In October 2007, New Zealand’s Author-it Software released version 5.0 of their Author-it component content management system. Less than a year later, they have released Author-it 5.1, concentrating on making content components easier to manage and publish.
New functionality includes Object Variant capability and a Quick Search function, which makes it possible for Author-it 5.1 to offer increased versatility, while retaining all of the functionality of 5.0. Object Variants are an extension of the Author-it model and let content components like text, graphics, links or formatting to have any number of variations created for them based on user-defined criteria. Authors can create as many variations as needed and manage them together as a single component.
Quick Search keeps search results at the ready, so that users can access previous results without having to enter the query again and again.
Other new features include:
* Batch Import File Objects: Users can batch import images and quickly create file objects by drag and drop.
* Preview Pane Position setting: Users can set the preview pane to display at the right or the bottom of the main window.
* Quick Access Toolbar: Users can navigate between folders recently accessed and open the Quick Search window.
* Topic Reference Tags Included in XHTML: Users can insert object reference tags in the content to indicate where topic content starts and ends. These tags can then be referenced with Author-it XML through a post publishing process to add customized functionality.
* Publishing Profile Action to Create Book XML: Users have the option for the books to be published to Author-it XML. The published XML file is included in the publishing folder along with the original published job.
* Publishing Profile Action to Execute Word Macro: Users can execute various word macros before or after publishing. The Word Macro action provides additional flexibility as you can use a single word publishing template with multiple macros. Use different publishing profiles to only call the relevant macro(s) for that deliverable.
Overall, the 5.1 release signifies a focus on simplifying the "inherent difficulties associated with delivering content targeted for different purposes and audiences." Based on feedback received from Beta users, 5.1 is meant to enhance Author-it's self-ascribed "simple, powerful, and effective means of creating, managing, and publishing".
Still only available for Windows Servers and Windows-based PCs, Author-it 5 clients (with pre-existing maintenance agreements) will receive an automatic upgrade to Author-it 5.1. All others can obtained the release directly through the Author-it Web site or by calling toll-free (800) 754-0377.
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