Prediction comes true, SDL buys authoring tool (Xopus)

In 2008 after SDL had purchased Idiom, and bought a stake in Trisoft I asked the questions “could an XML-based authoring tool be in the offing for SDL as well?” Little did I know that that was in fact early days, as they fully acquired Trisoft and a year later they acquired XyEnterprise and all their tools. Now they have bought an XML-based authoring tool, truly giving them end-to-end functionality in XML and structured content.

Xopus is a WYSIWYG web-based XML editor. Xopus was designed to appeal to non-technical users who feel comfortable with a standard word processor but might be intimidated with a “full on” XML editor. Despite this, Xopus has features such as XML and Tags On views that are targeted to more advanced users, as well as significant customization available through the API.

Xopus will be integrated first with Trisoft to provide an authoring and review interface for subject matter experts (SMEs) and other non-traditional tech doc contributors. It will then be integrated with the other products in the Structured Content Technologies suite such as Contenta and LiveContent.

Xopus has never been a product that you just purchase out of the box, rather it has largely come bundled with a component content management system like Documentum, Vasont, and others. SDL is committed to maintaining these integrations.

In addition, SDL will still integrate with JustSystems XMetaL, Arbortext Editor, and Adobe FrameMaker, but Xopus will give companies the flexibility to use multiple authoring tools and in particular an authoring tool that is friendly and non-intimidating for other contributors.

Xopus (the company) is located in the Netherlands. The technical development resources will remain there and interact very nicely with SDL’s resources for Trisoft in Belgium, and Tridion also in the Netherlands. Obviously this is a hotbed for XML software development. Lauren van den Oever, CEO of Xopus, will be Director of Structured Content Technologies.

It will be interesting to see where this venture into non-technical users of XML will take SDL.

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