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MadCap Software Redefines Print Publishing with Debut of MadCap Blaze

MadCap Blaze, Native XML Long Document Print Solution, Introduces Benefits of Topic-Based Authoring and Integrated Documentation Workflow to Enterprise Print Publishing

La Jolla, CA, USA – September 8, 2008 — MadCap Software, the leader in multi-channel content authoring and a showcase company for Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 and Microsoft XPS, today announced the debut of MadCap Blaze, a native XML solution for long print documents. Blaze introduces a new paradigm for enterprise print publishing through highly flexible topic-based authoring that fosters content flexibility and reusability to eliminate the restrictions, redundancies and errors common in more traditional “book” authoring structures. Because all MadCap products are built on the same XML-based architecture, Blaze is the only print publishing solution that can be used both independently and as part of a complete, seamlessly integrated documentation workflow—from authoring to collaboration, analysis, translation and publishing.

“Driven by global commerce and the Internet, businesses have entered a new age of collaboration, customization, and real-time content delivery. However the fundamentals of publishing books and manuals have remained largely unchanged for more than two decades,” said Anthony Olivier, MadCap cofounder and CEO. “MadCap Blaze brings large document print publishing into the twenty-first century by releasing content from the information silos of books. By putting that content in Blaze, organizations can now have a center for dynamically publishing books and manuals tailored for the different audiences, demands, and language requirements that businesses face today.”

MadCap Blaze is being launched today in conjunction with MadCap Flare 4.0 for multi-channel publishing, MadCap X-Edit for light authoring and collaboration, and MadCap Analyzer 2.0 for reporting and providing proactive recommendations for structural content improvements. All of the products are built on a common standards-based architecture using XML, and the Microsoft .NET Framework.

“Microsoft is thrilled by the launch of MadCap Blaze, which extends the power of XPS into the world of long document print publishing,” said Jack Mayo, group program manager for Windows Documents & Printing. “With the addition of Blaze to the already well-established content authoring product Flare, MadCap Software demonstrates once again the innovation in content delivery that is enabled by the latest technology offered through Microsoft XPS, Windows Vista, the 2007 Microsoft Office system, and Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5”

MadCap Blaze Streamlines, Integrates Print Publishing Process

MadCap Blaze, with its topic-based authoring, fundamentally changes the process of publishing large print documents, such as books or corporate manuals. Any number of authors can create topics within a Blaze project, develop different book or manual outlines for different audiences, and define a range of document output templates. It is then just a matter of mapping topics to a book outline and a document output template, and then clicking “build” to publish it.

A single Blaze project for example, can hold topics for 75 different books or manuals, some of them in different languages, and many printed in different page formats. Because the print documents are based on the same source code, it is only necessary to update a topic once, and the new version automatically appears in any book or manual containing that topic. Topics can range from very large to very small pieces of content, and a chapter may include many topics—providing unprecedented flexibility in reusing content. By contrast, traditional print publishing tools, such as FrameMaker®, require each book or manual to be a separate project. While reusing content from one book made in FrameMaker® to another is possible, it’s difficult, often redundant, and frequently involves breaking/fixing numerous critical links within the content.

With MadCap Blaze, authors have a print publishing solution that can be seamlessly integrated into a complete documentation workflow, in most cases without ever requiring a file transfer. For example:

  • Let casual contributors or subject matter experts (SMEs) contribute to a Blaze project using MadCap X-Edit Contribute or simply insert comments into Blaze using X-Edit Review.
  • Use Blaze with MadCap Lingo, the integrated authoring and translation memory system, to create German and Chinese versions of a book or manual. There’s no actual file transfer; MadCap Lingo works within the original Blaze project, so content, formatting and links never get lost.
  • Run MadCap Analyzer to get an analysis of errors, recommended fixes, and ensure style and formatting consistency without ever leaving the Blaze project.
  • Publish a Blaze-based print manual as online text by simply opening the Blaze project in MadCap Flare multi-channel publishing software, which handles both print and online content. Then simply create a new online output option; there’s nothing to rewrite.

“Developing content demands so much time and money, businesses need to be able to extract as much value out of it as possible. It makes no sense to write three different manuals when 70 percent or more of the content is the same,” said Sharon Burton, MadCap Blaze product manager and former FrameMaker® user and expert. “The reusable topics in Blaze mean you only have to focus on developing the new content. And that leaves more funds and more hours in the day to enhance customer service and internal operations through timely, customized communications.”

MadCap’s groundbreaking architectural approach is matched by the best-in-class features required for publishing long print documents, including:

  • Full Unicode support to author in any left-to-right language, including French, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Chinese, Japanese and more.
  • Robust, highly configurable auto-numbering for volumes, sections, paragraphs, and pages.
  • Complex page layouts including graphics, headers, footers, and multiple columns.
  • Conditional text to create multiple versions of content from one source.
  • Variables to specify terms that may change.
  • Snippets to specify pre-set pieces of formatted content.
  • Cross-references that configure to each user’s needs.
  • Multiple document outlines, which provide as many outputs as needed.
  • Single-sourcing to multiple outputs, including straight to the printer, XPS, plain XHTML, PDF, Adobe FrameMaker®, or Microsoft Office Word.

Beta Customers Praise Power, Ease of Using Blaze

“Blaze is super for people who want to write and publish printed manuals,” said Bonni Graham, documentation manager at Scantron Corporation. “The content reuse features, such as multiple outlines, will save so much time. It’s really the future!”

“With Blaze's Page Layout feature, I can reuse document elements quickly and easily,” said John Hedtke, best-selling author, and owner of JVH Communications, a private consulting and communication company. “Blaze single-sourcing lets me create manuals with different formats, style sheets, and content. I can even import and export to a wide variety of useful file formats. I love it!”

“I thought I couldn't live without FrameMaker®, and then I met MadCap Blaze,” said Edward VanArsdall, founder of VanArsdall Information Design. “With the addition of Blaze, MadCap now has a complete and comprehensive single-sourcing solution. Blaze has a power-packed, versatile feature set for building topic-based print deliverables or serving as a print engine for projects originating in MadCap Flare. With its emphasis on topic-based writing, I can easily use Blaze to arrange and rearrange information as I see fit, thus freeing my mind from the linear drudgery of bookmaking.”

“Using Blaze, I'm creating topic-based projects with several content-reuse options to leverage my content in several different ways,” said Paul Pehrson, technical writer, Attensity Corporation. “I like the fact that Blaze allows me to create PDF files directly, as well as output to Microsoft Office Word, Framemaker® or other print-based targets. With Blaze, I no longer need FrameMaker® to get high quality printed outputs for long technical documentation.”

Availability and Pricing

MadCap Blaze is available today and is priced at $699 per license. Additionally, there is a special one-time upgrade price of $199 for customers who switch from Adobe® FrameMaker®. Blaze is backed by a range of service and support options, delivered by MadCap’s US-based team of documentation experts. Fees for support start at $449 per year.

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.