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Document engineering is the discipline that addresses the effective design, implementation, and use of information expressed in documents. In part, it comprises 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.
In the context of document engineering, document may refer to any kind of document, but most often refers to documents somehow encoded in digital forms, and to ordered pieces of information extracted or derived from documents, typically to be used by computer applications or web services rather than directly by people. The structure of information both within and as extracted from documents, has particular relevance in the areas of XML and SQL schema design.
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, and so involves linguistics, ontology, database theory, and a wide range of other disciplines.
The ACM Symposium on Document Engineering is a yearly conference of computer scientists interested in document engineering and related domains of text or document processing, and has been held since 2001.