Interviewing DITA vendors

Single-Sourcing Blog

About Arbortext, DITA, and bringing the two together.

Authorized doesn't mean qualified: Be careful choosing an Arbortext reseller.

Lately we've been getting a lot of calls after customers purchased Arbortext from an unqualified vendor. They were told that the Arbortext DITA application works out of the box (which it does) -- for their unique set of circumstances.

They come to us because they've been left out in the cold. There is little or no support coming from the reseller that sold them the products. The reseller sold them the wrong product set. They spent more than they had to. The stories go on and on. By the time they come to us, it's too late for us to help them.

Whenever you purchase software from a primary vendor or through a reseller, be sure to interview them. Ask them questions about the products and see if they can answer you without having to "get back to you on that." 

  • Do they understand technical documentation?
  • Do they understand DITA?
  • Have they implemented DITA previously? How many times? In what industries?
  • Can they provide references?
  • Do they know why you specialize or under what conditions specialization is recommended?
  • For Arbortext: How do you install a specialization?
Although I'm talking about Arbortext, this applies to any technology and any vendor. There are a lot of qualified vendors and consultants out there, make sure you get a good one. Focus Areas: BPEL | DITA | ebXML | IDtrust | OpenDocument | SAML | UBL | UDDI
OASIS sites: OASIS | Cover Pages | | AMQP | CGM Open | eGov | Emergency | IDtrust | LegalXML | Open CSA | OSLC | WS-I