XML-Director Logo
  • Enterprise XML Content Management
  • Unified XML Workflows
  • Single-Source Multi-Channel Publishing
  • DOCX→XML Conversion & Import
  • High-Quality PDF Generation
  • Open Architecture • Open-Source
<?xml version="1.0"?>
        <item>Plone CMS</item>
        <item>Plone CMS</item>
        <item>Custom content-types</item>
        <item>Fine-grain roles and access management</item>
        <item>Decent XML technology support</item>

DOCX to XML Conversion

Import and convert DOCX → XML → DOCX

Seamless import of DOCX content into our XML CMS and conversion to XML. We support conversion of Docbook DTD and DITA out-of-the-box. DOCX documents using stylesheets can be converted to XML/HTML using a custom DOCX conversion and back to DOCX. We are generally able to support any custom DTD or XML schema as part of a customer-specific configuration.

XML Workflows

XML Publication Workflows

Single-source multi-channel publishing

XML-Director allows you to manage the complete XML workflow through a unified web interface, from upload and conversion to quality control, publication and distribution. Individual XML workflows can be assigned to single documents or document collections. Fine-grained access control allows you to define who can access and edit content.

PDF Layouts

High-Quality PDF Layouts

PDF generation for print-ready documents

XML-Director supports multiple PDF converters to generate high-quality PDF documents from your XML content. We support layout-oriented documents like brochures as well as traditional print products with texts and images. Custom styles for your corporate identity or content branding can be added and controlled easily through CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).


How awesome is it?

Usecases for XML-Director

Use Cases

XML-Director provides a simple and unified user interface for those using XML publishing workflows. XML-Director can be used for technical documentation and for the authoring and production of guidelines, quality assurance documentation, SOP and more. Manage your content in Word (DOCX) including all the necessary styling such as paragraph and inline styles.

  • conversion of DOCX → XML → DOCX (DOCX-XML round tripping)
  • conversion of XML to HTML/Web, PDF and EPub
  • publication and distribution of generated content

XML-Director can be used for various usecases

  • Fiction
  • Manuals
  • Technical documentation
  • Technical literature

Unified XML Workflow

The goal of XML-Director is to unify the XML workflow under one umbrella. Our solution can be used to:

  • upload manuscripts into the content management system
  • convert manuscripts to XML
  • generate PDF and EPub
  • publish to the web or other distribution channels

It is of course possible to version and archive all content on request.

XML-Director provides a unified user interface that manages all aspects and all functionality through the web.

Unified XML workflows

DOCX to XML conversion

DOCX → XML → DOCX Conversion

Import your office content and convert it on the fly to XML

XML-Director provides support for the conversion of DOCX content to XML. We support the conversion of standard DOCX to Docbook and DITA XML. We also support the conversion of DOCX content with custom templates. to custom XML schema and DTDs. As part of the DOCX to XML conversion workflow, we also generate HTML for displaying the content on the web or as preparation for later conversion to EPUB. The DOCX → XML conversion is enabled by the C-REX conversion service. Our conversion workflow allow supports XML round tripping for re-generating DOCX from a converted XML document.

The open architecture of XML-Director makes it easy to integrate other conversion services or data import sources. Open-source converter tools like Open-Office/Libre-Office can be linked to using the Produce & Publish conversion server and the open-source conversion tool unoconv.

PDF Generation

High-quality PDF generation and impressive page layouts

XML-Director supports the generation of high-quality documents. The PDF quality is comparable to the quality of documents generated with tools like Adobe Indesign or TeX/LaTeX. XML-Director can produce traditional print products like texts with photos as well as more layout-oriented publications like brochures.

  • High-quality PDF generation
  • Styling through CSS
  • fully compliant PDF/A-1a, PDF/A-3a generation
  • Tagged PDF
  • CMYK/RGB color space
  • SVG
  • Barcodes, QR codes
  • MathML
  • Truetype and Opentype fonts
  • PDF forms
  • Bidirectional texts
  • Raster Image Processor
  • Printer Marks
  • Multi-lingual documents and hyphenation
  • Multi-page tables
  • Footnotes, headers, footers
  • PDF metadata, PDF comments

XML-Director supports a variety of high-quality PDF converters like PDFreactor, PrinceXML, Antennahouse Formatter or Speedata Publisher and provides you with the best converter option based on your project requirements.

The styling of a layout is accomplished solely using CSS (CSS Paged Media Standard). You do not need to learn XSL-FO or other complex layout languages or tools - knowledge in CSS is sufficient for creating a great-looking layout.

PDF Layouts

Plone 5 Screenshot

Enterprise CMS Plone

Plone is very secure and has a fine-grained security model

XML-Director uses the enterprise CMS Plone. Plone is a classical web content management system that we extended to support the storage of content in eXist-db. Plone also provides the unified user interface for XML-Director. All workflow actions are controlled through the same web interface, from upload to conversion and publication.

The fine-grained access control of Plone combined with the flexible workflow system gives you full control over who is able to access and edit content. XML-Director supports the storage of content metadata either in Plone, in XML or in a hybrid storage configured in both Plone and XML.

Your data is safe in Plone. Plone counts among the most secure content management systems and has an outstanding security record in comparison to other CMS solutions. Plone is trusted by large institutions such as the FBI.

XML Databases and cloud storages

XML-Director supports eXist-db and BaseX out of the box

XML-Director is backed by the open-source XML database eXist-db. eXist-db features support for the most recent XML technologies including XPath, XQuery, XUpdate, REST, RESTXQ, SOAP, XInclude and many more. eXist-db is highly scalable and can be used for small or large collections of documents.

Just as it stores your XML content, eXist-db can also be used to store all related assets like images, templates, manuscript files and generated content like PDF files or EPUB documents. This unified storage approach dramatically simplifies content and asset management. Content and assets can be provided either through the web or accessed directly through your local computer (since the XML database can be accessed directly as a network drive).

In addition XML-Director provides transparent access to common cloud storages like Dropbox, Google Drive or Amazon S3. Other storages and services can be easily integrated using a custom driver.

See this screencast about the integration of XML-Director with Dropbox content.


Open Platform

What openness means for us

XML-Director is an open platform that can easily integrate with other third-party systems and applications. XML-Director is built on standards.

XML-Director and almost all of its components are available as open-source (except for commercial components, customer-specific extensions or code that is protected due to legal issues). The majority of our components are published in public repositories like Github or Bitbucket and can be customized by you, by us or by other solution providers. There is no vendor lock-in. You have access to all code at any time (except for the commercial converters).

Openness and transparency are key success factors in larger publishing projects. This includes transparent pricing and customer involvement throughout all phases of the project (agile project development).

Platform vs. Product

We build custom XML solution that fit your needs

Twenty years of experience in the publishing business have taught us that every publisher has their own requirements, in-house publishing workflows and distribution channels. This means that every project is different.

For this reason, we decided to build an open platform for writing customer-specific XML publishing solutions on a foundation of core components that can easily be extended and customized. This avoids the need to develop an overwhelmingly complex XML content management and publishing solution that has no hope of meeting customers' needs without significant modifications amounting to the reinvention of the wheel.

Our solution employs an open and modular system architecture that is able to integrate with almost all external systems like shops, databases, distribution channels etc. As well as choosing between several different PDF converters, you have the option to edit your XML content either through the web or using your favorite XML editor on your local computer.




Document Information Technology Architecture

DITA is the de-facto standard for technical documentation. XML-Director can deal with DITA content in various ways. As storage for XML content you can directly store and use your DITA topics and maps inside XML-Director.

With the integration of the C-REX conversion service we are able to provide you with state-of-the-art high-quality conversions from and to DITA (e.g. from/to DOCX). XML-Director also integrates standard DITA tools like DITA Open Toolkit or XMLMind DITA.

You can edit DITA topics through-the-web using a WYSIWYG editor. DITA maps can be composed using a graphical editor with drag & drop support.


Edit high-quality PDF content directly within the browser

XML-Director also be used as basis for Web-to-Print applications. The templates in our web-to-print projects are typically defined through HTML for the structure and CSS for layout and styling.

With the integration of the Nimbudocs editor you can edit directly within the final layout of your publication. No more form-based Web-to-Print applications. You will see directly how the final document will look like. Typical usecases are business cards, brochures, flyers etc. with a middle design and layout complexity.

Check out our Web-to-Print demo site or our Web-to-Print screencast.



Feature Matrix


Schematron supported
RelaxNG supported
XML Schema supported

DTD supported


XSLT1 supported
XSLT3 supported
XSLT3 supported
Python supported

Multi step transformations (Pipeline) supported

Supported databases/storage

BaseX ≥ 8.2 supported
eXist-db ≥ 2.2 supported
Owncloud supported
Alfresco supported
Dropbox supported
Google Drive planned
Amazon S3 supported
Local filesystem supported

through-the-web content-types supported
programmatic content-types supported

Other features

Social media integration supported Twitter, Facebook
workflows per content-type supported
fine-grained security and roles management supported
Locks (shared) supported
REST API supported
Locks (exclusive) planned scheduled for version version 3.0
Versioning supported Application specific implementations
Archiving supported Application specific implementations


Customers using our publishing technology

We are working since almost 20 years in the field of electronic publishing, content management systems, large web publications, intranets and extranets and custom software development. Lead developer Andreas Jung worked over the last 20 years for several publishers in Germany and helped to build enterprise-level applications for customers. In 2008 we started our own publishing toolbox called Produce & Publish and delivered superb publishing applications with the focus on high-quality PDF generation to several customers world wide. Due to privacy and legal reasons we are not able to publish all references.

  • York College
  • Veit Schiele Communications GmbH
  • Locandy
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Hämatologie und medizinische Onkologie
  • OSHA

Download & Get it

Get XML-Director now!

Available now!

XML-Director Version 2.0 is officially released. XML-Director 2.0 is ready for production and used successfully in two customer projects.

  • Through-the-web configurable XML content types
  • XSLT registry
  • Validator registry supporting XML schema, DTD, RelaxNG and Schematron
  • Conversion to PDF
  • Conversion DOCX to XML
    • Support for commercial C-REX service
    • Conversion DOCX to Docbook (using free LibreOffice/OpenOffice)

The most current development version can always be found here. Installation instructions can be found here and here. See also details about the development process in the developer section.


You can subscribe to our newsletter in order keep you informed

Past issues of the XML-Director newsletter can be found in the archive.


Development model, development resources

Development model

XML-Director is being developed as an open-source project. Our code is located on Github. You are invited to fork the code and contribute to the project through pull requests or by joining the core team.

The main implementation language is Python 2.7, because XML-Director is based on the Python-based content management system Plone. XML-Director is published under the GNU Public Licence Version (GPL 2).

Development goals are

  • clean code
  • tested code (100% test coverage)
  • extensive and up-to-date documentation

Development resources


The current XML-Director development release is available as a Docker image or the project's demo site demo.xml-director.info

Using Docker

First you need to have Docker installed on your system. Then download and install the XML-Director Docker image using

> docker run -p 12020:12020 zopyx/xmldirector-plone 

Connect with your browser to http://localhost:12020/xml-director and login with username demo and password demo.

XML-Director demo site

Connect with your browser to http://demo.xml-director.info/xml-director and login with username demo and password demo.

How to contribute?

XML-Director is an open project and lives and grows with contributions, funding and third-party support. There are various way to contribute to the project.

  • Contribute code. Fork the project on Github and provide improvements or new functionality through pull requests
  • Provide funding. If you want to see some feature you need for yourself then talk to us in order to implement the required functionality as part of a paid project.
  • Contribute your components. You have some cool functionality that would fit perfectly into the architecture of XML-Director? We are always interested to include professional components. Please talk to us.

Partners & Technology providers

Project and implementation partners

Practice Innovation

Practice Innovation is a Germany-based company with focus on high-quality XML solutions, in particular in the field of technical documentation using DITA. Practice Innovation has a strong expertise in DOCX to XML conversions and lossless conversions back to DOCX (round-tripping). Conversion solutions can be provided as a web-service through C-Rex.net.


Ute Mitschke

Ute Mitschke is a well-known Germany-based XML consulant and an expert in Framemaker.


Technology providers


Bookalope is a web service for document analysis and conversion for XML Workflow Publishing without the tedious XML exposure. It structures, cleans, and converts book manuscripts into e-books for Nook, iPad, or Kindle; into PDF print books; as well as other file formats for a continued professional editing and design process using Adobe InDesign or Word.



PrinceXML is a high-quality PDF generator accepting XML and HTML as input. It uses cascading style sheets (CSS) for defining style and layout. We are experienced with PrinceXML since almost 10 years and used it for various challenging publishing projects.



PDFreactor is a high-quality PDF generator accepting XML and HTML as input. The functionality is very similar to PDFreactor provides a much better documentation and good Javascript support for generating dynamic documents based on content and data. PDFreactor is our main conversion tool in decent project (good price, good value, good PDF quality).



Antennahouse is the high-end solution for automatic typesetting solutions with XML or HTML as input. Antennahouse can be used with XSL-FO stylesheets or CSS (as with PDFreactor or PrinceXML). Antennahouse offers the most complete and most advanced typesetting features needed for very professional publications.



Vivliostyle follows the ideas of CSS Paged Media-based publishing. It is a new product and follows a new implementation approach on existing browser-based rendering engines like Webkit. However Vivliostyle lacks several features that are present in PDFreactor, PrinceXML or Antennahouse.


Comparison of tools

Based on our experience we created a dedicated site print-css.rocks where we test and compare all existing (professional) PDF generators on the market.


About XML-Director

...awesome, we know.

Andreas Jung

Developer, Project Lead

Andreas Jung has twenty years' experience in publishing and content management projects. As the head of ZOPYX, he has worked in multi-lingual projects for the EU community and as developer and technical advisor in various projects for publishers in Germany.

The XML-Director project by Andreas Jung was created several years ago in order to provide publishers with the best possible tools (editors, converters, CMS etc.) for building efficient and productive publishing solutions based on customer needs and not on vendor constraints. Our aim is to provide publishing options that can stand alongside major players like Adobe Indesign & friends, but with more flexibility for a much better price.

Andreas Jung/ZOPYX
Hundskapfklinge 33
D-72074 Tübingen, Germany
P: +49-7071-793376

You will love our work!

Don't hesitate to send us an e-mail, and we'll arrange a call so that we can get to know each other. Let us know what problems you're looking to solve.