Managing Director, Wrycan
eliminated saving huge costs
reduction in man hours per new publication
planned including interactive HTML versions using DeltaXML
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a global nonprofit organization, established in 1896, devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. NFPA delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering our mission. NFPA membership totals more than 50,000 individuals around the world.
Founded in 2003, Wrycan, Inc. delivers Content Engineering services and technology to publishers and content producers. Wrycan’s Content Engineering solution bridges the gap between content production and digital delivery. Companies building web and mobile platforms leverage our turn-key solution to successfully deliver content to their customers.
The NFPA is a major standards body in the USA and has a catalogue of around 300 fire and electrical safety codes and standards. In print form they are typically hundreds or even thousands of pages long.
When a standard or code is updated, typically every three to five years, many of their customers – including officials, professionals and training and certification bodies – need to know exactly what has changed. The NFPA publishes detailed documents, ‘Redlines’, which compare the current and previous editions of a specific standard or code. In the past they were prepared manually, taking many hours of painstaking work, so it was only practical to create them for their top fifty publications and only in traditional form, not as interactive HTML products.
Working closely with clients’ Research and Development Departments, technical authors from Semcon are responsible for the preparation and delivery of service instructions, installation manuals, and owners’ manuals.
Tight deadlines for new product introductions create a constant flow of review sessions with global customers in the company’s offices every day of the year. With no latitude for error, transformation of original technical specifications into comprehensive, accurate manuals is critical. The ability to consistently identify updates and mirror changes in existing information carries added significance.
As technical documentation becomes more complex, using DITA or similar XML structured documents becomes essential.
The problem of transforming this technical information into user-friendly manuals also becomes much harder. Multiple updates and iterations are needed and these must be carefully controlled and reviewed.
With their substantial expertise in publishing technology, Wrycan evaluated existing differencing products against the cost of developing the capability in-house.
They recognised the NFPA wanted flexibility, rather than adapting their working to suit the product; they needed fine control of the differencing for different situations; and there were numerous complex scenarios that it needed to handle.
Senior technical specialists at Wrycan carried out detailed evaluations of the available technologies and concluded the best results and lowest project risk would be achieved by integrating XML Compare from DeltaXML.
Wrycan delivered a project which combined their Content Base product with XML Compare. This allows the NFPA to manage all of their content in a single repository, adding automated comparisons in a product-agnostic form. Comparisons are made on the source content and saved in the same place. This allows NFPA staff to generate different products using the exact same difference data, including printed documents and HTML editions.
For HTML products, the system automatically applies styling to each change, in a way that is familiar to users of the printed publications. It also includes the capability to provide more comprehensive change indicators, including toggling the view of all deletions, additions and other changes.
When producing the print version of their Redline products, the change markup and storage approach used by Wrycan and DeltaXML ensures the pagination of the final document is preserved perfectly from the original safety code or standards document.
With an automated differencing capability, the NFPA has reduced the time to create each new Redline publication from seventy hours to less than one hour. Across the current Redline catalogue of fifty products, this means a total labour saving close to 3500 hours.
With the resources freed-up by this new system, the NFPA has now started creating Redline products for all of their 300 publications.
They are also planning new, interactive HTML versions of the series. Thanks to the product-agnostic approach of Content Base and XML Compare, these new products will also be generated automatically, with a fraction of the resources previously required.
Managing Director, Wrycan
DeltaXML’s products are used throughout the world, from SMEs to global enterprises. Our comparison and merging software transform the way our customers handle change in their XML documents, XML data and JSON files. If the above story resonated with your own challenges get in touch with us by either booking a demo or filling in our contact form.