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Boom, you’ve got a website. 

 

In DITA content land, one of the most important parts of content development is the separation of formatting and authoring. All the design happens after the content is written. Still, we understand that seeing a preview of what your content would look like displayed live on the web is an important part of the development process. 

We all want to know that our website looks pretty, does what it’s supposed to do, and doesn’t act up. So, we made a way for you to do this without diluting the content-format separation of DITA authoring. The best part? You can do it pretty quickly. Check out how in the video or keep reading for further step by step guidance.

 

What is this Feature?

Take your content straight from easyDITA, right to the web. 

Netlify is a hosting service that allows you to preview what your documentation site will look like before actually publishing it. Later, you’re welcome to use Netlify to host your docs site if you so choose. 

What we’ve done is built a feature that uses our Content API to take your content from easyDITA instance and bring it to Netlify to be previewed. It’s a quick way to scope out what your site will look like to the rest of the world before it’s truly in front of the real world. 

And you can do it quickly. 

 

Why is this Feature Valuable to You?

See the finished product before the world does, adjust accordingly. 

Who doesn’t want to see a finished version of their site before releasing it to the world? It allows you to behold your creation and say it is good (or that it needs work). It also allows you to interact dynamically with your site, evaluating not only the look and feel of it but the operational elements, too. 

But, that’s enough about why it’s awesome. Let’s look at how you can see your easyDITA content via Netlify.

 

How It’s Done

We start in GitLab and click on the Deploy to Netlify icon. This will move on to a prompt that asks you to sign in using GitHub or a list of a few services. I use GitHub, but the choice is yours. 

The next screen looks like this, so let’s take it step-by-step:

 

 

The Repository Name, Hero Title, and Hero Subtitle can be named anything you feel like naming them.

The Content API Hostname will need to be: content-trial.easydita.com

Note: If you’re located in the European Union, the Content API Hostname will need to be: content-EUI.easydita.com

Next, you’ll need the easyDITA Org ID which is the beginning of your easyDITA instance URL:

 

 

Moving on to the easyDITA Root Map ID, in Author view, navigate to the ditamap with the content you want to publish, right-click on it, and select Properties. 

On the next screen, look for the UUID, and copy that into the easyDITA Root Map ID.

 

 

Once copied into the form, in easyDITA, switch to the Dashboard view, and click Content API to find the easyDITA Token that’s labeled For Netlify Test. Copy the key and paste it into the easyDITA Token form field.

 

 

Once you’ve filled in all these fields correctly in the Netlify form, click Save & Deploy. Watch the wheels turn in Netlify for a moment or two, then your site’s preview is ready! And that’s it.

Tim Ludwig
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