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Version 3 of SCHEMA ST4 With Significantly Expanded Features

XML-based editing and content management system now offers extended reporting functionality

XML Magazine
The new version of SCHEMA ST4 features several highlights, among them the possibility for unified presentation of technical documentation, a new product information management (PIM) module, and more flexibility for the layout of text and graphical elements. In addition, this XML-based editing and content management system now offers extended reporting functionality, allowing users to uncover hidden potential for content reuse. The fully automated conversion of graphics is another option that has been added to the extended features of the new SCHEMA ST4. The software now supports the new EPUB format for the easy display of documentation on mobile devices. SCHEMA GmbH is presenting the new version of SCHEMA ST4 at the tekom annual conference, November 4-6 2009 in Wiesbaden (hall 1, booth 114).

SCHEMA GmbH has integrated an interactive designer in the new version of SCHEMA ST4, allowing for the creation of a consistent layout for all target formats. The user defines how text elements will be presented, selecting font type and size, and formatting. This information will be reused for all publications, whether for print, online or PDF formats, guaranteeing a unified presentation. Version 3 of SCHEMA ST4 also features rule-based conversion of high-quality graphics to standardized sizes. In addition, graphics that are already stored in the editing and content management system can be converted in batches. The user defines for these graphics what size, resolution and format the online, print or electronic versions should have. When generating the publication, SCHEMA ST4 uses these settings for all graphics.

SCHEMA ST4 With New PIM Module
SCHEMA ST4 now has its own PIM module. This allows product data, e.g. technical ratings or prices, to be maintained easily and used directly in documentation. Alternatively, the product data can be imported into the editing system from an ERP system via an interface (e.g. the standardized DPC connector from SAP). The data is hierarchically structured by attributes or characteristics in SCHEMA ST4. For example, one structure might contain all machines belonging to one group, including their model ranges. Each product can have different attributes or characteristics that can be inherited by subordinate groups. For product data classification, various classification systems are available. In the case of the descriptive models ETIM and eCl@ss for the electronics industry, the valid attributes for a product are defined by the classification.

An export interface allows product data to be exported to MS Excel where the data is displayed as tables classified according to defined attributes. These tables can then be used in documentation, e.g. for presenting technical properties.

SCHEMA ST4 also boasts additional features which allow for the creation of relationships between information modules. From a web of phrases, relevant content can be matched, and the phrases then used for navigation and searching.

More Flexibility in Positioning Text and Graphics
SCHEMA ST4 has been furnished with new features allowing users to create appealing layouts for such publications as flyers or product brochures. With a template editor, individual elements, e.g. pictures or text, can be easily positioned.

Finding Reuse Potential – Reducing Translation Costs
The reporting functionality has been extended once again in the new version of SCHEMA ST4. Users can now find out the degree of reuse for text modules. This evaluation can be made on a project basis or for all documentation. The results are displayed graphically in several variants. "The higher the rate of reuse, the less text needs to be translated," explains Stefan Freisler, CEO of SCHEMA GmbH. "With our extended reporting functionality, companies can clearly recognize unused potential for reuse and thus reduce their translation costs."

SCHEMA ST4 now also supports the EPUB format (acronym for electronic publication). EPUB is an open standard for e-books from the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). In August 2009, Google announced that in the context of its "Google Book Search" one million books are already available in EPUB format. Not only for publishers but also for technical documentation EPUB is a promising format for the future.  

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