Presentations by Mark Peterson

But will it fit in my bathroom? Creating a Single Interface for Product Presale Data

This session will provide a demo of a finished system, plus discuss initial needs, changes, and lessons learned.

Kohler Company’s installation and service data had benefitted from XML/DITA, but presale information was treated as literature rather than content. Customers needed to search on any device for products that had the dimensions and styling they needed to fit their bathroom or kitchen, but many of the critical dimensions were buried and unsearchable.

So Kohler Company created an XML database using web-based X-Forms for input, X-Queries for search, XSL for output, and Windchill roles for data access. Now, changes are made only once by the data owner. Content is accessible by user role. People can search for data without opening PDFs, and outputs can be tailored to the user’s task and preference. The search capabilities are so great that departments are looking to import their data just so they could have the search capabilities!

About Mark Peterson
Kokler Company


Mark is a quarter-century member of one company, having navigated through typesetting to desktop publishing to early adoption of XML and content management. Formerly a staff and department manager, he now focuses on identifying and implementing technical solutions to meet trending consumer needs. Before settling in “technical publications,” he was in electronics sales, journalism, training, and even a little building construction. Working with a major international plumbing manufacturer with thousands of products, he sees lots of data to connect and silos to decommission. He also gets an excuse to spend time in Home Depot and to play with new computer technology.