Everything You Need to Know About SDL Docs 14: Roadmap and Capabilities
By Saurabh Gangwar
Tridion Docs 14 was released mid-July 2019. Included were service patches from 2018 (notably Publishing Performance and DITA 1.3 Support) along with new features focused on empowering non-technical subject matter experts and improvements for power-users like technical authors, publication managers, and administrators.
Let’s take a look at Tridion Docs 14’s main features and improvements.
Tridion Docs 14 Release
Tridion Docs 14 pairs with a new product called Draft Space. It’s an easy-to-use but powerful platform for content authoring and was designed specifically for non-technical writers.
Draft Space is a perfect fit for the authors where no tool-specific technical knowledge or training is required.
- Authors can now view the whole publication and select topics for content authoring
- Multiple writers can work on the same publication simultaneously and with seamless collaboration
- Contributors can edit content, create new versions, upload images, etc. and synchronize with the repository by hitting the save button without any check-out/check-in operations from the user interface (UI)
Polished User Experience (UX)
Draft Space runs in a web browser and has a simple but powerful UI with lots of grouped features. It’s designed to handle very large publications with the use of Lazy Loading. It has deep linking and shortcut features allowing content to be shared between users with a URL link.
It has support for Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) 1.3 standards by defining new tags and elements and could be extended in the configuration based on industry needs.
Content Importer Tool
Content Importer is a desktop application traditionally used for repeat batch-imports and to bulk-import DITA files while migrating to SDL Docs from other systems.
SDL Docs 14 comes with support to import the translated files. In the scenarios where the source and translated files are stored on the disk (unlike SDL World server integration with Tridion Docs), users can simply bulk-import source and translated language files using Content Importer.
Better User Experience
The UI is completely changed – users get a new wizard-like experience. Improved process management and control over the import process allows users to watch the progress, pause/resume the process, skip the files with errors, and much more.
There are now more import possibilities for files like PDF and Docx. The performance has significantly improved and provides command-line support for automation.
The Publication Manager is used to create, edit, publish, and status-check publications in various formats.
Publishing logs are now available to provide an easy way to process errors and warnings without switching between tools. For a publishing transaction, the logs can be downloaded directly without switching to the web client.
SDL is planning to release Review Space for scalable feedback and approval for content. This keeps track of reviews and approvals from users across an entire organization.
Reviewers can scroll through the whole publication and review/comment anywhere.
Requires Minimal Training
The easy to use “Word-like reviewing experience” assists non-technical writers by grouping features and showing files on an as-needed basis.
Tight Integration with Draft Space
Smooth incorporation of Draft Space and Review Space allows writers to edit content based on reviews and feedback.
Custom Comment and Suggestion Types
Admin can customize comments, suggestions, and resolution types according to an organization’s needs.
Granular Content Approvals
SDL is planning to release a new optional add-on feature called Document History that is essentially a detailed audit trail of the change history in a document. With it, authors can track what was changed, when it was changed, and by whom.
This can scale across the organization and provide full visualization and audibility.
Knowledge Portals and Taxonomy-based Applications
A Knowledge Portal is a single location of information pulled from different sources, with structured content and taxonomy at the core. The unified delivery from different sources would be one of the primary focus for the future.
The Tridion DX product suite is already out. It brings enterprise management, scalability, and security together and serves unified content from Sites and Docs. It doesn’t support hard links across the content sources and serves related content based on taxonomies.
Below are the few Architectural Improvements in SDL Tridion Docs:
- Translation connectivity and context
- Cloud-friendly Architecture
- Move to Web Client 2.0
With each upgrade of Tridion Docs (or Tridion DX), we’re getting closer to a microservices/containers architecture. SDL has the same plan; gradually shifting toward more microservices and will streamline the upgrade process for a smoother upgrade experience.
Progress is constant and change is inevitable, which is why we believe it’s important to share our thoughts when reviewing upgrades like this one.
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