Time for REST (API) with DITA Compare

For over 13 years, DITA Compare has been helping organisations manage their DITA documents, with regular updates and improvements. If you need a reliable way to detect and publish changes between versions of DITA content, whether that’s single topics or full map hierarchies, DITA Compare has been the go-to solution for over a decade. In recent releases, we’ve introduced some new features as a response to specific customer requests, such as improved table comparison and the ability to highlight when referenced images have been changed. We rely on customer feedback to make sure we’re adding features that will be useful to the specific use cases that our users have, which is why we’re about to release our latest major version, 11.0, featuring a brand new REST API for topic comparison.

How will a REST API help me?

Until now, customers accessed DITA Compare through our Java API (as well as a .net API – more on that later) which is great if you’re a Java developer but not so great otherwise. Several customers have clarified that it would be much easier to include DITA Compare in their environment if only they could access it from fill in your favourite programming language here. Which is understandable.

The best way to provide coverage for the most languages is to implement a REST service that can be accessed from any language on any machine and in any environment. So that’s what we’ve done! DITA Compare 11.0 now includes an option to deploy self-contained REST service in your own infrastructure which, when combined with our concurrent operation licensing, has the added benefit of scaling with your environment. So whether you’re developing in Java, C#, PHP or the latest niche language, you can access DITA Compare functionality consistently using the REST API. What’s more, you can deploy it on a physical server, a laptop, or a Microservice just as easily and scale as appropriate for your deployment.

If you’re an existing customer and need help or advice on getting started, or you want to talk to someone about converting your existing license into a REST API license, contact our customer service team now.

What about the Java API?

For those who like using the Java API, don’t worry, it isn’t going anywhere! We still write DITA Compare in Java and the API will be available as before. We write the REST API as a layer on top of the Java API and, in fact, it still needs a JVM to run the REST service. The only API change we are making in this release is to remove the .net API. As you may know, the third-party technology we were using to develop the .net release came to the end of life some time ago. The world has moved on, and your feedback tells us you need a REST service. We decided to remove the .net distribution entirely and encourage our .net users to make use of the REST API instead. Not only do you get the advantages of flexible deployment, but you’ll also see performance improvements compared to the previous .net release.

What’s next?

We’re continuing to add new features to DITA Compare and we have a couple of exciting releases scheduled for later this year. On top of the recent CALS table improvements, we’ll be improving the comparison results from simple tables as well as adding an SVG image comparison to DITA Compare. While you wait for those releases, why not take advantage of the new REST API now by upgrading to version 11.0? Download the latest version today from MyDelta or if you are new to DeltaXML, start your 14-day free trial today.

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