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Technical Communications Consultants Choose Flare From Madcap Software As Their Preferred Authoring Solution

Consultants are Choosing Flare, the Multi-Channel Publishing Software, for their Help Systems, Documentation, eLearning, and Training

San Diego, CA, USA – April 17, 2007 — MadCap Software, the leader in multi-channel content authoring and a Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Visual Studio 2005 showcase company, today announced that Flare is becoming the authoring solution of choice among a growing number of technical communications consultants. Flare is the first native XML content authoring application for single-source, multi-channel publishing. Consultants are using Flare to create and deliver state-of-the-art Help systems, Web and print documentation, and content for eLearning and training to a range of companies—from start-ups to the Fortune 500.

The growing adoption of MadCap Flare by consultants is part of a broader rise in demand among technical communications experts to use "future-proof," cutting-edge software applications. A December 2006 Writers UA (User Assistance) survey revealed that Flare—only on the market since March 2006—is already in use by more than 16 percent of the documentation professionals surveyed, outpacing legacy competitive authoring applications that have been on the market for more than a decade.

"Technical communications consultants are the industry's innovators in taking advantage of the Web and other online channels to create meaningful content that is personalized and localized to the needs of users," said Anthony Olivier, CEO of MadCap Software. "The adoption of Flare by these recognized experts is strong testament to Flare's superior single-source, multi-channel publishing, standards-based native XML architecture, Unicode support, and clean integration with the most widely adopted online and print documentation formats."

Consultants Praise Flare's Modern Architecture and Unmatched Features

Technical communications consultants cite several reasons for making Flare their content authoring application of choice:

  • Seamless, single-source publishing to multiple channels, including the Internet, websites, intranets, and print
  • Ease of use: Flare's patent pending XML editor bridges the gap between XML authoring and documentation publishing—no programming required
  • Modern, standards-based native XML architecture—no proprietary code
  • Strategic relationship with Microsoft and tight integration with Microsoft Word, Vista, XPS, and DOCX
  • Industry's most complete integration with Adobe® FrameMaker® on import and export
  • Unicode support for easy creation and translation of single-byte and double-byte languages
  • Superior, responsive support by the MadCap Software team—no outsourcing
  • Frequent product updates

"One emerging trend for Help systems is the ability to provide real-time, on-demand Help, tailored to subsets of users, or even individual users, when they ask for assistance," said Neil Perlin, a consultant with more than 28 years experience in technical communications and 22 years in training, consulting, and development for various types of online documentation and tools. "Today, the one application that I know of that can do this is MadCap Flare, which can compile a Help project at the command line and create an almost unlimited number of custom outputs. With this combination of features and its use of XHTML, Flare today is the product best designed to support this new approach to Help authoring."

Edward VanArsdall, founder of Edward VanArsdall Information Design and Development, agreed. "Flare is at the forefront in delivering solutions for today's documentation and training needs through its use of native XML, the emerging standard for software, and single-source publishing to multiple outputs—from HTML to Adobe® FrameMaker® or Microsoft Word. These features, along with support for Microsoft's latest technologies (Vista, Office 2007, XPS, and DOCX) were key factors in my decision to replace Adobe® RoboHelp® with Flare." VanArsdall is a provider of technical documentation, training, and instructional design for Fortune 1000 companies. He is also a senior member of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) and serves on two IEEE/ISO committees for international standards.

"Adobe® FrameMaker® is one of the most widely adopted publishing tools among our corporate customers. Increasingly, they are looking to leverage conditional text, variables, reusable topics, and structured XML-tagged source content into customer-facing, dynamic delivery on the Web or into their corporate intranets," said Ann-Marie Grissino, a technical communications consultant with Keypoint Consultants, an international award-winning information design firm. Grissino is also a senior member of STC. "Not only does Flare provide the best integration with FrameMaker® among tools available today, it also produces fantastic, Flash-based context-sensitive Help that has wowed my clients."

Mary McGreal, a technical communications and training consultant who previously has served as a program manager for the East Bay Chapter of STC, is another enthusiastic convert to MadCap Flare. "I would like to thank MadCap for finally developing the product that seems to address all my online Help needs. MadCap has made great promises, and it has delivered on them with a robust, flexible tool that is a pleasure to work with and easy to manipulate. Flare solved all of my previous aggravations in other Help systems. I have installed Flare at clients that have shared my excitement and enthusiasm about the product."

McGreal added, "I also enjoyed the MadCap Flare training; it was excellent on all accounts. I highly recommend it."

In addition to leading-edge technology and superior product support, consultants also highlight the expertise of MadCap Software as an important factor in buying Flare. Much of the MadCap team has been in the Help authoring tool market for more than a decade, and key architects of Flare are also the original designers of RoboHelp®.

About Flare

MadCap Flare is the first native XML content authoring application designed for the single-source, multi-channel publishing demands enterprises face today. Bridging the gap between highly technical documentation tools and popular, intuitive applications like Microsoft Word, Flare serves the needs of documentation professionals and the growing number of business content owners, who are becoming content authors. Key features of Flare include:

  •  Legacy content aggregation. Flare allows users to import content authored in Microsoft Word, Adobe® FrameMaker®, or HTML; RoboHelp® projects; and even HTML Help projects—and convert it to the XML format. HTML also can be directly converted to XHTML.
  •  Multi-channel publishing. Flare includes all of the transforms necessary to generate documentation for Web, intranet, print, or software desktop needs, including the new Microsoft Vista. These include a new Help format for .Net applications (DotNet Help), WebHelp, Microsoft HTML Help, Microsoft Word, Adobe® FrameMaker®, PDF, DOCX, and XPS.
  •  Single-source publishing. The ability to produce several documents from one central project is enabled by Flare's support for conditional tags, variables, a content-management library of re-usable content (snippets), and multiple tables of content. In addition, Flare's tight integration with MadCap Capture and MadCap Mimic makes it the first Help application to allow single-sourcing of images and movies (different settings for various outputs, all from one image and/or movie).
  •  Patent-pending new visual XML editor. The editor provides access to the underlying XML structure of documents in a comfortable visual authoring environment; no programming is required.
  •  Multi-language support. Through full support for Unicode, Flare enables the creation and easy translation of different languages, both single-byte and double-byte.
  •  Standards compliance. Flare's code adheres to the W3C XHTML schema specification, making it easy to integrate with other XML or XHTML applications, and all Flare project files are XML files.

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.