Quite often customers ask us: what are the advantages of a DITA component content management system (DITA CCMS) over Git?
Here’s a thing: A DITA CCMS is not better than Git. Just like Toyota is not better than a Zinger sewing machine. They are different creatures built for different use cases. Git is good for managing versions as well as branching and merging files. While a DITA CCMS also provides all these capabilities (and sometimes, even in a better and more user-friendly way than Git), its main purpose is to manage content on a component level and do things, like:
Tracking where a topic, image, or map is used
Warning you when you are trying to delete a file (for example, a topic or image) referenced by another topic
Fixing broken links
Automatically updating links when a file is moved or renamed in the content repository
Finding orphan files (files not referenced by any topic or map)
Identifying to which languages a topic is already translated, translations to which languages are missing, translations in which languages should be updated due to changes in the content in the source language, etc.
Publishing and delivering content from the central content repository via various delivery channels, including PDF, documentation portals, and chatbots
Managing content variations for publishing conditional content
Managing and automating workflow and the content life cycle
Aligning product releases with versions of the content
Automating the process of content assembly
Tagging content with hierarchical metadata to make your content easy discoverable
Searching by metadata
Providing an interface for reviewers so that they can review content on a component level (for example, an individual topic)
In theory, without a DITA CCMS, you can run a search by file name to find where a specific topic is used (that is which files contain reference to it). If you have a few dozens of topics, that might satisfy your needs. But when you come even to hundreds (leave alone thousands and tens of thousands) of individual topics, the performance of this operation will be very slow.
It’s because Git works with a file system while a DITA CCMS works with a database, where content is indexed, and the database itself is optimized for high performance with large amounts of data.