Documentation, service manuals, product literature, your website—all must be consistent in both message and appearance, but maintaining each document is time-consuming, error-prone, and costly. That’s why choosing an XML/DITA content management solution can be critical to your company’s image and customer satisfaction. If you’re in the process of choosing the right solution, chances are you’ll end up looking at Arbortext vs FrameMaker. If that’s the case, here are a few things to consider.
Arbortext vs FrameMaker: Feature Comparison
Your users and customers use a variety of devices and screens to access your information, and your content must look good on all of them. You don’t have time to set up separate versions for mobile and desktop devices—and even if you did, it doesn’t solve the problem of varied screen sizes. You need content that formats itself to the user’s screen and looks good every time.
Both Arbortext and FrameMaker include the tools you need to create responsive content that looks good across all types of devices and screen sizes.
Interactive 3D Image Handling
For most companies, it’s about more than just responsive screen sizing. You need to be able to accurately depict 2D and 3D content from your CAD and PLM solutions, and that’s where Arbortext outshines FrameMaker.
FrameMaker and Arbortext can both handle complex images, even at 4K resolutions. They both work with multiple file formats, including JPEG, SVG, but FrameMaker doesn’t natively handle interactive 3D. Arbortext supports XML, SGML, XSL, XML Schema, Schematrons, XPath, XInclude, and DOM.
If you’re looking to use your content in a service manual or training classes, this is a deal-breaker. For use cases like these, when it comes to Arbortext vs FrameMaker, Arbortext is the clear winner.
Automatically Update Content
Arbortext includes a content management component, so you can write content once and easily reuse it thousands of times. FrameMaker can import Word documents, but you need a separate content management solution to manage the individual documents. You could use FrameMaker but you will likely run into mass update and version control issues. In Arbortext vs FrameMaker, the content management crown goes to Arbortext.
Arbortext includes a content management component so you don’t need to purchase another solution.
Manage Multiple Content Sources
Content comes from many sources. You have teams in marketing, sales, engineering, training, support, finance—all providing content, and all using the tool that makes them most comfortable. Arbortext can import and manage content from multiple sources with ease.
FrameMaker relies on the external content management software, so it’s not as seamless of a process.
Customizable Style Sheets
Both solutions have easy to use, customizable, reusable stylesheets to ensure consistency. Framemaker’s solution allows for more artistic leeway because it is more of an image-focused solution. Arbortext was designed for products, so the content is more text, engineering and specification focused, although still attractive.
Integrates with CAD and PLM
There is no question that if your content needs are product centric, Arbortext is a better solution. It integrates easily with CAD and PLM and includes the ability to manipulate 2D and 3D images and to update content as specifications change. In contrast, FrameMaker requires manual intervention.
If you’re looking to manage product content, it’s no question that Arbortext is the better solution.
Product and Industry Strategy
If you are looking for a content management solution for a non-product focused company, FrameMaker is a great choice. It handles text and images equally well, supports many languages, and ensures you have attractive, consistent screen pages.
If your company is product-focused, then Arbortext stands alone as the best possible choice. It’s ability to manage 2D and 3D images in use cases such as training or service and support is unmatched.
Both systems support left-to-right and right-to-left languages. FrameMaker 2019 includes full author support for Arabic, Canadian French, English (U.S. and International), Farsi, French, German, Hebrew, and Swiss-German. Users can also work with Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese are available without dictionary or hyphenation support. Dictionary and hyphenation support is available for Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Nynorsk, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish.
Arbortext supports Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Hebrew, and Thai, as well as all western European alphabets, and it assembles documents based on the correct language.
Arbortext vs FrameMaker: Making the Right Choice
Both solutions are excellent at what they do. Each reflects the origins of its parent company. For example, FrameMaker, owned by Adobe, focuses on images, screens, and text in an artistic yet more static way. Arbortext, a PTC product, reflects its Creo parent product and engineering roots. PTC rigorously envisioned use cases that matter to product-centric organizations and made sure that Arbortext supported them. PTC’s strategy has also been to ensure that its products are all interoperable and take advantage of each other’s key features—hence Arbortext’s ability to support manipulation of 2D and 3D images in documents used for repair services, user manuals or training.
As an engineering-focused organization, and a PTC reseller, we think Arbortext is the superior solution – however, it truly depends on your unique needs. Before making a decision, a company should determine whether it can make do with simple content management or needs a product-focused solution.
If you would like to learn more about Arbortext’s full range of capabilities, contact us today for more information.