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UK-based SDL (news, site) announced the release of SDL LiveContent 2011, a multi-channel, context-aware product information platform that uses structured XML to produce different outputs on demand. That’s quite a mouthful. In simple terms, if your business is fast-moving, with frequent changes to product information and you’ve embraced consumerization by supporting multiple devices, SDL Live Content is something you should explore.

Content Publishing for Constantly Connected

Driven by instant updates, high-speed data connections and the ubiquitous presence of search, customers expect information instantly. The information should be relevant, but also aware of the user’s context to deliver the most engaging experience. For example, if product details are accessed from a mobile device, the display should be adjusted. In the past, many organizations provided product details as static content in either HMTL or PDFs. This is no longer acceptable. Static PDFs are difficult to search, and neither form of static content  conforms to the interactivity that users have grown accustomed to.

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SDL’s LiveContent 2011 can help. The platform leverages DITA, an XML standard for authoring and publishing content, to convert technical documentation into structured content that can be updated dynamically and incrementally as well as combined in various ways to create new content. LiveContent produces dynamic content from the source XML components by linking the source content with metadata to apply various transformations.The tool can determine the type of device browsing content such as personal computers, laptops, tablets or smartphones and categorize device as mobile or not so that the appropriate content is displayed. Additionally, LiveConent has an embedded translation and localization engine for organizations that must support a global audience – an increasingly more common need.

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LiveContent supports DITA 1.1 and 1.2. Content is product content in an XML database. LiveContent sources XML from the database instead of using traditional fixed document sources. This strategy has several benefits, such as faster time to market, reduction in rework and improved compliance records. There are analytical implications as well. Because each piece of content is tracked separtately, LiveContent can capture content utilization, which can be used to discover what is most valuable to customers.