notusCSDB – CSDB for S1000D authoring teams

notusCSDB is an all new way of providing a CSDB for S1000D authoring teams. It is fast, lightweight and simple to use. You can have your S1000D project up and running in less than a day. notusCSDB doesn’t lack key features, but we built it to be intuitive to use, and to provide just enough assistance when you need it. With its clean dashboard and clear division of functionality between user roles, your S1000D authoring team will thank you for choosing notusCSDB for your S1000D projects.

Light weight

notusCSDB gives managers and authors just the functions they need to manage S1000D projects. Easy workflow and monitoring is ideal for small teams. Don’t get bogged down in complicated processes

Fast

Get up and running quickly. Use our secure hosted solution and start straightaway. Alternatively, run a server yourself if you need your data kept on site. Import your project and you are ready to start authoring

Clear

We know CSDBs can be really complicated. We keep the screens clear with simple functions. Easily see the documents in your work-stream. Customise your dashboard for how you want to work

simple

notusCSDB is intuitive to use and easy to use means easy to learn. Everything you need is in one dashboard. Roles and groups mean allocation of work is easy. Administration is kept to a minimum

Everything you need from a S1000D CSDB

Built from the ground up to support S1000D authoring projects

S1000D CSDBs shouldn’t cost the earth!

We know producing data is expensive. Those costs can rapidly spiral if you have the wrong tools, or the tools you have make life difficult. The quicker you can get up and running on a new system, the less money is wasted.

We built notusCSDB to be:

~ quick and easy to install

~ quick and easy to learn

~ quick and easy to manage

By minimizing your adoption time and costs we maximize your return on investment. Integration with Mekon’s Eclipse range of S1000D authoring solutions can also speed up authoring and minimize errors, further enhancing your production.

Getting started with a CSDB in S1000D

What is a Common Source Database?

A common source database, or CSDB is used to store the items that go to make up the project’s documentation data. So this may include, data modules, illustrations or multimedia, common information and management information. S1000D does not define a CSDB in detail; instead, it defines the objectives for a CSDB:

~ support the technical publication process
~ support the controlled authoring
~ support the QA process
~ support the data exchange with partners, suppliers and customers
~ support the delivery of technical publications on various media independent from the source storage format

Why does my authoring team need a CSDB?

There are several reasons you may need a CSDB, but you also need to look at the type of CSDB. Start by thinking about your project:

Are you producing S1000D data modules for just one component, or for a whole product?

A product might be an aircraft, a ship, or any type of product that needs lots of complex documentation. We use S1000D to document our software products as it helps save us time when updating components. The bigger the project the more items that will need documenting. The more complex the documentation the more you will need a CSDB to manage the modules and version.

How many data modules do you need to produce and manage?

If it is just a few data modules and ICNs you may get away with a folder in a file system. However, think about author control, version management, links between different modules and media content. All these add complexity to managing your data modules. A CSDB should help you both manage the content and the processes – for example authors checking in documents, a formal review system and history tracking.

Does your prime manufacturer require you to use a CSDB for S1000D?

If you are producing S1000D data for someone else, for example when your component is installed in their product, they may require you to use a CSDB. There are added benefits to this – your project rules, numbering, and delivery can all be synchronised with the Prime, helping you deliver to specification first time round. Saving re-work saves money.

Will you have multiple authors or authoring teams working on the documentation?

One of the hardest things without a management tool, is monitoring workflow. Who is working on each data module? Who has spare capacity? Who has done the review and Quality Assurance work? Are your data modules (and all their linked content) ready to issue / deliver?

Why do I need Mekon?

Industry experience

Mekon have worked with several CSDBs over the years, supporting customers to manage their S1000D content in an efficient way. Many of these CSDBs are very sophisticated and capable, but that brings complexity and a high price tag. Having spoken to many component manufacturers, where often smaller teams are managing the authoring process, we have identified the need for a lower cost, easy to deploy CSDB to end the struggle to justify the large budget and complexity of other systems.

A solution that fits the problem

In response to this need we have developed notusCSDB using a tried and tested CMS platform. This light weight system has all the functionality needed to manage your S1000D content but without the high price tag and complex setup found with the larger systems on the market. We did not want to produce yet another complicated, high-end S1000D CSDB just because we could. For us, it is always about solving real life problems. All this is backed by the high standard of support provided by Mekon’s in-house support team.

notusCSDB for S1000D – key features:

All S1000D versions

notusCSDB support every version of S1000D from 1.6 to 4.2, in both XML and SGML formats. Each project is assigned a primary version, which drives which data module types, codification and BREX rules are available for the creation of new assets. However, a project can contain any DM from any version of S1000D. This can be particularly helpful with migration or upgrade projects.

