Variant Management

Variant management - what is it?

Basically, in technical writing, there is one set of manuals for each product. However, what sounds simple at first becomes increasingly complex as the product range grows. A single product can exist in different versions, each requiring its own manual.

Variant management should avoid unnecessary additional work. The TIM component content management system supports you in mastering your variant management.

What are variants?

Variant management within TIM means that the writer is able to represent the product variety of his company in the documentation. Possible variants can be broken down as follows:
Product variants can be different applications, different designs, and technical enhancements. Market variants can differ according to the legal requirements of the various countries. In the case of target group variants, the variants fulfill different requirements or prerequisites of the users.

Mapping via metadata

It is possible, through smart modularization and indexing of the modules, to generate variant documents only by assembling the appropriate modules from the object manager. In this way, the complete variant management can be mapped via the metadata of the modules (and graphics).

This method requires a careful metadata concept, which can be implemented as part of a project.

Master documents

Another method is the creation of master documents that include several variants. Depending on the publication settings, different variant documents can be created from one master document. Here, variant management is mapped using variant information that the editor assigns to the modules and info nodes in the master document. This document describes how variant management works using master documents.

What are the benefits of variant management?

Synergy effect - in each master document there is content that applies to all variants. If, instead of a master document, the individual variant documents were created separately, these generally valid modules would have to be inserted in each document. Changes to the document structure or terms would have to be made separately for each variant document. Instead of creating separate documents for each variant that differ in details, the different variants are combined into one master document. In this way, TIM and variant management reduce your document diversity. Successful variant management also facilitates translation. Once editing is complete, the entire master document can be sent for translation. This avoids conflicts in the output sequence of individual documents.

Use TIM and expert variant management now to work time-efficiently and effectively.

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Carola Buchwald-Rühl

Account Manager

Carola Buchwald-Rühl