What is DocBook?

DocBook - ideal solution for content management

Do you want to store, share and convert your electronic documents more effectively? The answer is at hand: use the DocBook content and documentation standard.

DocBook is an XML standard for content and documentation interchange since 1991. At the beginning only its designers from HaL Computers and the publisher O'Reilly used this format to store content for their publications. In the 90s DocBook became popular and many big name companies such as Novell, Digital, Hewlett-Packard, SCO or Fujitsu adopted it. In the late 90s DocBook was already considered a well designed standard as it was adopted by the OASIS open standards organization.

Currently DocBook is mainly used as a standard for storing documentation, articles, publications and for storing structured content in general. DocBook can even be used to create interactive presentations.

Another advantage of using DocBook is its XML origin which makes it ideal for sharing electronic documents. Information in DocBook does not contain formatting and all content is divided into clear semantic blocks.

The main and most useful advantage of using DocBook is that it can be easily converted to any other standard distribution formats such as HTML, RTF, DOC, OpenDocument and many more. From one source document many others can be generated with custom formatting. DocBook supports autogeneration of content lists, bibliography, links and many other useful features.

DocBook dramatically reduces the time needed to write a document because the writer is concerned only with the content and not with formatting which is automatically handled by conversion tools.

DocBook is a timeless data format which relies on the XML format which can be used with any XML tools. All information stored in this format is usable anytime.

DocBook is a different view on document creation and storeage. At first we used docbook to store our technical documentation but today we use it for every document that leaves our company. For many companies it is important to keep a consistent CI formatting for every document. With DocBook your employees don't need to follow any formatting as it is handled by conversion tools.

Roman Fordinál

Questions

If you have any questions about the DocBook standard or its integration in information systems feel free to contact us by contact page.