The production of enterprise architecture documents should adopt a formal content authoring framework – principle 4

The common tool across most organisations for authoring documents is Microsoft Office – Word, Excel and Powerpoint – however this does limit the usefulness of the information contained within the document. Even though Microsoft has updated the file format to an XML based format this still does not allow the author to add intelligence to the document by way of tagging content with more than just headings and styles.

In order for enterprise content management systems and enterprise search engines to manage and deliver content to users they need to be formatted in a particular way with metadata and xml. Microsoft Word and Excel are able to do this but there are other tools that could be used to build a better content library for an enterprise architecture repository. At this point I am not talking about models produced with an appropriate enterprise architecture tool such as Troux or Aris but document based artefacts.

It is worth considering the potential benefits from authoring content within a XML authoring tool – at the moment i am looking at an open source tool from Syntex called Serna. This is a WYSIWYG XML authoring tool that offers DITA and Docbook formats and at some later date i will post some comments on the application.

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