DiType User Guide/Overview

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< DiType User Guide

This section contains a brief introduction to the DiType application, including how to use it, and the environments in which it can be used.


Using DiType

RenderX XEP DiType is a versatile digital typesetting engine. The DiType engine accepts a number of file types as input, including XML source files and XSL-FO files. XML source files are first transformed into XSL-FO, and then rendered (typeset) to the selected output format. XSL-FO files are immediately rendered to the selected output format. Several output formats are supported, including PDF, PostScript and SVG.

DiType can be integrated into an organization's publishing environment in a number of ways. Here are a few examples of how organizations use DiType today:

Individual user publishes documents  
This is the simplest usage scenario for DiType. An individual end user employs DiType to publish a document on an as-needed basis. Typically, the input file is a DocBook or DITA XML document that needs to be published to PDF.
Corporate documentation system automatically publishes documents fed into the system  
This scenario is used by enterprises who integrate DiType into their documentation creation workflow, to allow all employees simple and easy access to DiType's typesetting capabilities. In this scenario, DiType is used to generate documentation on the fly, on demand.
Mass production of documents  
Typically used by banks and phone companies in order to mass produce statements and bills for each customer on a regular basis.
Document creation in a small office/home office (SOHO)  
An extension of the single user scenario, this option allows a number of users to use DiType to publish their documents.

The XEP DiType engine can be run from any of the following standard applications, which are included in the DiType installation package:

DiType Assistant  
Enables easy transformation of files in a graphical environment, suitable for users who prefer an intuitive graphical user interface. For a detailed description, refer to DiType Assistant .
DiType Command Line  
For users who prefer the command line, DiType can be run from the command line. For further details, refer to DiType Command Line .
Enables automatic publishing of documents from a watched folder. ActiType processes input documents that are located in a specified folder (hot folder). This option is used to integrate DiType into a document publishing environment (such as a content management system). For a detailed description, refer to ActiType .

Individual User Book Creation

The simplest usage of DiType is where a single user invokes DiType to publish one or more books. After installing and configuring the application as necessary, the user uses one of the bundled applications to produce documentation. Such documentation typically includes one or more of the following: educational material, technical manuals, user guides, release notes, journal articles, and books.

The most common XML dialects used to write documentation are DocBook and DITA. However, DiType can be configured to handle any XML files that comply with any Document Type Definition (DTD) or XML Schema.

The following figure shows this usage scenario:

Individual User Book Creation
Individual User Book Creation

Corporate Documentation System

DiType can be used as part of a corporate content management system (CMS). When a company wishes to use DiType to produce their documentation, DiType must be integrated as a component of the CMS's publishing engine. When integrating DiType into a CMS, the administrator uses one of the available connection methods to integrate the DiType component into the CMS (see Integrating DiType ).

When integrating DiType into a corporate CMS, the information architect should assess the volume of documentation to be produced, as well as the required production rate, and match the server's hardware to achieve the desired performance and fail-safety. DiType is infinitely scalable, and the organization can add servers, CPUs, and memory as needed to ensure good output performance. DiType fully supports parallel documentation processing.

In this scenario, documentation authors have little or nothing to do with the installation, integration, or configuration of DiType. These tasks are handled by the content architect, the organization's IT group, or the CMS administrators.

The following figure shows this usage scenario:

DiType in a Corporate Documentation System
DiType in a Corporate Documentation System

Mass Production of Documents

Mass production of documentation is a special case of integrating DiType into a corporate CMS or documentation production system. DiType is integrated into the existing corporate content publishing system using one of the available connection methods (see Integrating DiType ). In many cases, DiType replaces a reporting application, or coexists with a reporting application that generates the XML documents DiType publishes into typeset forms (such as bills).

When mass-producing documents, it is necessary for the throughput of the system to be as high as possible. This high throughput is achieved by linear scaling; i.e., by adding more processors as the number of pages of required output documentation increases.

A bank implementing DiType in this way will require the ability to produce several million pages of text that are of a simple design, but within just a few hours. The required throughput will be X number of pages per minute, assuming that all the documents are of the same basic design, but differing in length.

To achieve the desired average throughput, the document processing must be distributed among all of the available processors, organized in a grid, with load balancing. This parallelization of the processing can be implemented with J2EE mechanisms, or with RenderX EnMasse. Such software tools distribute the document processing jobs across all the servers that are part of the grid and implement the required load balancing. This distributed approach ensures that the failure of a single processor/server will not stop the overall document processing throughput, and will only minimally impact the average response time of the system.

The following figure shows this usage scenario:

DiType in Document Mass-Production
DiType in Document Mass-Production

Small Office/Home Office

DiType is also suitable for use in a SOHO environment. In this scenario, DiType may be installed on the local network (see Sharing ActiType ). In a SOHO environment, the users use one of the bundled standard applications to produce documentation. Documentation is produced on an as-needed basis; for example, creating a project plan, writing technical references, or creating a user guide for a product.

The following figure shows this usage scenario:

DiType in a Small Office/Home Office
DiType in a Small Office/Home Office

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