Meta data that is used to structure and describe information or source code. In the semantic Web, machines, such as computers, use meta data to access the meaning of information and interpret it.


Application programming interface. Set of routings, protocols, and tools that gives programmers access to the features of an operating system or application and defines how software components interact. An API can also assist distinct applications in sharing data and thus enhance their functionalities.


A simplified markup language that was explicitly designed to publish text in different document formats.

Asset Administration Shell (AAS)

Cross-manufacturer and industry-neutral standard for the provision of information and for communication in a uniform language. Each "thing" in the "Internet of Things" (IoT) receives its own Asset Adiminstration Shell.



An approach to education that combines online educational materials and opportunities for interaction online with traditional place-based classroom methods (Wikipedia).



Component content management system. Manages content at a component level rather than the document level. Each component represents a single topic, concept, or an asset. This can be an image, a table, a product description, or a procedure.

Content Delivery Portal

Content delivery portals offer a web-based interface for presenting comprehensive information and documents and making them accessible to users. The contents of the portal are enriched with metadata, enabling the different target groups to use context-specific filters and to perform semantic searches. The content is not created in the portal, but rather comes from another or multiple authoring systems.

Content engineering

A method by which the content of technical documentation is organized, structured, and enriched with metadata in accordance with an information architecture.

Content strategy

Defines company-wide policies for creating, managing, and publishing content from different parts of the organization.

Content supply chain

Covers the entire process in which content is planned, created, managed, and distributed in a personalized and audience-tailored manner.

Continuous integration

A method of software development in which changes to content (source code, documentation, etc.) are continuously integrated into a central version management system, rather than being collected at the end of a development cycle.


Digital information twin

The digital model for all information on the components, functions, processes, and documentation for a technical product or system over its entire life cycle. It represents a network of linked information that can describe product features, product variants, document types, information topics, topic types, target groups and their interrelationships, etc. The digital information twin can be used to compile the appropriate technical documentation for a product configuration.

Digital twin

The digital image of a tangible or intangible object from the real world, e.g. machine or technical system. The digital twin contains models of the mapped object and connected processes. It can also contain simulations, algorithms, and services that describe the properties and behavior of objects and processes. It allows the represented object and its behavior to be simulated, managed and improved.


XML -based information architecture for authoring, producing, and delivering technical information. DITA content is created in modules, so-called topics. Each topic covers a specific subject.


DITA Open Toolkit. Open-source publishing tool for DITA that converts DITA content into various output formats, such as PDF, XHTML, or ODT.

DITA topic

Basic DITA element that is used to structure content. Each topic answers one question about a particular subject and makes sense on its own. There are three major topic types: concept, reference, and task.


Freely available information model that is defined in an XML and SGML document type definition (DTD). The DocBook structures are mainly sequential and book-like, but can be used for a broad variety of documentation content. DocBook is an open standard, which is used by many open-source projects for their documentation. It also provides semantic elements for specific purposes, such as software and hardware documentation.


Method of maintaining technical documentation in the same environment and with the same methods as source code. Lightweight markup languages such as AsciiDoc or Markdown are used as the documentation format, but XML is also used.


Document type definition. Defines the valid elements and attributes in an XML document and determines how they can be used and which subelements they may include.


Flipped Classroom

Form of blended learning in which students learn content outside the classroom, e.g., by watching video lectures or tutorials. Instructional content is often delivered online. Afterwards, students and teacher meet in the classroom to discuss the instructions, apply the knowledge, and do excercises.


Folksonomy (folk+taxonomy), also known as social tagging, is a user-defined metadata collection. A folksonomy evolves when many users create or store text at particular sites, such as wikis, and identify via tags what they think the text is about. Folksonomies differ from taxonomies: Folksonomies structure content via user tags; taxonomies are classifications defined by more formal methods that do not necessarily include user-generated tags.


Heuristic Analysis

Special method to evaluate the usability of a product, for example, a website, a software, or documentation. To identify potential problems, usability experts compare the product step by step to a checklist. This checklist includes a collection of generally accepted design principles (heuristics).



