there are two major requirements to (re)use content:
- you need a business object the content belongs to
otherwise it is impossible to identify existing content and determine if this content is worth to use
- you need a well defined information type the content belongs to
only if you know what type of content you have to create allows you to identify if it may already exist
if existing content is created for the same business object and for the same information type as the new content you have to create.
to extend this scenario you can deviate your content from existing one if either the business object or information type is also derivate from the content you intend to use.
to derivate a test case from corresponding use case is obvious and valid as long as the business object both belonging to are the same. if a certain engine exists in three variants each derivate from a common building block the corresponding content is obvious also valid to use and derivate.
as you see usage of content requires both knowledge and connection to the business and to the content itself.
because of this many (re)use scenario fails in the real world (look into your own domain -- do you satisfy with your content (re)use?)
if you look at the two dimension enables usage of content you might understand that in many cases the usage of content between companies might be higher than the usage of content within one company. in many cases competitors dealing with similar business objects and information types beside different departments within one company might not.
this means that if the information types are not critical for a certain domain cross domain usage of content will become a possibility once the information itself is interchangeable (thats a topic for its own).
usage of translation is one of the most obvious scenario for cross company usage. because translation becomes more and more a cost center but is also a business driver the usage of common translation memories between companies working in the same domain is of course thinkable. content already translated for nokia might be used by sony as well, same is true for BMW and Daimler.
the "Language Data Exchange Portal" shows how this might work. each member provides content and funding and can participate from the complete pool of data available. as better the content is classified as better the results each company has......more to come?