Document engineering is a document-centric synthesis of complementary ideas from information and systems analysis, electronic publishing, business process analysis, and business informatics to ensure that the documents and processes make sense to the people and applications that need them. Originating from research published by Robert J. Glushko and Tim McGrath, document engineering attempts to unify these different analysis and modeling perspectives and helps to specify, design, and implement documents and the processes that create and consume them.
In the context of document engineering, document generally refers to ordered pieces of information used by computer applications or web services rather than directly by people. It has particular relevance in the areas of XML vocabulary design. The principles of document engineering were applied to the development of the OASIS Universal Business Language.
The conventional discipline that most resembles document engineering is probably business informatics. However, document engineering emphasizes the need for conceptual modeling of documents and processes at an implementable granularity.
The ACM Symposium on Document Engineering is a yearly conference of computer scientists interested in text or document processing.