<?xml version="1.0"?> <cms> <title>XML-Director</title> <ingredients> <item>Plone CMS</item> <item>eXist-db</item> <item>Plone CMS</item> <item>BaseX</item> </ingredients> <features> <item>Custom content-types</item> <item>Workflows</item> <item>Fine-grain roles and access management</item> <item>Decent XML technology support</item> <much-more-features/> </features> </cms>
How awesome is it?
XML-Director provides a simple and unified user interface for those using XML publishing workflows. XML-Director can be used for technical documentation and for the authoring and production of guidelines, quality assurance documentation, SOP and more. Manage your content in Word (DOCX) including all the necessary styling such as paragraph and inline styles.
The goal of XML-Director is to unify the XML workflow under one umbrella. Our solution can be used to:
It is of course possible to version and archive all content on request.
XML-Director provides a unified user interface that manages all aspects and all functionality through the web.
XML-Director provides support for the conversion of DOCX content to XML. We support the conversion of standard DOCX to Docbook and DITA XML. We also support the conversion of DOCX content with custom templates. to custom XML schema and DTDs. As part of the DOCX to XML conversion workflow, we also generate HTML for displaying the content on the web or as preparation for later conversion to EPUB. The DOCX → XML conversion is enabled by the C-REX conversion service. Our conversion workflow allow supports XML round tripping for re-generating DOCX from a converted XML document.
The open architecture of XML-Director makes it easy to integrate other conversion services or data import sources. Open-source converter tools like Open-Office/Libre-Office can be linked to using the Produce & Publish conversion server and the open-source conversion tool unoconv.
XML-Director supports the generation of high-quality documents. The PDF quality is comparable to the quality of documents generated with tools like Adobe Indesign or TeX/LaTeX. XML-Director can produce traditional print products like texts with photos as well as more layout-oriented publications like brochures.
XML-Director supports a variety of high-quality PDF converters like PDFreactor, PrinceXML, Antennahouse Formatter or Speedata Publisher and provides you with the best converter option based on your project requirements.
The styling of a layout is accomplished solely using CSS (CSS Paged Media Standard). You do not need to learn XSL-FO or other complex layout languages or tools - knowledge in CSS is sufficient for creating a great-looking layout.
XML-Director uses the enterprise CMS Plone. Plone is a classical web content management system that we extended to support the storage of content in eXist-db. Plone also provides the unified user interface for XML-Director. All workflow actions are controlled through the same web interface, from upload to conversion and publication.
The fine-grained access control of Plone combined with the flexible workflow system gives you full control over who is able to access and edit content. XML-Director supports the storage of content metadata either in Plone, in XML or in a hybrid storage configured in both Plone and XML.
Your data is safe in Plone. Plone counts among the most secure content management systems and has an outstanding security record in comparison to other CMS solutions. Plone is trusted by large institutions such as the FBI.
XML-Director is backed by the open-source XML database eXist-db. eXist-db features support for the most recent XML technologies including XPath, XQuery, XUpdate, REST, RESTXQ, SOAP, XInclude and many more. eXist-db is highly scalable and can be used for small or large collections of documents.
Just as it stores your XML content, eXist-db can also be used to store all related assets like images, templates, manuscript files and generated content like PDF files or EPUB documents. This unified storage approach dramatically simplifies content and asset management. Content and assets can be provided either through the web or accessed directly through your local computer (since the XML database can be accessed directly as a network drive).
In addition XML-Director provides transparent access to common cloud storages like Dropbox, Google Drive or Amazon S3. Other storages and services can be easily integrated using a custom driver.
See this screencast about the integration of XML-Director with Dropbox content.
XML-Director is an open platform that can easily integrate with other third-party systems and applications. XML-Director is built on standards.
XML-Director and almost all of its components are available as open-source (except for commercial components, customer-specific extensions or code that is protected due to legal issues). The majority of our components are published in public repositories like Github or Bitbucket and can be customized by you, by us or by other solution providers. There is no vendor lock-in. You have access to all code at any time (except for the commercial converters).
Openness and transparency are key success factors in larger publishing projects. This includes transparent pricing and customer involvement throughout all phases of the project (agile project development).
Twenty years of experience in the publishing business have taught us that every publisher has their own requirements, in-house publishing workflows and distribution channels. This means that every project is different.
For this reason, we decided to build an open platform for writing customer-specific XML publishing solutions on a foundation of core components that can easily be extended and customized. This avoids the need to develop an overwhelmingly complex XML content management and publishing solution that has no hope of meeting customers' needs without significant modifications amounting to the reinvention of the wheel.
Our solution employs an open and modular system architecture that is able to integrate with almost all external systems like shops, databases, distribution channels etc. As well as choosing between several different PDF converters, you have the option to edit your XML content either through the web or using your favorite XML editor on your local computer.
DITA is the de-facto standard for technical documentation. XML-Director can deal with DITA content in various ways. As storage for XML content you can directly store and use your DITA topics and maps inside XML-Director.
