Conditional Processing Strategies
Conditional processing enables you to publish customized deliverables for specific audiences and reuse more content.
Conditional Processing Overview
You develop conditional content by profiling topic and map elements with specific attributes and applying DITAVAL filtering during publication.
Conditional Processing Attributes
Attributes and Values
You can assign any of the following default conditional processing attributes to topic and map elements:
- audience attribute
- platform attribute
- product attribute
- otherprops attribute (“otherprops” stands for “other properties”)
By default, the conditional processing attributes can take any value. For example, you can set the platform attribute value to “Windows”, “macOS”, or anything else. The values are case-sensitive so, for example, “MacOS” is a different value than “macOS”, and in easyDITA you use a space to separate two values. We recommend using underscores if you need a single value but want to use multiple terms
- Set the attribute values by using a special kind of taxonomy. See Taxonomy-Driven Attributes.
- Contact your Customer Success Manager.
Setting default values for conditional processing attributes ensures that every author profiles content in a consistent way.
Profiling Topic Elements
You can profile topic elements by using the Attributes tab.
Profiling Map Elements
You can profile map elements by using the Edit Properties window.
Consider profiling your content with the audience attribute in the following scenarios:
- Your customers use the same product but have different features enabled. This way, each customer can get personalized documentation that covers only relevant features.
- You want to provide content that is applicable to different roles in your product. For example, users with Administrator roles may need system configuration information, but users with Reviewer role do not.
- You want to include internal-only content in the documentation set. The internal content
can be hidden from the customer-facing deliverables and included in the internal
documents.Tip: Internal content in the documentation can be used by your quality assurance teams for tests or provide restricted information for your technicians.
Audience Profiling Example
Consider profiling your content with the product attribute in the following scenarios:
- You want to maintain a single set of documentation for multiple products that are similar
- You want to keep specifications for different products in one topic
Product Profiling Example
You can use the platform attribute to make content more reusable and publish customized deliverables.
Consider profiling your content with the platform attribute in the following scenarios:
- A product has steps or considerations specific to different operating systems. For example, the installation procedure of the product is different for macOS or Windows.
- A product operates differently on specific hardware platforms.
Platform Profiling Example
You can use the otherprops attribute to make content more reusable and publish customized deliverables.
Consider profiling your content with the otherprops attribute in the following scenarios:
- You want to profile content but none of the conditional processing attributes seems suitable
- Your documentation is published to different outputs that may require different structure or may include slightly different content
Otherprops Profiling Example
The action attribute enables you to process profiled content in the following ways:
- Includes content in the output.
- Excludes content from the output.
- Includes content in the output and preserves the attribute value for further processing. This may be useful for some outputs that include a filtering functionality.
- Includes and flags content in the output.
By default, conditional content is processed in the following way:
- Content that does not have a conditional profiling attribute assigned is included in the deliverable.
The default behavior of conditional profiling is to include content, so if you have only one condition, use only an exclude rule.
- Conditions cannot be nested. Parent conditional elements take precedence over children conditional elements.
Keep the following guidelines when working with DITAVALs:
- You can create generic DITAVAL files that apply to any map. We
recommend using generic DITAVALs if there is not much
conditional content in your documentation.
Examples: customer_facing_online or internal_print.
- You can create DITAVAL files that apply only to specific maps. We
recommend using map-specific DITAVALs if there is a lot of
conditional content in your documentation.
Examples: map_title_customer_facing or map_title_internal_print.
- Establish a DITAVAL naming convention to ensure that everyone in your organization can easily find and identify DITAVALs.
- Create DITAVALs for all conditional profiles to ensure that you do not accidentally publish content that you want to filter out.
Apply conditions in the context of the deliverable or target map, rather than on content in a library or warehouse file.
Keep the maintenance of conditional profiling in mind as you apply conditions. For example, apply conditions to entire steps or paragraphs instead of words. If you need different terms in different contexts, consider using keys instead of conditional profiling.
Develop Conditional Content
You can publish deliverables for different audiences by applying conditional processing attributes to the DITA content and filtering it with DITAVALs during publication.
- Develop content. See Develop Conditional Content.
- Apply conditional profiling by doing any of the following:
- Create relevant DITAVALs. See
Create a DITAVal.Remember: Ensure to create DITAVALs for all the conditions you're using.
- Publish content with each DITAVAL that you created
in 3. See Assign IDs to Topic Elements.Important: Your publishing scenarios may need to be configured to enable you to select DITAVALs for publications. If there is no args.filter or ditaval option in the publishing scenario that you want to use, contact your easyDITA Administrator or Customer Success Manager.