Integrated development environment. An all-in-one application for software engineering that combines a source code editor, a compiler, a debugger, and other tools in a graphical interface.


iiRDS (intelligent information Request and Delivery Standard) is a standard for the delivery and exchange of intelligent information, across company boundaries. iiRDS defines a uniform vocubulary and a package format for delivering digital user information.


In Scrum projects, great tasks are broken into small and self-contained increments. Each of the increments can be released in one sprint. An increment is the sum of all product backlog entries that have been completed during the current sprint and the previous sprints.

Information architecture

Defines the structure of content and metadata for technical documentation and specifies rules for modularization and reuse of content and documentation variants. An information architecture is the foundation for structuring and standardizing technical documentation.

Integrated learning

An e-learning concept that combines traditional classroom courses and modern types of e-learning. The concept combines the effectiveness and flexibility of e-learning with the social aspects of personal communication and, where appropriate, hands-on, practical training.


Describes the intent a user has in a conversation with a chatbot. Intent is a key element of natural language processing because it enables the chatbot to recognize the user's needs and respond appropriately to the input.


Sum up what a user means to say or achieve with chatbots. Relevant user intentions (intents) are defined in advance. This is done by storing possible user inputs and a corresponding response. User queries are assigned to one or more of the already defined intents on the basis of the user's statement (intent matching).

INVEST (check list)

The acronym stands for a checklist of criteria that help evaluate and improve requirements that are written as user stories. I(ndependent). N(egotiable). V(aluable). E(stimatable). S(small). T(estable).


The Internationalized Resource Identifier (IRI) is an internet protocol standard which builds on the Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) protocol by greatly expanding the set of permitted characters. IRI was defined by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in 2005 in RFC 3987. While URIs are limited to a subset of the US-ASCII character set (characters outside that set must be mapped to octets according to some unspecified character encoding, then percent-encoded), IRIs may additionally contain most characters from the Universal Character Set (Unicode/ISO 10646),[4][5] including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Cyrillic characters. Source: Wikipedia



Method or scheduling system for managing processes. Originally developed at Toyota Motor Corporation as a flexible production system. Kanban reduces the number of parallel activities, shortens processing time, and quickly points out problems and shortages.

Knowledge graph

A structured representation of knowledge that maps information in the form of entities (objects or concepts) and their relationships to each other.



Open source software for building and publishing wikis, for example Wikipedia. Other components like semantic wikis can be added.


Data about data. Meta data contain information about data characteristics, but not the data itself; for example, information about the author in a Word file. Meta data can be visible or invisible for the reader.

Metadata model

Contains the metadata of a specific domain or organization. The metadata is assigned to content and thus supports content management and the subsequent use of the content in portals or chatbots.


Method for prioritizing requirements or tasks in projects using four categories: Must have, Should have, Could have, Won't have. This method helps to focus on the most important tasks and to use resources efficiently.



Describes, based on standardized terminology, an area of knowledge and the relationships and derivation rules between the defined concepts.


Web Ontology Language. Markup language for mapping and processing ontologies. OWL is used when applications need to process information in documents.


XML editor created by Syncro Soft. oXygen is often used in technical writing as it supports, for example, DITA , DocBook and other types of publishing.



Hypothetical users with different characteristics and behavior who represent a certain user group. Personas are applied in user-centered design and often used in product and software development and strongly support the user's point of view.


Freely available information model that provides XML structures for modular user and service documentation and supports flexible assembly of documents. Mainly used in the mechanical engineering and plant construction industry and sectors linked with it. Can be easily integrated into content management systems.

Product Information Management System (PIM)

Software solution that helps companies centrally manage and optimize all product information. A PIM serves as a central database in which all relevant product information is collected, processed, and distributed. This includes data such as product descriptions, specifications, images, prices, and marketing text. A PIM system facilitates the consistency and timeliness of product data across different sales channels and improves the efficiency of product data maintenance.

Programmer's guide

Documentation type in software engineering with conceptual information about the product and the architecture of an API or framework, descriptions of programming tasks (recipes), and programming examples.

Publikation pipeline

Sequence of automated processes and scripts that generates a desired target format (e.g. HTML, PDF) from content in a source format (e.g. DITA, AsciiDoc).



