Tuesday, November 26, 2019

More Small Apps for S1000D Users

Not long ago I indicated that Mekon had introduced a number of standalone applications which makes working with parts of the S1000D Specification a little less painful. Then I introduced the Assisted DDN creation and Assisted IPD creation tools. This time I am introducing two more:
  • Publication Module Generator
  • BREX Checker

Publication Module Generator

There are an increasing number of projects that require a Publication Module as one of the deliverables. Some CSDB applications provide this facility as part of the functionality. But as we have often discussed, for a large numbers of Technical Publication Sub-contractors the cost of a CSDB is outside the budget. To provide a means of creating a Publication Module Mekon has introduced a Standalone Application. Currently it only works with Issue 4+ Data Modules but with the increasing user base being limited to these Issues of S1000D this, for some, is not a problem.

There are several publication content requirements provided by the S1000D Specification which are related to publication types. These can be used to provide a guide to the structure and content required for a specific task. In the S1000D Specification these types of publications are referred to as Information Sets and information is provided for Air Specific and Land/Sea specific content and structures (Chapter 5.3 of S1000D Specification).
In more recent times Aircraft Industries Association (AIA) has released a specification for the iSpec CMP documents.

The Publication Module Generator can work with any of these requirements. It is provided with templates for the AIA work.

Population of the Publication module can either be Data Module-by-Data Module or in bulk determined by the user. Of course once the Data Modules have been imported they will need to be rearranged within the application to give the required structure. The attributes of the PMEntry elements can be edited to agree with the requirements of the specific specification.

BREX Checker

Having created the data modules for a specific project it is important to be sure that the deliverable conforms to the project business rules. These rules should be in two forms:
  • Written document fully explaining each rule
  • Business Rules Exchange (BREX) module
It is often difficult to be sure that the data modules do indeed conform to the business rules and to help in this task Mekon has produce a Brex Checker application.

The user 'loads' the Brex into the checker and points the tool at an individual data module or a folder of data modules. The result is a report which details any deviation from the rules. Of course the user needs to go through the data modules one by one to correct and deviation from the rules.

The Mekon Eclipse S1000D application is provided with the necessary functionality to create both ATA and A350 CMM compliant data modules. This ability should result in a report giving the batch a clean bill of health. Currently the Eclipse application is provided with the ability for the user to conform with both the ATA and Airbus A350 rules.

Why not try these applications?

Why not contact Mekon and have a trial of these applications? Mekon can provide them with temporary licences which limit them to a short period e.g. 30 days.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Small Apps for S1000D Users

Very very rarely do I ever push applications which Mekon has on its shelves but on this occasion I thought that I would flag up some useful stuff. Our clients are from a wide range of sizes from the large corporate to the much smaller one or two person band. All are equally important to us but our smaller clients often operate with a distinct disadvantage in that they cannot afford an S1000D compliant CSDB. Of course the functionality of the various CSDBs can be considerably different.

Without a CSDB there are a number of functions which have not been available to them. For a start I mention just two of them and provide just a little bit more information about them.
  • Assisted Data Despatch Note creation
  • Assisted Illustrated Parts Data creation

Assisted DDN Creation

The creation of a Data Desptach Note can be a fiddly occupation usuallly requiring the copying of filenames and then some serach and replace to get the various elements wrapped round the data. As part of the Product Improvement practice that we undertake from time to time we decided to incorporate this within our standard S1000D Editor application. Such a little thing but it makes a huge difference to the day to day running of S1000D projects.

Assisted Illustrated Parts Data Creation

I remember as if it was yesterday when the IPD data module DTD was released. At that time I was involved in a UK Navy project migrating existing parts lists into S1000D. Although we were heavily involved in S1000D Feasibility Studies for the UK MoD the powers that be would not release the DTD to us even though we were also heavily involved in S1000D specification work (even creating one of the Data Module types). I think we were horrified when we saw the DTD in a Visual DTD application. It was explained to us that it was to be a mechanism to send data from one S2000M user to another.

Is it any wonder then that the Business Rules associated with several projects that we have seen over the last three or four years have clearly stated the the Illustrated Parts Data Module should not be created by hand.

So what do you do? You create a  standalone application which enables you to create the IPD Data Module using an enhanced output from a parts data base The enhanced output is a spreadsheet file of the parts data. All databases can output spreadsheet files as a report on a table.

Mekon has provided a short series of videos which show how this application works.

Mekon also have a similar application for the ATA iSpec2200 Illustrated Parts List specification.