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Publishing with SGML and XML

What´s the role of SGML and XML?

XML (eXtended Markup Language) and SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) are languages to describe contents of documents. Both XML and SGML enable a markup of contents regardless of the presentation (layout) and are ISO standards. Data which has been described in SGML/XML is called media neutral since representations of a specific media (e.g. a print layout or an internet publication) is not contained in the data but will be generated in a second step. One single data source can thus be reused to produce different target media.

For more specific information about the XML and SGML standards, you may consult the pages of the world wide web consortium.

Single source / cross media publishing - what does it mean?

Single Sourcing means: only one data source will be maintained from which all target media will be produced. The actual production process to generate the different output formats is called cross media publishing. The same source data (SGML or XML data) is not only used for online publishing but is equally transformed to generate print, CD-ROM and other media.

With cross media publishing you realize savings through automated production processes and multiple usage of your data.

SGML, XML or traditional publishing?

SGML or XML? And what criteria can be applied to decide for structured publishing from a single source in SGML / XML or traditional publishing?

If you do not yet have experience in structured data publishing, you will favour XML beyond SGML for the simple reason of the availability of tools and applicable standards. When is it useful to decide for XML?

Four criteria which favour the use of XML:

  • Constant updating and re-publishing of your information.
  • Contents are to be published in different media and publications, e.g. parts of documents in further publications or documents or parts thereof in content syndication in a number of online portals.
  • Contents are required in a number of languages.
  • Contents can be organized on a modular basis, i.e. the same content module may be re-used in different publicatioins, e.g. manuals.

The more of the above criteria apply to your data, the greater the benefit that can be achieved using XML or SGML.

Sirius CMS

The Sirius CMS Content Management System from Acolada supports not only SGML and XML but also traditional office format. Sirius CMS thus enables a gradual shift from traditional document production to content management processes.

Sirius CMS is the professional cross media solution for single source publishing with a broad range of applications. Its industry specific modules enable individual setup as publishing and production system, XML catalogue system and management system for the multilingual technical documentation.

For more information about Sirius CMS Server, you may download our product information or contact us via our contact form.