Resource Description Framework. Standardized description language to express logical statements about arbitrary things (resources). These statements are defined as so-called triples, i.e., a subject and an object are related to each other. Expample: John [subject] is the father [relation] of Mike [object].



Alternative markup language for defining the valid structure and content of XML documents and their elements. Contrary to DTDs, Schema uses the XML syntax and is more flexible. Required content of tags and attributes can be specified more precisely compared to DTD.


Agile process in software engineering where a complex project is developed in increments. Scrum teams can release products in shorter cycles, which leads to faster feedback, continual improvement, and rapid adaptation to change.

Self-service solution

Enables users to find information and solutions to problems related to a product or service on their own, and to request further support if they need it.

Smart content

Structured, format-neutral information enriched with metadata. Consists of content modules suitable for reuse for different target groups and usage scenarios. Structured, format-neutral information enriched with metadata, such as technical documentation content. Consists of content modules suitable for use by different target groups and applications.


Simple Protocol and RDF Query Language. Query language for the semantic Web. SPARQL can query, retrieve, or even manipulate data stored in RDF format.


Development cycle in a Scrum project. A sprint begins with a planning meeting, in which the goals are defined, and ends with a retrospective meeting. Sprints are restricted to a specific duration, normally between one to four weeks


A person or a group that has in interest in an organization's business activities and can affect these activities or be affected by them.



Method to classify and categorize objects based on their characteristics.


Applications that provide product information, technical documentation, and other information to customers. Examples include customer service chatbots, web portals, and documents.



Unified Modeling Language. Standardized modeling language, which is used, for example, in software engineering to visualize structures, architectures, behavior, and processes. UML defines identifier for important terms and the possible relations between these terms.


A Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) is a unique sequence of characters that identifies a logical or physical resource used by web technologies. URIs may be used to identify anything, including real-world objects, such as people and places, concepts, or information resources such as web pages and books.

Use Case

Describes how a user (actor) uses a system to accomplish a task. In software engineering, a use case is a list of steps, which define the interactions between the actor and the system and lead to the goal.

User story

User stories are often used in agile software development to define specifications from the users' point of view. In one or two sentences, written in everyday language, user stories capture what users need to do their jobs or what they require from a product. User stories are listed in a so-called product backlog and evaluated with the INVEST criteria.


A single utterance that a person sends to the chatbot from which the chatbot derives an intent. "My cell phone is broken," "My cell phone doesn't work anymore," or "Why doesn't my cell phone work?" are utterances for the "broken cell phone" intent.


Utterances, for chatbots, are a user’s input, from which the intent is derived. “My phone is broken”, “I can’t use my phone” or “why won’t my phone work” are all example utterances for the intent “broken phone”.

UX writing

Refers to the writing of clear, user-friendly, and consistent text in digital products to improve the user experience.


Variant management

In technical documentation, variant management helps to better manage the documentation modules for the different editions and purposes of a product. Documentation can be created more cheaply and target-group oriented and easier maintained.



World Wide Web Consortium. International community that defines open web standards, such as protocols and guide lines.

Waterfall model

Linear process model in project management. The development tasks are divided into consecutive project phases. In contrast to iterative models, each phase is only passed through once. The results of the previous phase form the basis for the tasks in the subsequent phase.


Web-based tool for collecting and displaying knowledge. Every wiki user can contribute, share, or edit.



Extensible Markup Language that presents data structure in a format that is readable by humans and machines. With XML, data can be exchanged between different platforms and systems.


Query language that addresses parts of an XML document. Xpath is designed to be used by XSLT , for example.


Extensible Stylesheet Language. Umbrella term for a language family consisting of XSL-FO, XSLT, and XPath. XSL defines the transformation and output of XML documents.


Extensible Stylesheet Language Formatting Objects. Markup language and part of the XSL language family, which is used to describe how to arrange text and elements on a page. XSL-FO is mainly used to create PDF documents from XML sources.


Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations. Component of XSL and used to transform XML documents into formats like HTML or other XML definitions.


Open-source and extensible semantic wiki .