I need to implement SDL Docs as a headless CMS.

With the OOB "Dynamic Delivery" Output Format the Topic Content(DITA XML) is published and stored as "HTML" in the Broker Database. When we retrieve rawContent.content of a topic via PCA service, the returned JSON has a TopicBody field with the value of type HTML.

Now I need to serve this Topic Body content to some native mobile apps which don't want the content as HTML but a headless format like JSON.

I understand I can publish Topic Content as JSON in place of HTML to the Broker database but it requires heavy customization including DITA-OT, Post Process Plugins, Deployer extension, etc but I don't want to reinvent the wheel if there is already some solution provided by community or SDL.


  1. Is there any out of the box offering from SDL to address this challenge?

  2. Do we have any community work-related to it?

  • 1
    AFAIK - Topic content already converded from DITA-XML to XHTML and stored in broker as DD4T/DXA json, title field already processed and stored as separate field, why you need topicbody content as json?, it's rich text values right. I dont understand why you want topic content as json? it's still similar to sites richtext field content.
    – Velmurugan
    May 4, 2020 at 7:00
  • 1
    Having the topicbody as a json opens up endless integration avenues in the web application, in my opinion. I have hit a similar limitation in the past and I do not think that there is any community related work on it. The recommendation is to have a deployer extension and publish to a secondary content store. There are various "open source" DITA OT transforms to JSON but it is too much work and not recommended, since it interferes with the default dynamic delivery pipeline.
    – Shiva
    May 4, 2020 at 14:02
  • @Velmurugan I don't want a DITA-XML to XHTML conversion but DITA-XML to JSON. The former conversion assumes that the consuming clients would be web clients. In my case, the clients are not web clients and expect a headless data format like JSON in place of XHTML. May 4, 2020 at 17:05

1 Answer 1


DXA 2.1+ provides functionality to map the Tridion Docs XHTML content to Strongly Typed View Models.

You can use this in a classic, server-side MVC architecture, or you can let DXA serialize your Strongly Typed View Models to JSON.

See https://docs.sdl.com/LiveContent/content/en-US/SDL%20DXA-v12/GUID-C08B8794-65FF-4A99-AC4F-C4350C24ECB5


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