand parts but aren’t necessarily sure where responsibility (cms, editing tool, publishing too) starts or ends (you can bet that the vendors absolutely do!); some are just beginning to think about the  limitations of traditional tools.

Some are coming to it from the tools-first approach; some come from a  process management approach; and some come from a change management  approach. We’ve seen a lot of success and a lot of failure through our long tenure in this. Like Jennifer Lopez's character in The Wedding Planner, we can predict success or failure, based on the approach someone takes (rather than the color of the bridesmaids’ dresses). However, what’s more interesting is that we can make this prediction regardless of the tool set eventually chosen. There’s a lot of confusion out there as to what the individual pieces are where responsibility lies in a system like this.

As a result, we’ve starting a new series called “Common Arbortext Questions”.  Each  week, we’ll share with you a set of questions, all more or less around  the same topic, that we’ve had recently and that provide insight into the Arbortext solution.  If we haven’t answered fully enough or you’ve got a follow-up  question, please share in the comments. We’ll be sure to answer your questions as well.

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