Managing metadata elements and attributes

The use of metadata elements and attributes may be best managed by a Content Management System.

When working in a topic-based, modular architecture, where metadata plays a key role, one of the major challenges for authors is managing metadata. In this respect, "managing metadata" means such things as ensuring consistent metadata use, using metadata for retrieval of authoring topics, enforcing business metadata rules, and effective use of conditional metadata attributes. The most effective way of managing metadata is through a Content Management System (CMS).

If a CMS is not being used, you may find that recording metadata attribute values used in a collection inside a comments area within the ditamap XML code might be helpful.

There are some DITA software tools that provide some features that leverage metadata, such as reporting on attribute values in a collection. You may find these tools useful in supplementing your authoring tool features. Two such tools are DITAinformationcenter and WinANT Echidna.