Automating the book building process in FM11 - best tool?


Automating the book building process in FM11 - best tool?
Hi - we're gearing up to create an automated book-building process using FM11.
Before we start, a quick straw-poll:
What do you folks recommend / suggest as the best automation tool?
We want to trigger the process when SGML files are dumped into a directory. When we've done directory-triggered automation in the past under FM7.1, we've tended to use VB.NET code to trigger an instance of an FM7.1 API client (usually to build and collate PDFs, etc)... but, since we're in a new era with a new release of FM, we thought we'd take an open-minded, 'blue sky' approach here and see what tools members of the Framemaker community are using.
If one particular approach seems to be easier / more advantageous / more widely adopted than any of the others, then I think that might nudge us down that road...
Hi Nigel...
You might want to look at our plugin, AutoFM ..
This lets you drive FrameMaker from an XML file and a batch file (or other command line scripting). The XML file contains the instructions on which files to open and what to do with them. You can perform various basic functionality like saveas, print, update book, etc. It also lets you call other automation options like ExtendScript, FrameScript, or FDK clients to extend the processing as needed.
Download the 30-day trial and see if it does what you need.
AutoFM is the piece that is used to drive DITA-FMx (via FMx-Auto) in this video for automated DITA to PDF publishing, but can be used for any type of FM automation ..
Keep in mind that various types of FrameMaker automation may require using FrameMaker Server .. so be sure to check the EULA and use the right FM version for your needs.
Scott Prentice
Leximation, Inc.
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