With the integration of the C-REX conversion service we are able to provide you with state-of-the-art high-quality conversions from and to DITA (e.g. from/to DOCX). XML-Director also integrates standard DITA tools like DITA Open Toolkit or XMLMind DITA.
You can edit DITA topics through-the-web using a WYSIWYG editor. DITA maps can be composed using a graphical editor with drag & drop support.
XML-Director also be used as basis for Web-to-Print applications. The templates in our web-to-print projects are typically defined through HTML for the structure and CSS for layout and styling.
With the integration of the Nimbudocs editor you can edit directly within the final layout of your publication. No more form-based Web-to-Print applications. You will see directly how the final document will look like. Typical usecases are business cards, brochures, flyers etc. with a middle design and layout complexity.
Check out our Web-to-Print demo site or our Web-to-Print screencast.
|Multi step transformations (Pipeline)||supported
|BaseX ≥ 8.2||supported|
|eXist-db ≥ 2.2||supported|
|Social media integration||supported||Twitter, Facebook|
|workflows per content-type||supported|
|fine-grained security and roles management||supported|
|Locks (exclusive)||planned||scheduled for version version 3.0|
|Versioning||supported||Application specific implementations|
|Archiving||supported||Application specific implementations|
We are working since almost 20 years in the field of electronic publishing, content management systems, large web publications, intranets and extranets and custom software development. Lead developer Andreas Jung worked over the last 20 years for several publishers in Germany and helped to build enterprise-level applications for customers. In 2008 we started our own publishing toolbox called Produce & Publish and delivered superb publishing applications with the focus on high-quality PDF generation to several customers world wide. Due to privacy and legal reasons we are not able to publish all references.
XML-Director Version 2.0 is officially released. XML-Director 2.0 is ready for production and used successfully in two customer projects.
The most current development version can always be found here. Installation instructions can be found here and here. See also details about the development process in the developer section.
XML-Director is being developed as an open-source project. Our code is located on Github. You are invited to fork the code and contribute to the project through pull requests or by joining the core team.
The main implementation language is Python 2.7, because XML-Director is based on the Python-based content management system Plone. XML-Director is published under the GNU Public Licence Version (GPL 2).
Development goals are
The current XML-Director development release is available as a Docker image or the project's demo site demo.xml-director.info
First you need to have Docker installed on your system. Then download and install the XML-Director Docker image using
> docker run -p 12020:12020 zopyx/xmldirector-plone
Connect with your browser to http://localhost:12020/xml-director and login with username demo and password demo.
Connect with your browser to http://demo.xml-director.info/xml-director and login with username demo and password demo.
XML-Director is an open project and lives and grows with contributions, funding and third-party support. There are various way to contribute to the project.
Practice Innovation is a Germany-based company with focus on high-quality XML solutions, in particular in the field of technical documentation using DITA. Practice Innovation has a strong expertise in DOCX to XML conversions and lossless conversions back to DOCX (round-tripping). Conversion solutions can be provided as a web-service through C-Rex.net.
Ute Mitschke is a well-known Germany-based XML consulant and an expert in Framemaker.
Bookalope is a web service for document analysis and
conversion for XML Workflow Publishing without the
tedious XML exposure. It structures, cleans, and
converts book manuscripts into e-books for Nook, iPad,
or Kindle; into PDF print books; as well as other file
formats for a continued professional editing and design
process using Adobe InDesign or Word.
PrinceXML is a high-quality PDF generator accepting XML
and HTML as input. It uses cascading style sheets (CSS)
for defining style and layout. We are experienced with
PrinceXML since almost 10 years and used it for
various challenging publishing projects.
PDFreactor is a high-quality PDF generator accepting XML
and HTML as input. The functionality is very similar to PDFreactor
for generating dynamic documents based on content and data.
PDFreactor is our main conversion tool in decent project (good price,
good value, good PDF quality).
Antennahouse is the high-end solution for automatic
typesetting solutions with XML or HTML as input. Antennahouse
can be used with XSL-FO stylesheets or CSS (as with PDFreactor
or PrinceXML). Antennahouse offers the most complete and most
advanced typesetting features needed for very professional publications.
Vivliostyle follows the ideas of CSS Paged Media-based publishing.
It is a new product and follows a new implementation approach on existing
browser-based rendering engines like Webkit. However Vivliostyle lacks
several features that are present in PDFreactor, PrinceXML or Antennahouse.
Based on our experience we created a dedicated site
where we test and compare all existing (professional) PDF generators
on the market.
...awesome, we know.
Andreas Jung has twenty years' experience in publishing and content management projects. As the head of ZOPYX, he has worked in multi-lingual projects for the EU community and as developer and technical advisor in various projects for publishers in Germany.
The XML-Director project by Andreas Jung was created several years ago in order to provide publishers with the best possible tools (editors, converters, CMS etc.) for building efficient and productive publishing solutions based on customer needs and not on vendor constraints. Our aim is to provide publishing options that can stand alongside major players like Adobe Indesign & friends, but with more flexibility for a much better price.