Thursday, February 25, 2016

WAND Information Technology Taxonomy Gets a Major Update

The IT world is constantly changing and growing and, of course, the WAND Information Technology Taxonomy grows and changes as well.  We don't always talk about our minor updates, but major updates deserve an announcement

We are proud to announce that the WAND Information Technology Taxonomy has undergone a major expansion.  We've added brand new top level terms for Data, Computer Graphics and Web Design, and Technologies and Fields.

Data includes concepts for modeling, analyzing, and visualizing data. Basically, data is a key ingredient in most information technology environments and we wanted to be sure that Data was well reflected in our taxonomy.  Just as Data is important in IT, so is the front end design - Computer Graphics and Web Design covers GUI and front end related topics.   Finally, all of these ingredients of IT applications are used in various fields or applications.   Technologies and Fields includes concepts where data, development, and graphics concepts will be deployed, such as Big Data and Internet of Things.

The WAND Information Technology Taxonomy still includes terms in the areas of IT Administration, IT Certifications, Development, Service Providers, and Software Programs and Applications and each of these branches were updated in this revision.

This taxonomy now has 4,818 terms and 772 synonyms.   

The WAND Information Technology Taxonomy can be customized to include specific terms to meet the needs of any Information Technology Department.

As with all WAND Taxonomies, the WAND Information Technology Taxonomy is available by itself or as part of the WAND Taxonomy Library Portal.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The WAND Legal Taxonomy Redesign!

Laws are complicated. They are also necessary.  So are the lawyers, law firms, and corporate legal departments that interpret those laws and help guide their clients.  The work that they do generates documents - a lot of documents - and that's where the WAND Legal Taxonomy comes in.

With a lot of changes.

Our Legal Taxonomy has undergone a major rewrite.  We are always looking for feedback and what we heard was that the original legal taxonomy was too narrow in focus.  It consisted mainly of legal documents and case files, and didn't address many areas that those in the legal profession deal with every day.  There was a large gap.

We listened.  The former legal taxonomy has been retired.

The new WAND Legal Taxonomy incorporates the terms of the previous taxonomy and has been expanded to include more Contracts and Litigation.  We have added Transactional Law and terms used by Law Firms as well as Corporate Legal Departments.  There are also terms relating to 44 different Law Practice Areas.  We believe that the changes make it a much better fit for law firms and for internal corporate legal departments.

This taxonomy now has 3,189 terms and 1,529 synonyms.   

You'll not only find Transactional Law in this taxonomy, but criminal and civil law as well.  There are also terms related to the management of a law firm including Client Management, Law Firm Policies and Committees. 

You'll find terms within Litigation that covers the life of a case - from Pleadings to Verdicts.

The WAND Legal Taxonomy can be customized to include specific terms to meet the needs of any Lawyer, Law Firm, or Legal Department.

As with all WAND Taxonomies, the WAND Legal Taxonomy is available by itself or as part of the WAND Taxonomy Library Portal.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Taxonomy for Component Content Management Systems

In today's post, we'll be looking at the value of taxonomy for component content management systems (CCMS) and then specifically examining the  taxonomy capabilities of a few CCMS tools such as, xDocs, EasyDITA, DITACMS, ComponizeVasont, SDL Knowledge Center, and Astoria Component Content Management System

DITA content is modular content which is focused on a singular topic.  For example, an individual piece of content may explain how to import a taxonomy into an application.  Another piece of content would focus on how to add a new term to a taxonomy in that application.    A common application for DITA content might be a knowledge base.    DITA based Component Content Management Systems (CCMS) are a little bit different than a conventional content management system because CCMS need to manage a larger volume of smaller snippets of content.

Just as with conventional content management systems, taxonomy is a very important ingredient to a successful CCMS implementation. Tagging the individual pieces of content with relevant taxonomy concepts (and other metadata elements) is the best way to make sure that your content is findable and reusable.   Taxonomy terms can be exposed to users as a set of facets to filter conventional search results but to provide a set of terms which users can us to browse through content.  Taxonomy can also be used to represent synonyms or alternate labels for concepts so that people can user alternate forms to look for the same concepts. This provides a consistency in how information is presented regardless of which words people use for a concept.    these are all a lot of the same benefits you see from taxonomy in other applications, but they are equally valid and important for CCMS.

We've done a brief review of the taxonomy management capabilities for some popular CCMS tools.  As we would expect, each vendor offers support for taxonomy in its toolset and each has spent some time highlighting the value of taxonomy and metadata for component content management.


xDocs by Bluestream is a CCMS that is designed specifically for DITA content.     From Bluestream's website:

"XDocs Extended Metadata supports thesauri, taxonomies, ontologies, and faceted browse. The pre-configured Thesaurus system can also be used for terminology control and terminology indexing."

XDocs supports a standard ontology modeling format called SKOS. I can't tell 100% if it supports a taxonomy import or not.


EasyDITA is another CCMS focused on DITA content and are  advocates for the value of using taxonomy in CCMS.  From EasyDita's website:

"There are several huge benefits to developing basic taxonomies and a metadata scheme if you haven’t done so already"

EasyDITA has a taxonomy manager within its administrative toolset, but does not appear to support taxonomy import.


