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Case Studies

Delivering customer success since 1981

Technologies Used

  • automated software 

  • customized tools

  • XML

  • S1000D

 

Project highlights

  • Independent 3rd-party content audit

  • Software customization for testing and feedback to ensure structural accuracy and content quality

“This project was the manufacturer’s largest-ever legacy conversion project to the complex S1000D standard. It proved so successful that the Air Force, an initial catalyst in this project, is in early development stages on other projects to mimic its achievement.

 

A common obstacle in content conversion is a hesitancy to invest in the process. When considering a conversion project, proper analysis, QA, and the right balance between automation and manual review should be considered. Tapping the expertise of a conversion specialist saves time in the long run, and produces a better final product."

 

-Naveh Greenberg, Director, US Defense Development, DCL

United States Air Force

Automated Auditing of S1000D Aircraft Manuals

Keywords: S1000D, technical documentation, QA audit, legacy conversion

Background

A manufacturer working with the Air Force, recognized it did not have an efficient process to update its PDF documents, which were published from SGML. Staff members were manually updating content in multiple places. It was time-consuming, impractical, and not scalable. Converting to extensible markup language (XML) using the S1000D international standard for technical manual publications was a solution.

It was the largest conversion ever to the S1000D standard, comprising hundreds of thousands of pages of the OEM manual of an aircraft that the Air Force uses. Post conversion, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) wanted an independent audit of its first-ever legacy conversion to S1000D. 

Solution

DCL was selected to audit the resulting S1000D content. For the audit, DCL created automated software tools that saved the Air Force time and money and provided testing and feedback to assure accuracy and quality.

Working with the manufacturer, DCL developed customized quality assurance (QA) software to optimize conversion results for the manuals. The software was subject to rigorous testing and refining, requiring regular meetings with the manufacturer and the Air Force to update progress and discuss tweaks to maximize its efficacy.

Part of the quality control (QC) effort involved monitoring the automated processes and normalizing content where necessary to ensure a uniform process. DCL customized a QA process and tools that would optimize the results, allowing the creation of reports that:

  • Identify redundant content

  • Identify typos in data

  • Identify missed or incorrectly tagged cross references

  • Provide visibility into element mapping

  • Check tagging structure completeness (for example, that table structure was fully tagged)

  • Check content tagging validity (proper alert tagging, placement)

Results

The extensive feedback from DCL’s QA processes helped the aerospace manufacturer streamline and validate its process for updating technical manuals and facilitated the smooth conversion of the more than 140,000 pages to XML, replacing the PDF library.

 

Benefits of the S1000D environment include:

  • Faster, more accurate content sustainment

  • Ability to release change-only packages, instead of entire publications

  • More searchable, usable data

  • Ability to incorporate interactive capabilities

  • