Consulting on choosing authoring tools and CCMS for technical documentation

I can provide you with neutral, vendor-independent advice on choosing the right component content management system (CCMS) or help authoring tool for creating your technical documentation or software documentation. Regardless of whether you "only" want to create a small online documentation or a large number of manuals, online help files, and other technical documentation from a single source: together we will find the system that best suits your individual requirements from the wide range of offers.

Your needs

Do you need a suitable authoring tool to create technical documentation and software documentation (manuals, online documentation/online help) yourself? Or are you no longer fully satisfied with your current component content management system (CCMS) or help authoring tool?

Strategic decisions in system selection have long-term effects:

  • on the quality of the results
  • on the efficiency of creation, maintenance, and translation
  • on process reliability, especially in time-critical situations
  • on your individual working habits and workflows and thus ultimately on your personal happiness, because only those who enjoy working with a system will be able to achieve good results with it in the long run

If the choice of the system turns out to be unfortunate later on, things become time-consuming and expensive and everything starts all over again: new search, new license and implementation costs, new instruction and training of all people involved, new migration of the "old data", etc.

You therefore need to consider the system you choose very carefully. But if you didn't, you probably wouldn't be here.

My services

With my background of more than 30 years of experience in the field of authoring tools and component content management systems for technical documentation, together we will work together to systematically analyze your specific requirements. Based on these requirements, I will then present you with a preselection of solutions and tools that best meet these requirements. I will explain the specific advantages and disadvantages of each solution.

The result is a sound basis for your decision. I am free from any particular sales interests and provide you with absolutely neutral and vendor-independent advice. I do not receive any commission from any system vendor for referring customers.

I am also happy to support you in configuring your chosen software, creating the necessary templates, and setting up your projects.

Sometimes uncomfortable – but not for you!

Admittedly, not all system vendors are necessarily enthusiastic when a neutral and independent consultant like me is involved in the decision-making process. But that's exactly why it's a good thing!

I ask the questions that the vendors of content management systems or their resellers would rather not be asked. Be it about the existence of certain functions of a system, about possible weaknesses, or about the usefulness of specific functions with regard to what you as a customer actually need in your individual case.

Ultimately, I will help you to find the shoe that fits and doesn't pinch in the long run – not necessarily the biggest, most shiny and eye-catching shoe, or the one best presented by a salesperson. But the one that you'll never want to take off again.

Particular authoring systems for technical documentation according to S1000D

S1000D is a technical documentation standard mainly used in the aerospace and military industries. Finding an authoring system for technical documentation that is to be created specifically in accordance with S1000D can be quite a challenge.

  • The market is relatively small, so the authoring systems are rather expensive.
  • As the systems are quite pricey and the number of potential buyers is very limited, the sales departments will try to provide you with particularly intensive "support" right from the outset.
  • Despite this intensive support, as soon as it comes to concrete information, things can quickly get tough. The vendors can be quite reluctant to provide hard facts and figures.
  • Expect to spend several hours in total just to find out whether a particular system could potentially suit you at all and is worth further consideration.

If you are faced with the challenge of creating your technical documentation in accordance with S1000D in the future, I can guide you through the jungle of systems, warn you of smoke and mirrors, and provide you with competent support in the pre-selection and selection of the authoring system that best suits your requirements.