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MadCap Authoring Suites Feature Flare 6.0, First Software to Natively Support Documentation Authoring and Publishing for Mobile Devices

MadCap Launches Newest Releases of MadPak and Flare 6.0 to Significantly Expand Publishing Output Options, Improve Workflow, and Provide Single-Click Access to Popular Features

La Jolla, CA, USA – March 2, 2010 – MadCap Software, Inc., the leader in multi-channel content authoring and a showcase company for Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Visual Studio 2005 and Microsoft XPS, today announced the newest releases of the MadPak product suites—MadPak and MadPak ML (MadPak Multilingual—the industry’s first true single-source suites for multi-channel publishing. At the heart of these product suites is MadCap Flare 6.0, the powerful, XML-based multi-channel publishing software for desktop, print and online content. Flare 6.0 now adds the first functionality for authoring technical documentation with single-click output for mobile devices; expands multimedia support; enhances collaboration, workflow and publishing; and tightens integration with Microsoft Team Foundation Server (TFS).

Other new product versions within the MadPak suites are X-Edit 2.0 for collaborative authoring; Analyzer 3.0 for reporting on and recommending improvements to documentation projects; and Echo 2.0 for dynamic audio integration. Additionally, MadCap is launching MadCap Blaze 3.0, the XML-based alternative to Adobe® FrameMaker® for long print documents.

MadCap Flare Delivers Industry First in Mobile Output

With Version 6.0, MadCap Flare becomes the first authoring software that allows for native, intuitive publishing of any technical documentation to mobile devices. Flare’s new completely platform-independent mobile functionality means it doesn’t matter whether the output goes to an iPhone, a device running Windows Mobile or Android, or another mobile platform. The Web-based XHTML output is optimized to squeeze every bit of performance out of low-bandwidth connections. Additionally, a built-in mobile simulator lets authors test mobile output on their PCs if they don’t have access to the actual devices.

Flare 6.0 adds multimedia support for more than 20 Windows Media Player and QuickTime video formats, enabling authors to incorporate a greater variety of animation and video files into their documentation. Additionally both Flare 6.0 and Blaze 3.0 feature a new PDF XSL-FO (Extensible Stylesheet Language Formatting Objects) processor for dynamically displaying PDF content, as well as enhancements to PDF formatting, image quality and file size compression.

“Authors need to ensure that anyone reading their documentation can access it wherever and whenever they need it. Today, with mobile devices becoming such an important source of information delivery, users need to access content and documentation there as easily as they do via their desktops, laptops or print documents,” said Anthony Olivier, MadCap co-founder and CEO. “With the enhancements to Flare 6.0 and Blaze 3.0, we’ve extended our commitment to supporting all the channels that users rely on for information into the mobile world, as well as expanding our rich Web and print content delivery.”

Users Praise Flare 6.0 Mobility and Usability Features

“The Flare 6.0 feature with the most strategic potential is the WebHelp Mobile output target. This feature takes what was a separate process requiring different tools and skills and starts to make it just one more Flare output,” said Neil Perlin, principal of Hyper/Word Services. “I expect that more developers will try outputting to mobile devices now that it's easier and more convenient to do so with Flare.”

“I'm really excited about the new Flare 6.0 release. Using it, I can create mobile targets, which will be perfect for a project I'm actually working on right now! The mobile target is styled like an iPhone app, and is a great way for me to deliver content to our customers who are on the go, but who need access to our Help content,” said Paul Pehrson, Doc Guy Training owner, trainer and consultant.

Pehrson added, “Flare 6.0 also makes my work as a Help author easier, because now I can build multiple targets at the same time, right in the application. There are several other interface improvements that will make authoring in Flare easier and faster, and I've been impressed with Flare 6.0’s stability. The features included in version 6.0 remind me why Flare is my favorite authoring tool.”

Flare 6.0 for Enhanced Workflow, Collaboration and Publishing

With Flare 6.0, MadCap adds new features for enhanced workflow, collaboration, and publishing.

Microsoft TFS support has been enhanced to provide seamless integration to one of the industry’s leading source control systems. With Flare 6.0, companies now have a single interface for managing and distributing their documentation while maintaining source control and version control, facilitating collaboration.

File Tagging is a flexible, new feature that lets project managers assign customized “tags” to files, topics, and even authors to help track project development. Custom tags such as “In Progress” or “Pending Review” can help project managers responsible for large teams or document sets to create customizable status tags that fit their organization’s workflow. A complete reporting engine allows managers to then pull reports based on those tags, opening a new window on project management.

Link Viewer is a new data view that can be opened to see: all the files linking to a topic, all files linked from that topic, and all the current targets using this topic. With Link Viewer, documentation teams can collaborate more effectively, since anyone on the team can see the ramifications of making edits to a current topic and all the topic dependencies—before proceeding.

