December 22, 2016

Excosoft Celebrates 30 Years!

A party, Skribenta 5, and a chat with founder Jan-Christian Herlitz 


Recently, we had the honor of opening our doors to customers, colleagues, and friends to celebrate Excosoft's 30th anniversary as a company. We also took the opportunity to celebrate Skribenta 5 which, after three years of development, was finally ready for release. 

Founder and CEO, Jan-Christian Herlitz, kicked off the event with a tour of the new platform, and it was evident that, after 30 years, he is still just as passionate about working with “the documentation challenge” as he was on day one. Here is what he has to say about Excosoft’s 30 years and the Skribenta development journey.


Q: What was the highlight of the event for you? 

JC: Presenting the new Skribenta 5 for customers, prospects, and friends, and getting their reactions and feedback! After more than three years of development, the expectations were, of course, high. To my great joy, we experienced very positive reactions.


Q: What does it mean to you to celebrate 30 years?

JC: Working with the documentation challenge for the past 30 years has given me some extremely valuable experience. There have been so many ideas, trends, and "expert opinions" over the years which have proven to be mistakes. Today, I’m much more confident about discerning what actually works in reality. Even though technology has undergone drastic changes in recent times, the old documentation problem still hasn't been solved. Equally as challenging is addressing the question, How do you reuse information in different situations when your product portfolio is constantly evolving? This has been my focus for 30 years, and I still find it fascinating and exciting.


Q: Excosoft's top 3 milestones so far?


1. Building Skribenta, which solves "a whole problem" rather than just providing tools for different parts of a problem (which was our business until 2001). Building general tools for handling any information type is extremely difficult. Focusing on one problem makes seamless integration possible, where each part speaks the same language. 

2. Attending the 2013 DITA conference in Boston made me realize the huge advantage of having a super simple XML platform. People around the world think the solution to the documentation challenge is defining tags for each and every imaginable type of information. This is not the case. The solution is a simple, flexible XML architecture that can handle our constantly developing and changing world.

3. Developing the web-based Skribenta 5 is, of course, an important milestone. A browser gives product developers a fantastic platform for refining the user interface. In the old days, we had to develop everything ourselves and it was difficult to integrate with other products. HTML, Javascript, CSS, WebGL, and other standards help us focus on our specific functionality and leave the rest to the browser.


Q: What are you looking forward to in 2017?  

JC: I’m looking forward to spreading Skribenta 5 even further. The fact that Skribenta 5 is web-based means that it can be tested and evaluated by people all over the world. 



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