Thanks in advance to the great denizens of Adobe's Blogs for the assist here.
My company is managing a large technical document -- hundreds, possibly thousands of pages -- that's scrutinized by government regulators.
We've run this document in MS Word in the past, breaking the work into multiple files. We have to Track Changes.
It is a nightmare.
We're exploring FrameMaker as an alternative, as we want to produce a document more easily (and swiftly) to PDF.
However, in my digesting of what FrameMaker can do, it sounds like the way Word tracks changes isn't really present in FrameMaker.
Neither is there capability to have multiple people working on the same document at once without somehow breaking it apart, just as we (hate to) do with Word. NOTE: We cannot use cloud computing or a separate CMS for this; the program's got to meet these requirements on its on.
Is this a correct reading of FrameMaker's capabilities?
Yes, FM has a Track Changes feature - never used it myself, so I can't tell you much about it.
Without some source control system or CMS, you'll never be able to have multiple authors working on the same content at the same time.
FM can work with many source control programs to check in and out files - there's a whole Source Control forum about this.
Depending on the amount of content reuse, going to a Structured FM environment may make more sense - you're still going to have to bust up the content into smaller pieces in any case. But FM makes assembling long docs easy with the concept of the book file container.
I'll dive into that Source Control forum to see if that can give me a more concrete answer.
We have OneDrive that we do use to a degree, but never at the level of trying to use a CMS approach on one huge document. We've only used it with small spreadsheets and Word docs.
We're also experimenting with Structured FM to see if we can use it, but the learning curve feels intense. And that's from someone who is a Word whiz who programs templates, macros, etc.
fwiw, I used to work with a large regulatory document: mandatory requirement for at least four updates a year, with the delta between updates highlighted. Thanks to FM, this was easy! and we even had specific compliments from the government agency on the quality of our docs compared to similar submissions from other companies.
So – go for FM! you'll love it once you get used to it ;-}