Options for authoring S1000D
with Mekon Eclipse
The S1000D specification has been developed to help organisations produce consistent interoperable content to support a multitude of platform types, on long-life aerospace and defence programs. To meet these requirements the content makes use of semantic rich standards using extensible mark-up language (XML).
What does this mean for the author?
As an author, you typically require a greater understanding of the document architecture and benefit from dedicated tools designed to help you simplify the creation of content that complies with the chosen standard. In conjunction with our partners we can provide a choice of tools for both authoring and output together with the training and consultancy necessary to make the most effective use of the solution you choose.
Creating and editing S1000D data modules
In the industry today there are two leading editors that most customers use for structured authoring. Adobe FrameMaker uniquely gives a WYSIWYG authoring experience which is popular for newcomers to the structured authoring world, or those used to environments such as Microsoft Word or Adobe InDesign. Arbortext Editor brings a more ‘tag’ driven editor experience equally popular across the industry. To give our customers true flexibility in the choice of editor experience and IT architecture, Mekon has developed plugin extensions to support ATA 2200 and S1000D in both these editors.
Compliant data modules for all S1000D Issues
Over time, the capability of the S1000D specification has developed starting with Issue 1 in the 1990s through to Issue 5 release at the User Forum in 2019. Quite often the version used at the start of a program is maintained throughout its life. To support your need for multi-version authoring, Mekon offers customer S1000D authoring applications for both Adobe FrameMaker and PTC Arbortext that cover all issues of the standard from Issue 1.6 (the first ‘released’ version) through to Issue 4.2, with 5.0 being released this year. Regular updates to our software are released to continually enhance the authoring experience and add features to support amendments or new Issues to the spec as they are needed. Using either of these tools, users can be assured of creating and editing data modules which are compliant S1000D with no extra mark-up.
The applications are configurable to support multiple business rules sets for different projects. Switching between these configurations is automatic and driven by the ‘modelic’ part of the Data Module Code. The configuration files can be located on a network drive which allows several users to access the same information. In this way consistency of information is ensured.
The applications are supplied ready configured to use the default S1000D Business Rules and additional configurations are included to support authoring to ATA S1000D BR, Airbus A350 and A400M requirements.
The Mekon Eclipse IPD Generator provides a tool for converting to the required mark-up and comes in two editions for S1000D and for ATA iSpec2200. A map is created to associate content from a spreadsheet (CSV format) to the required mark-up and this can then be used to generate the required mark-up from any spreadsheet with the same layout.
Both solutions can be used as standalone applications or in conjunction with a S1000D Common Source Database (CSDB). Our new Mekon notusCSDB is fully integrated with the Eclipse editors, simplifying inserting of common information, creating cross-references and adding figures. However, Eclipse can integrate with most commercial CSDB system and provide a similar level of integration.
Data Reference Manager
A CSDB may not be needed in every situation. Where it isn’t appropriate, the Mekon application has its own Data Reference Manager. This database stores and enables rapid and accurate insertion of:
The Data Reference Manager can be populated with data loaded from spreadsheets or entered manually and multiple sets of data can be created for separate projects and accessed automatically. The associated database files can be located on a network drive to allow several users to have access to the same information thus ensuring consistency of information.
The Mekon Eclipse BookBuild application provides the user with the capability to compile a conventional book format publication from S1000D Data Modules. The structure of the can be configured by the user or imported via a Publication Module.
BookBuild can automatically generate Indexes, Acronyms, List of Highlights, List of Effective Data Modules, etc. A front page can be generated or the S1000D Front Material Data Modules can be used.
The production of an Interactive Electronic Technical Publication (IETP) can be provided using tools provided from Mekon partners. These tools provide a full function IETP using a proprietary viewer technology or as standard HTML for use with any browser.
For more information, see the useful links above, or contact Mekon.