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UPDATE: The IEEE has now completed its voting and the new standard for technical documentation passed with a 95% approval rate. A draft of ISO 26531 is now available for purchase.

The ISO is still in the process of voting, with the standard expected to be released in the fall. To purchase the draft, visit

Our own Casey Jordan and CIDM’s JoAnn Hackos are co-authors of the standard. They presented a webinar – Benefitting from Standards – on February 27, 2014. View the recording here.

Why should you tune in? Well, standards do useful things. They are a solid foundation on which to build new technologies and processes that can really help you get your work done. They encourage innovation by laying out a roadmap of desired features and functionality and then help ensure that content management tools created by companies like easyDITA all work well together.

So what does the ISO think the future of product documentation should look like? We’ll have to wait until the standard is released to find out the details, but the content management functions it sees as crucial include the ability to develop a sound Information Model and reuse strategy, track content revisions, maintain an audit trail, and enable collaborative documentation development.

One of the things the emerging standard will do is define the difference between a component content management system (CCMS) and a document management system. This has been an area of confusion for a long time. A component content management system is distinguished by its support for the reuse of content across multiple deliverable formats, among other things.

In many ways the emerging standard sounds a lot like DITA. That’s an indication of the growing acceptance of the DITA XML standard, and no doubt encourages those who have made DITA their life’s work.

So join JoAnn and Casey as they discuss the benefits of using ISO 26531 to help guide you into the future of content management.

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