November 20, 2006
PTC Advances Dynamic Publishing System
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Jeff Rowe - Managing Editor

by Jeff Rowe - Contributing Editor
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This week PTC released Arbortext Content Manager to expand its Dynamic Publishing System. The Arbortext Content Manager is based on PTC Windchill technology and was developed to meet the needs of organizations that face the challenge of authoring and managing the development of complex publications in a globally distributed and highly regulated environment.

PTC's Dynamic Publishing System combines text authoring, graphics authoring, content management and configuration management, automated publishing and graphics visualization. It is the industry's first integral system explicitly focused on optimizing the publishing process for organizations in the pharmaceutical, financial services, government, transportation and process manufacturing industries.

Content management and graphics visualization are critical components of the PTC Dynamic Publishing System. The Arbortext Content Manager and PTC's recent acquisition of ITEDO, the leader in the technical illustrations market, build on the vision to enable organizations to create, manage and deliver high quality publications consisting of both text and illustrations.

Traditional publishing systems are used to create and manage documents as monolithic objects, requiring users to recreate existing content and manually update each instance of the same information, and contribute to inconsistencies in the sequence and structure of information.

The PTC Dynamic Publishing System revolutionizes traditional publishing systems. PTC's Dynamic Publishing System enables organizations to create content out of XML-based reusable components, create illustrations from scratch or automatically from design data, automate content management, review, and approval processes with powerful workflow and configuration management capabilities, and automatically publish information in multiple formats, languages and media. PTC's integral system lowers deployment risks and support costs by ensuring interoperability and seamless integration of all components.

Additionally, the Dynamic Publishing System provides a significant opportunity for companies that offer products or services with multiple options or configurations, serve customers in multiple geographies, or frequently update their product, service or marketing documentation.

Highlights of the PTC Dynamic Publishing System include:
  • Support for all phases of the publishing process
  • Support for component-based XML authoring for collaborative document creation
  • Broad support for technical illustrations, either created from scratch or based on CAD data
  • Comprehensive content management that bursts documents into reusable component
  • Powerful configuration and workflow management capabilities
  • Dynamic document assembly to publish to all media automatically, including print and electronic, from a single source
  • Integration with Microsoft Office
  • Arbortext Content Manager is optimized to manage Arbortext-authored XML data. It provides organizations with a single source of information while also delivering many other essential benefits, including access control and version control at a component level, management of component relationships, and deep configuration management capabilities. Arbortext Content Manager supports collaboration of geographically dispersed teams and its advanced workflow capabilities make it easy to automate critical processes such as configuration management and release of publications.


    By Jeffrey Rowe, Editor, MCADCafe

    In July 2005, PTC acquired Arbortext, an XML-based editor and tool vendor with products used for publishing technical documents. Though they paid what was then considered a whopping $190 million for a seemingly small $40 million in then-annual revenues. However, even from the beginning, the deal made sense for PTC, who could extend its reach from handling the information around product management to also handling product documentation, which is what Arbortext actually excelled at. For a while now Arbortext has called itself a "dynamic enterprise publishing" solution. This is a new moniker aimed at industry pundits for a category of products once known simply as compound document
    management, or component content management, or structured content management, or just XML content management. Ironically, the number of labels assigned to a software segment seems to be inversely proportional to its market size – either real or potential – but that remains to be seen in this case.

    PTC’s Arbortext Dynamic Publishing System combines text authoring, graphics authoring, content and configuration management, automated publishing, and graphics visualization. It enables organizations to create content out of XML-based reusable components, create illustrations from scratch or automatically from design data, and automate the content management, review, and approval processes. Information can also be published in multiple formats, languages, and media.

    PTC says that content management and graphics visualization are critical components of the Dynamic Publishing System. The Arbortext Content Manager and PTC’s recent acquisition of ITEDO for technical illustrations, are intended to enable organizations to create, manage and deliver complex publications consisting of both text and graphics.

    As the market for content management (or whatever you want to call it) technology continues to grow, so do the ways in which companies seek to use content management. Companies of all sizes are beginning to realize how content and its reuse can improve productivity -- and the bottom line.

    Complex products often require all sorts of content necessary for manufacture, operation, and maintenance after they is sold and can include production plans, assembly instructions, user manuals, maintenance manuals, service updates, advisories, and marketing materials For a complex manufactured product such as an automobile or aircraft, it is not unusual for the product-related content to number in the thousands of pages. In fact, there’s more than a grain of truth to the claim that all of the documentation associated with a Boeing aircraft weighs more than the aircraft itself.

    For its part, Arbortext streamlines and automates the information publishing process and can reduce inefficiencies. Leveraging both the XML authoring and dynamic publishing capabilities of Arbortext are what improve the publishing process. And, with companies increasingly concerned with compliance regulations, that can require the tracking of how and why a document reached its final form, XML-based document management tools are a growing market, thus a big part of the reason PTC acquired Arbortext. With its experience with XML-based documents, I wonder if PTC (or anybody) will ever develop an XML feature-based MCAD system. I don’t see much on the horizon at this point, but that could
    always change sometime down the road.

    The Week's Top 5

    At MCADCafé we track many things, including the stories that have attracted the most interest from our subscribers. Below are the five news items that were the most viewed during last week.

    UGS Corp. announced a new reseller agreement with Microsoft that extends the strategic alliance the two companies announced earlier this year. Under the new agreement, UGS becomes the first PLM company authorized to sell Microsoft SQL Server 2005, Microsoft's database software, directly to companies looking for comprehensive PLM fully supporting the Microsoft platform. As a result of the agreement, Microsoft SQL Server 2005 is being added to the official UGS Price Book, enabling UGS to quote prices directly to customers and to include the database software as part of an overall PLM proposal.

    UGS Corp. announced its third quarter 2006 results. Third quarter financial highlights included:
    • EBITDA was US$69.1 million, or an 8.3 percent growth over the same period a year earlier. Net income (loss) for the third quarter was (US$7.4) million.
  • Operating income was US$15.9 million and includes the impact of acquisition-related intangible amortization costs of US$38.5 million. Operating income in the same period a year earlier was US$19.3 million and included acquisition-related amortization costs of US$39.2 million.
  • Total revenue increased to US$295.5 million, 1.8 percent growth over the same period a year earlier. Software revenue increased to US$223.1 million (including license and maintenance revenues), or 1.6 percent growth as compared to the third quarter 2005.
  • Revenue amounts are not adjusted for the impact of deferred revenues written off in connection with acquisitions. These write-offs had the effect of reducing third quarter 2006 revenues by US$0.3 million and 2005 revenues by US$2.2 million.

  • For milling turbomachinery components, hyperMILL CAM software offers two special applications: the turbine blade package and the impeller and blisk machining package. Both applications provide new milling strategies and optimized functions, enabling the use of thicker tools for greater process reliability and minimizing tool paths for shorter machine times. Impellers, blisks, and turbine blades have complex geometry and therefore place high demands on the metal removal process. The turbine blade package enables complete machining, including root and tip platform structures. Until now, the package consisted of the following machining strategies: 3D roughing of any
    stock, 5-axis top milling for the milling of blade surfaces and 5-axis swarf cutting for the machining of fillets between blade and side surfaces, as well as the final swarf machining of the side surfaces from bottom or top. Added to this, there is now a new cycle for milling rest material areas and the variable radii between turbine blade and platform surfaces.

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    You can find the full MCADCafe event calendar here.

    To read more news, click here.

    -- Jeff Rowe, Contributing Editor.


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