I'm filling out a VPAT for our company's product and having some difficulty understanding the terminology. Our product is an integration tool for flowing data between different systems. The frontend is web-based, while the backend is all JAVA. The tool allows users to create and manage integrations, which are represented in the web UI. Does this constitute "web content", and thereby make our product an "authoring tool"? I've been able to find some definitions of "authoring tool" but not much for "web content". I'm having a really hard time finding out where to draw the line.

1 Answer 1


I do my company VPAT's, but we are SaaS so I always fall under "web content".

From my understanding though, if your product is created to let others create things, then it would be considered an authoring tool. I added the w3c link to the bottom if you are interested.

From your description, it seems like you would be considered "web content" because your users aren't really creating UI elements or web pages themselves.

You just need to make sure that when a user creates something, the UI elements you provide are accessible to the user.

w3c Authoring Tools Definition

w3c Autoring Tool Guidelines

According to w3c authoring tools are defined by these:

  • web page authoring tools (e.g. WYSIWYG HTML editors)
  • software for directly editing source code
  • software for converting to web content technologies (e.g. "Save as HTML" features in office document applications)
  • integrated development environments (e.g. for web application development)
  • software that generates web content on the basis of templates, scripts, command-line input, or "wizard"-type processes
  • software for rapidly updating portions of web pages (e.g. blogging, wikis, online forums)
  • software for generating/managing entire websites (e.g. content management systems, courseware tools, content aggregators)
  • email clients that send messages using web content technologies
  • multimedia authoring tools
  • software for creating mobile web applications

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