Five of the biggest publishing houses in Germany wanted to create an XML-based workflow, covering the whole publishing-process for as good as every product. Including the authors, the publishing-house itself, a Re-Digitalization-Workflow for older books, the "normal" typesetting-workflow, an InDesign-XML-Workflow and an E-Book-Workflow. These things should all work with one single XML-file as a basis. This method is also known as "Single-Source-Publishing".
For a request in this dimension, we had to re-organize some of our production-units. Setting up this workflow was a big piece of work and a challenge we haven't been faced with in the past 35 years. We're very clever and efficient in XML-technologies and production, so the real challenge was the project-management.
To be honest, for this workflow we needed kind of a "transformable" XML-editor. It had to do everything. It should be a Word-Alternative for the authors, or at least for the sector. It should support the needs of the proofreader. For these two reasons it had to be an editor which is quite easy to handle. For sure, we needed the editor in our house as well. We wanted the developers to work with it and the production to produce with it (xml-output, epubs, etc.).
So the first big point on the list: The editor has to be configurable with an external file, to make sure, every user works with the same settings. Oxygen: check. Second point was to include external programs in the editor to interact directly with the xml-file without changing to another program, process, or whatever. Oxygen: check. Third point was to build up a graphical interface for the XML and a Word-like editing menu bar. The stylable author-mode and the cool CSS extensions were absolutely great for that! Not to forget to build customized menu-bars with XPATH-XML-Interaction.
What else should I tell? All these demands in one program? Sounds hard for software-developers, but congratulations, you made it!
Actually, there wasn't a big selection process. We worked with oXygen several times before and were very positive about this piece of software.
Me and my colleagues used the support quite often in the last months. And we were very happy with it! I think there never was a situation in which the support needed longer than a few hours to answer our request very professional. Since we reported also a few bugs we felt very excited to get a beta-version of the 10.2- and 10.3-release to check out whether or not our reported issues were fixed.
Great support! There's no more words...
We customized the editor with xpr-project-files, we set up a Word-like user interface with CSS, the author-mode and the abilities to create menu-bars, we included automatic transformations in the xpr-file for the XML-transformation to InDesign, we included external programs to automatically generate E-Books in the EPUB-format including a jobticket-based workflow. And we got it to work on both PC and Mac.
I think there are no more open problems and all our demands to an xml-editor for all these processes were completely fulfilled with oXygen.
We have no more problems with users using different editor-settings in-house. IT-support for these issues decreased and we, the tech-team, can focus on more important things. with the graphical user interface we also improved the productivity in the whole workflow.
With oXygen we got a very complex workflow to run quite smooth.