Multiple independent databases

Completely separate databases with their own user accounts for isolating test or training files from production files or for content that requires separation on the grounds of security, e.g. ITAR.

Separate projects within each database

All projects within a database can be accessed by all users that have access to that database, allowing for flexibility when assigning users to projects and teams.

Bulk import and export including from S1000D Data Module Lists

Content can be loaded using a DML to specify the DMs to be added. Existing files and related media will be imported. Assets with no associated files will be created as metadata records for later populating in the CSDB (i.e. for creating new DMs required by the project DML).

Import and export is available from and to the file system and can include related items to simplify management. Select a publication module for export, and every data module and media item can automatically be exported together.

SNS management

A Standard Numbering Scheme (SNS) is displayed so that the system breakdown can be used as a reference and a filter for DM listings and for creating new data module codes or illustration control numbers.

Several SNS tools are provided: import SNS from a BREX Data Module that contains SNS rules or from a local XML file, automatically create SNS structure from the content’s data module codes, or manually edit, add and delete SNS entries.

Work assignment and workflow automation

Customisable roles and groups provide many options for the control of workflow, allocation of sensitive tasks, and monitoring of progress. A manager can assign assets (data modules and illustrations) for editing to specific individuals or to groups. Users’ primary dashboards show only work they need to complete. When assigning work to a group, anyone in that pool can pick up the item to work on as soon as they are free. Much of the workflow assignment, eg review allocation and re-work return, is automatic.

Check out, check in, version control

notusCSDB automatically manages issue and in-work version control. As you check out items, local working copies are created and maintained until check in. In-work numbers update automatically on subsequent check out/check in. The manager can over-ride a check out if necessary to re-assign work to different team members. All previous issues are maintained in the CSDB, and rollback is available to an earlier version.

Eclipse tools integration

notusCSDB works seamlessly with Mekon’s Eclipse S1000D authoring tools in both Adobe FrameMaker and PTC Arbortext. You can look up and insert data module references, ICNs, common information and applicability all from your project files in notusCSDB without leaving the authoring tool.

Visual Publication Module builder

The S1000D authoring tools include a built-in visual Publication Module builder. This is incredibly useful when you can simply drag and drop DMs from the asset grid onto the publication structure. The latest S1000D options including the pmEntryType attribute are supported. The PM can then be used to support the export and build of your publication, whether in a traditional book-build or PDF style manual, or into an electronic style IETP / IETM.

Built-in viewer

notusCSDB has a built-in web viewer for displaying data modules and ICNs. DMs are rendered in html for a fast view of the content without the need to export or open an external viewer. The viewer can also display most media types, including host-spotted CGMs.

Data Module review

A simplified QA process allows for two stages of review as defined in S1000D. The reviewer adds comments on either a blank form or review templates using an internal wysiwyg editor. The CSDB stores the form with the DM or ICN. These comments are then available to the author when re-working the content. Form templates can be project-specific or database-wide for all projects.

Attachments can also be added to, and stored with any asset. This allows for the uploading of work instructions, external review certificates, and many other purposes.

Related Item display

notusCSDB tracks references to and from any given asset, which are displayed on the dashboard. This makes it incredibly simple to confirm links, update related content and manage the effects of any change.

Governance

Governance of data can be crucial in the lifecycle of a product. Ensuring that properly qualified and authorised persons have worked on and reviewed the content is critical. As well as making it easy to manage review and setting of verification levels for the data modules, notusCSDB also keeps a history of who by and when every critical action was taken in the lifecycle, for both DMs and ICNs.

notusCSDB brings S1000D and manageability together.

Without the cost!

If you would like a demonstration, or a free trial of notusCSDB, hit the button and fill in our short contact form. We will be in touch to see how we can help.

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Get a free trial of notusCSDB now

notusCSDB for S1000D trial

If you would like to find out more about how notusCSDB could fit in your environment, we would be happy to speak to you. We can run an online demonstration, then if you would like to know more we can set up a free trial for you using our securely-hosted notusCSDB trial platform. You and your team can try out the system for 30 days either using the S1000D 'Bike Pack' sample data we provide, or your own test data if you wish to upload that. The trial is fully functional in every respect.

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