--- Pat Bensky <pbensky at catbase.com> wrote:
> Hello Framers,
> I am thinking of writing a book about database
> publishing. It would cover
> publishing with InDesign and Quark (possibly
> FrameMaker and Word as well)
> using the following methods:
> 
> InDesign tags
> Quark tags
> Xtags, Xdata
> XML
> RTF (perhaps)
> FrameMaker tags (maybe)
===================================
I've been developing database publishing applications
for clients for about 14 years. In some cases, I
deliver turnkey applications to my customer. In other
cases, I produce the finished output (typically
annually).

Your list of methods barely scratches the surface, and
does seem to address only the most simple database
publishing applications, which, in my experience, is
rarely enough. Nor do you seem to be addressing he
wide array of products/solutions which are available,
as well as the extremely wide variety of applications
in which database publishing can be employed
effectively. 

Your definition of what you mean by database
publishing will determine the scope of your book. The
broadest definition would encompass all special
solutions whose purpose is to process raw output from
a database so as to deliver it in a form that is
useable to both human and non-human users.

In the case of delivery to human users, such solutions
typically include customizeable middleware which can
receive/processe/manipulate the raw database output,
and makes the processed data compatible with the
selected formatting/output engine (e.g., FrameMaker,
Quark, Word (ugh) or InDesign).

If, for example, FrameMaker is chosen as the
formatting/output engine, several customizable
middleware products are available, including
PatternStream, Miramo and UniMerge. Such middlewar
products require the development of a special 
application for each production operation, which may,
among other things, involve evaluatiing each database
record so as to select/delete/rearrange the sequence
of the data fields in each record before it is
delivered to FrameMaker. UniMerge (the product I use)
can also specify the FrameMaker format tag to be
applied to individual fields, add markers to specify
fields whose content is used to produce running
header/footers, specify fields which are to be
included in a table of contents, insert static text
above, below or within a sequence of record fields,
specify that some or all fields in a record field be
placed within a FrameMaker table, truncate the data in
a field, add mathematical operations on rows or
columns in a tabular array, and many other functions
which radically alter the raw database input before
delivering output to FrameMaker.

Very large database publishing solutions are very
complex, and can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars
to develop,operate and maintain successfully.
===





Dan Emory & Associates
FrameMaker/FrameMaker+SGML Document Design & Database Publishing
<danemory7224 at sbcglobal.net>

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