The documents referred to are more commonly used by an application or web service rather than by a person. 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.
A research center for document engineering is provided by the University of California, Berkeley .
The closest existing discipline to document engineering is probably business informatics. However, document engineering emphasizes the need for conceptual modeling of documents and processes at a granularity that is implementable.
There are other interpretations of document engineering.
2. Designing a document to meet very specific requirements for clarity or embodiment of rules (you might do document engineering to ensure that regulations or a contract are drafted precisely). So this is generally a focus on a specific document instance. This usage comes from the legal or technical writing perspectives.
3. An ACM conference series that attracts computer scientists who do text or document processing. There is almost no business perspective in this group.