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ARBORTEXT LEADS THE WAY TO XML PUBLISHING.

Document publishing specialist Arbortext Inc introduces its long- awaited XML publishing system this week as Epic, the enterprise product information chain. Epic is designed to enable companies to create, manage and share product documentation internally, with suppliers and customers using the XML extensible markup language. Arbortext is one of handful of companies that sell internal document publishing systems for use within large organizations that implement the ISO-standardized Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML). XML is effectively a next- generation, web-enabled version of SGML and is regarded as the successor to HTML. Arbortext Epic will convert content from most sources into a form that can be managed and edited by a variety of repositories and versioning applications including Documentum, FileNet and PC DOCS document management systems; Chrystal, Poet, Texcel and Xyvision change management systems; as well as Sherpa and Metaphase and Rational. Epic pulls data from the repository into XML docum ents and delivers them to users. In addition to being web-enabled XML provides a more dynamic set of tools for using content within documents and is less layout-intensive. The key technology is Epic's ability to create custom documents based upon profiles, provide searching, access to different views and to attach comments. It's designed to create product documentation for marketing, manufacturing, training, support, operating and servicing. Arbortext wants to be able to counts itself as a player in the engineering and manufacturing production systems space, specifically in what it calls the product information chain sector. Other sectors in the space include supply chain management, CAE, document management and software configuration it figures. Arbortext counts AT&T and Guidant among early adopters of Epic which ships November 30. It costs from $85,000 for 15 developers and 50 users. Average installs are expected to be in the $250,000 range. It's aiming Epic at middle market $100m-plus companies. It expects its existing SGML products, for which it has 250 customers, to remain its core revenue earner for at least another two years. It's going to be some time before all of the browsers get around to supporting the nascent XML W3C standard in any case. In addition to supporting XML within current HTML browsers Arbortext expects dedicated embedded XML browsers to be available. It's thinking about unbundling its XML document creation and profiling engine for OEM licensing. The privately-held company is up to 150 staff. It counts Interleaf as its closest competition but says the company hasn't yet delivered its XML solution. It's opened a UK office in London and is looking for a managing director.
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Publication:Computergram International
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 9, 1998
Words:423
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