Also check this:

However, that will need you to log in and/or create an account.

Hope that helps,


PS. If any AT users are out there who also know one or two other XML tools 
please contact me. I have a bit of work that I can pass around to those who are 

-----Original Message-----
From: at 
[] On 
Behalf Of Matt Sullivan
Sent: Thursday, April 26, 2007 1:46 PM
To: 'Alan Houser'; 'Framers List'
Subject: RE: Frame vs Arbortext

To add to Alan's comments, I've had numerous aerospace clients who choose
Arbortext for editing, but Frame for output.

The cost of output from Arbortext (developing XSL-FO) can be much greater
than the whole FM install and dev, and not terribly flexible.

In the pre-Frame 7.2 world, XML was interpreted both in and out of
Framemaker and stored in FM Binary. This is why folks would edit content
directly using AT (integrity of XML), but draw into FM for output (less

These days, Frame can work directly with the XML, and storing as .fm is
strictly optional. IMO, this undercuts much of AT's sales pitch.

Other considerations might include both current and potential content
management integration. 

BTW, anyone know if ArborText has any sort of DITA implementation?

-Matt Sullivan

GRAFIX Training, Inc.

An Adobe Authorized Training Center

888 882-2819 

-----Original Message-----
[ at] On
Behalf Of Alan Houser
Sent: Thursday, April 26, 2007 7:03 AM
To: framers at
Subject: Re: Frame vs Arbortext

Your experience is quite common. Arbortext's sales team is really, 
really good. They seem to know how to find the right people in an 
organization (not the tech pubs group or even the tech pubs manager) and 
sell into the workgroup or enterprise level. On the other hand, Adobe's 
FrameMaker sales team is, well...what sales team? On the other hand, 
FrameMaker continues to have very strong support within tech pubs 
organizations. The outcome of the Arbortext vs. FrameMaker decision is 
often decided (rightly or wrongly) by the strength of this grass-roots 

There are several layers of issues here. One is the "XML" or "not XML" 
decision. If your business requirements warrant a migration to XML, then 
Arbortext is an option. Otherwise, it is not. Structured FrameMaker is 
another option for XML publishing. But I would make the "XML" or "not 
XML" decision first, independent of the tools choice.

Probably the single biggest appeal of structured FrameMaker in an XML 
environment is the ability to generate PDFs from the desktop, using a 
(relatively) simple mechanism for defining publishing templates. One can 
argue whether a FrameMaker EDD is "simple", but I prefer it over the XML 
alternative (XSL-FO) in the majority of cases, especially if PDF is your 
primary output format.


Diane Gaskill wrote:
> Hello Frameratti,
> Remember the old days when we had debates and comparisons between the
dreaded Word and Frame?  Well, now it seems that the new competitor is
Arbortext.  I had my manager convinced to switch from Word to FM, even got
the ok to build the templates (done), when along comes a VP in one of our
offshore offices who thinks using Arbortext is better and convinces my
manager to have us look at it too.
> I did some digging and found a really old (1999) comparison on Shlomo's
website.  Nice, but both tools have changed considerably since then and the
comparison is no longer valid.  Sooo, I am wondering if anyone on the list
knows of a more recent comparison of the two tools.  Not that I want to go
to Arbortext, mind you, but I need to check for the boss.
> BTW, the company that now owns and markets ArbotText did not invent it
(sounds familiar, huh).  They came here and made a presentation.  Turns out
that the GUI is _not_ actually WYSIWYG and they told us that we have to
print it to PDF to see what the page really looks like.  If that is true, we
might be better off with Word (if that is possible).  Reminds me of the
olden days of man pages and troff/nroff on Unix.
> Thanks in advance for any help.
> Best,
> Diane
Alan Houser, President
Group Wellesley, Inc.


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