IXIASOFT DITA CMS is another CCMS which believes in the value of taxonomy.  From its documentation:

"taxonomy is a hierarchical classification system that contains one or more taxonomy terms that you define. When you apply these terms to documents or elements, you can make information easier to find, both for authors and for end users. You can also use them when you process output to facilitate features like dynamic publishing portals."

The tool has a good taxonomy management capability as well as taxonomy import via simple TSV format.  Taxonomy import is a new feature in its newest version 4.2


Componize CCMS supports the use of taxonomy as well for better content tagging and search:  From its website:

"Organize your content with predefined categories, or use collaborative tagging or folksonomy to customize your tags. " Componize talks about how you can " and filter your content with faceted searches"

Componize supports taxonomy import in RDF and XML format, which are more advanced semantic data formats.  this speaks highly to the investment Componize has made in its taxonomy feature set.


Vasont also supports taxonomy with its Vasont CMS product.   Vasont calls out taxonomy specifically in its article about creating a strong publishing backbone:

"A taxonomy is a system of categories and subcategories that allow information to be organized to make it easier to find and relate to other information. You’ve already encountered useful taxonomies in your experience. The Dewey Decimal system is a taxonomy for organizing books in a library by subject, title, or author. If you browse internet kiosks, they frequently have a taxonomy to help you to find the product you’re looking for. In information systems, they are often represented by tree structures, so they fit well in the XML world."

Vasont does have a listing for controlled vocabulary (another term for taxonomy) in its feature grid. For now, we am unsure of the exact scope of taxonomy features or whether taxonomy import is supported.

SDL Knowledge Center

SDL provides a number of content based solutions. It's DITA CCMS product is SDL Knowledge Center.  A new feature in SDL's latest release, Knowedge Center 12.0.0 is taxonomy/ontology integration.

SDL's Taxonomy features relies on external management of taxonomy and thushas an integration with SmartLogic, a WAND partner with a leading ontology management product called Semaphore.

The best content from SDL showing its taxonomy support is two webinars, one called Taxonomy Design for Self-Service Delivery.  and the other called Taxonomy as a Catalyst for Content Reuse

Astoria Component Content Management System

The team at Astoria Component Content Management System were gracious enough to reach out and provide us information straight from the horse's mouth about its support for taxonomy in Astoria On-Demand and Astoria On-Premise.   So, I'll include that information directly here:

The Astoria system supports the creation of taxonomical structures allowed by the DITA specification; that would be the <subjectScheme> element and its subordinate objects.  These structures feed our end-user-facing “Astoria Portal” product, which is powered by the DITAweb product from Congility.  For a reference implementation, see, which provides a dynamically publishing content interface for Cray Inc.’s customers.  The content and taxonomical structures are built in Astoria On-Demand and fed periodically to the Astoria Portal.  The site supports faceted search driven by the taxonomy, and other capabilities not specifically associated with taxonomy are also available.

Astoria can import taxonomies already encoded in <subjectScheme> structures.  Astoria can also import any XML-based taxonomical representation and validate those representations against their respective DTDs.

Astoria does not as yet convert one representation into another representation, and the product does not yet use other taxonomy structures an input to the user interface for creating <subjectScheme> objects.

WAND Taxonomy Library Portal is a great resource for foundation taxonomies covering a wide variety of industry vertical and business operational topics which can jump start an initiative to create a DITA Taxonomy.  Depending on the capabilities of the tool you choose, WAND Taxonomies can be imported directly or they can be used as a reference for manual

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Taxonomy in Documentum Content Server

We continue our series on applications that can use taxonomies with this feature on Documentum Content Server.  EMC Documentum is a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and  Forrester Wave Leader.  It's a formidable player in the enterprise content management space and it has built significant taxonomy related features into its software.

In Documentum, the taxonomy features reside within the Content Intelligence Services (CIS) module.  Taxonomies can be imported in CSV or XML formats - the WAND  Taxonomy Library Portal supports downloads in the Documentum CIS format)

CIS allows for automatic categorization of documents to terms in the taxonomy.  CIS uses a rules based approach to categorization where keywords and key phrases are associated with each taxonomy category as evidence.  This evidence will be used to match documents to categories in the taxonomy.  Depending on the strength of the match of the words in a document to the evidence associated to a taxonomy term, a document may or may not be placed in each given taxonomy category.

Content can also be manually categorized in Documentum Content Server, without CIS.

Once content has been categorized to a taxonomy, a Documentum administrator can make the taxonomies available to end users. This means that users will be able to see the taxonomies and use them to navigate and search content.  From Documentum's Content Server 7.2 Administrative User Guide;

"When you bring it online, the taxonomy, its categories, and categorized documents appear to users under the Categories node in Documentum Administrator and in Webtop."

This is a powerful tool for making content more usable and findable within Documentum Content Server.

Starting at page 377, you can read more about the detailed capabilities of Content Intelligence Services in Documentum Content Server 7.2:

WAND Taxonomies covering every industry and business topic can be imported into Documentum Content Server to jump start a taxonomy initiative in Documentum.