Batch Generate goes beyond simply allowing authors to build multiple targets for batch publishing. Once authors have set the “batch” they want to generate, they can save the settings as a new batch target type for future use. Additionally, built-in integration between Batch Generate and the Microsoft Windows Task Scheduler means authors can schedule a build or batch build without ever having to leave the Flare or Blaze interface.

Usability enhancements include the ability to take advantage of popular features with just one or two mouse clicks versus the multiple steps previously required. Features offering enhanced usability include the user interface, template processes, the skin editor, file imports and merges, source control, context menus, index and concept views, the target editor, and the WYSIWYG editor, among others.

MadPak Extends Power of Integrated Single-Source Suite

MadPak and MadPak ML are comprehensive suites featuring integrated, XML-based products for complete end-to-end technical communication. MadPak includes Flare for multi-channel publishing, as well as X-Edit for content contribution and collaboration, Analyzer for reporting and analysis, Mimic for software simulation movies, Capture for screen capture and graphics editing; and Echo for audio. MadPak ML includes all the products in the MadPak but bridges the gap between authoring and translation by including MadCap Lingo, the first truly integrated authoring and fully functional translation memory tool for translation of content.

In addition to Flare 6.0, new product updates for MadPak include X-Edit 2.0, Analyzer 3.0, and Echo 2.0.

X-Edit 2.0 lets casual contributors and subject matter experts create short documents, edit Flare or Blaze projects, create content using pre-defined Flare or Blaze templates, and review technical authors’ topics. The newest X-Edit version adds functionality for multiple file review and contribution, which now allows multiple topics to be sent simultaneously for review, contribution and editing by casual contributors, documentation managers, and reviewers all through full Microsoft Outlook integration.

Analyzer 3.0 starts by identifying issues within in Flare or Blaze projects, such as broken links missing images, or inconsistent index keywords. Then it goes beyond to proactively recommend corrections and improvements, such as where to add a snippet for content re-use, consolidate styles, add an index, and much more. Version 3.0 of Analyzer adds support for Flare 6.0, as well as the new Link Viewer feature also found in Flare 6.0.

Echo 2.0 lets authors add audible instructions, soundtracks, podcasts, and other sound elements. The newest version improves the usability of features, such as the ability to export Echo audio files to WAV or MP3.

Blaze 3.0

MadCap Blaze is the highly flexible, topic-based authoring tool alternative to Adobe® FrameMaker® for long print documents and books. It is fully compatible with MadCap Flare, ensuring that if authors need to extend beyond print documentation in the future, they can simply open their Blaze projects into Flare and publish to online content—via the Web, personal computers, and mobile devices. Version 3.0 of Blaze offers many of the new features provided with Flare 6.0. They include the PDF XSL-FO processor and PDF formatting and image quality enhancements, tighter Microsoft TFS integration, File Tagging, Link Viewer, Batch Generate, and improved usability.

Availability and Pricing

MadCap Blaze and all of the products in MadPak and MadPak ML are available today. MadCap Blaze 3.0 is priced at $699 per license. MadPak sells for $1,399 per license and includes MadCap Flare, MadCap X-Edit, MadCap Analyzer, MadCap Capture, MadCap Mimic, and MadCap Echo. MadPak ML sells for $1,699 and includes all the components of MadPak plus MadCap Lingo. MadPak and MadPak ML products are also available individually; pricing per license is $999 for Flare, $249 for X-Edit, $299 for Analyzer, $299 for Mimic, and $89 for Echo. MadCap Lingo pricing starts at $149 for a three-month subscription or $599 for a perpetual license. Maintenance (support and subscription) fees start at $199 per year for the Bronze Level, $299 for the Gold Level, and $499 for the Platinum Level. Discounts for multiyear maintenance contracts are also available.

About MadCap Software

MadCap Software is a trusted resource for thousands of companies around the globe for single-source, multi-channel authoring and publishing solutions designed to streamline the process of developing and delivering training content, learning and development programs, technical documentation, online Help, knowledge bases, and more. From authoring, publishing and translation, to cloud-based content management system, to contribution and review in the cloud, you can streamline content delivery and manage the entire content development lifecycle with MadCap Software. MadCap Software’s services include product training, consulting services, translation and localization, and an advanced developer certification program. Headquartered in San Diego, California, with offices in Austin, TX, MadCap Software is home to some of the most experienced software architects and product experts in the content development industry.

MadCap Software, the MadCap Software logo, and MadCap Flare, are trademarks or registered trademarks of MadCap Software, Inc., in the United States and/or other countries.