One of the important things I’ve learned while developing DITAToo DITA CCMS is that sometimes, people are using features not exactly as you expect.
For example, in one of the previous releases, we’ve introduced tags. You could pre-define tags, assign them to files, and then search by tags. We thought that users will create tags in addition to, or instead of, metadata. We expected that users would define tags, like “Release 5.0”, “Troubleshooting Guide”, “ProductABC”, “Configuration”, and so on, assign them to topics, maps, images, and other relevant files, and then run a search, like “show me all topics about Configuration of ProductABC available in Release 5.0”.
After a series of interviews with our users (which we do regularly to gather feedback and adjust our roadmap), we’ve figured out that most of them were using tags to specify the workflow state of a file. So they were creating tags, like “Authoring”, “Reviewing”, “Translating”, or “Approved”, and then run a search by tags to find all files in a specific workflow state.
“So what are you using to specify metadata?”, – we asked them.
“The standard DITAToo’s metadata mechanism” was the answer.
“OK”,- we said, – “So we are going to build a new feature that will be dedicated specifically for managing workflows, and you won’t have to use workarounds.”
And this is exactly what we’ve done. We’ve built a new module called Workflow Manager. If you are one of these users, you are probably asking how different Workflow Manager is from tagging, and why you should use it instead of tags.
Here are just a few reasons:
If you haven’t seen how Workflow Manager works, here a short video that we’ve prepared for you: