Flare V5 and Blaze V2 are officially available

As of this morning the latest releases of both Flare and Blaze are now out. New content on the web site, the download and trial version links have been updated, and our email engine is working non-stop sending out download/upgrade links to our maintenance customers. The short, overview list of what is new:

  • Seamless DITA Support — no Open Toolkit, no Java development required!
    • Import DITA Maps and documents
      • Single/Multiple DITA file import
      • Conversion Styles Wizard for full conversion control
      • Preservation of image maps, CSH, tables, lists and more
      • Relationship Tables maintained
      • Single-source DITA projects to print and web
    • DITA Single-sourcing and Export
      • Generate DITA from existing Flare projects
      • Specify topic output types using Topic Properties
      • Publish DITA content in any other output type such as Microsoft® XPS and Word™, Adobe® PDF and FrameMaker®, WebHelp, etc.
  • Built-in Relationship table support for all Flare content
  • New text editor with support for line numbering, color coding and more
  • Automatic Thumbnail image support
  • Enhanced cross-product integration with support for Mimic and Capture condition tags
  • Advanced Global Project Linking with condition tag support for project files
  • Enhanced JPEG compression and PDF Support
  • Text Redaction — conceal sensitive information from a document before distribution

Much more detail can be found:

Flare – http://madcapsoftware.com/products/flare/whatsnew.aspx

Blaze – http://madcapsoftware.com/products/blaze/whatsnew.aspx 

Also, for those interested, over the next month or so I will be doing some special live web demos that focus specifically on the new functionality in this release. To sign up just hop on over to our demos page at
http://madcapsoftware.com/demos/product.aspx and by the time you read this, there will be a new category of demos specifically for What’s New sessions.

There has already been some public comment on the new release as well, for an early review check out a blog entry posted by Paul Pehrson at http://blog.paulpehrson.com/2009/06/03/pre-release-review-of-flare-v5/ .



5 Responses to “Flare V5 and Blaze V2 are officially available”

  1. What are the main differences between Blaze and Flare? Which tool should we use, if most legacy input will come from Framemaker, and [most] output will be tri-pane HTML-based help?
    Do these tools require that we “chunk” our existing manuals, i.e. prepare them for single-sourcing, before using Flare or Blaze?
    Which tool offers the most options for outputting source files to translators who may still be using Word or Frame for their localized output?
    Any advice you can offer will be appreciated. We need to make a purchasing decision in the next few months.
    Thanks for your help.

    • If you have Flare then you already have Blaze. All of the Blaze print functionality is also included in Flare. The way that it boils down, if you only need to produce paper centric outputs (MS Word, FrameMaker, PDF) then Blaze will work and is a little less expensive. However if you need those print outputs AND need online publishing then you need Flare. Flare by itself can handle all of the publishing for both print and online.

      As to chunking, that is handled based on the import settings and is usually done be selecting a heading style from the source document.

      To localization, both tools are XML-based so localization can be done on the raw source files, or we have the MadCap Lingo tool that is a TM and localization management system that works with both tools.

  2. There is obviously a lot to learn. There are some good points here.

    Robert Shumake

  3. Mic Vandersluis Says:

    Hi, Mike.

    I’m hoping Flare has clever ways to help authors create modular help that is NOT HTML Help (chm). Specifically, I’d like to have a way to implement the “master TOC” fuction form HTML Help, but in a WebHelp type output. Does Flare support this?

    • No worries, master TOC functions do work in WebHelp as well. In fact, you have two choices. There is the standard run-time merge that happens in the users browser, or we have an optional pre-merge setting that can build the merged versions of the navigation files at publishing time. The advantage of pre-merge is that it is faster for the customer, the disadvantage is that Flare would need to be able to “see” the other WebHelp project at publishing time to pre-build those files.


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