We did it! Meet DITAToo Virtual Drive, a new brand feature available in the new release of DITAToo.

DITAToo Virtual Drive mounts the DITAToo content repository as a local drive to your computer. Now you can access the DITAToo database-driven repository as if it were a regular drive: from Windows Explorer or from any application.

Moreover, you can check-in/check-out files stored in the repository, view the version history, and even change the workflow state of a file directly in Windows Explorer!

What it means is that now you can involve subject matter experts (SMEs) who are not DITAToo users to the content creation and review process. Technical writers will access the repository through DITAToo as usual, but SMEs will use Windows Explorer (right, the don’t need to have DITAToo at all!) to access the same repository and review your content.

Just think about this scenario:

  1. A technical writer finishes writing a user guide and generates a PDF. Now the PDF can be stored directly in the repository.
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  3. Then the writer changes the workflow state of the PDF to, say, Review. The Review state can be set up in a way that sends an email notification to an SME once a file is moved to this state.
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  5. The SME opens Windows Explorer, goes to the DITAToo virtual drive, and opens the PDF.
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  7. The SME leaves comments and saves the commented PDF directly to the repository in the same way as the file would be saved to the actual drive.
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  9. In Windows Explorer, the SME changes the workflow state to, say, Review Completed. This state can be set up in a way that sends a notification email to the writer.
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  11. Now the writer can access the commented PDF through the regular DITAToo interface as usual.

Or how about this: you are moving to DITA from unstructured FrameMaker. No migration happens overnight so for a while, you’ll have to deal with the content that is already in DITA and with legacy unstructured FrameMaker books.

While FrameMaker does allow you to mix structured and unstructured documents witin one book, how are you going to manage them together? You need to have a technology that can handle structured and unstructured FrameMaker documents within the same repository so you can have a single version control and a single workflow management.

Also, when you open an unstructured FrameMaker book from the repository, you need it to be opened with all references to chapters and cross-references within chapters corectly resolved. With DITAToo Virtual Drive, it’s not a problem any longer! You just open your unstructured FrameMaker book from Windows Explorer or directly from FrameMaker (just by selecting File > Open and navigating to the book file), and it will be opened exactly in the same way as it would be opened from an actual drive, that is with all references resolved.

Plus you can put unstructured files under the same version control and workflow management as DITA files.

Basically, this means that even during the migration to DITA phase, you still can have all your content – structured and unstructured – under a single control. You don’t have to wait while you are completely in DITA to implement DITAToo DITA CMS, you can do it right now, even if you are not in DITA yet.

We’ve recorded these short videos to let you better understand how DITAToo Virtual Drive can help you.

Managing DITA and non-DITA Content in a Single Repository with DITAToo Virtual Drive:

 

Involving Subject Matter Experts into Your Content Process with DITAToo Virtual Drive

 

Now you are probably asking about the pricing. Here you go: regular DITAToo users (aka technical writers) get the Virtual Drive for free. If you want your SMEs to access the DITAToo content repository from Windows Explorer or any other application, you get a special license for them just at $299 per user. Bulk discounts are available, contact us at info@intuillion.com for more information.

Your SMEs don’t even need DITAToo. Just a $299 license per user, and they can access your content without learning any new tools.

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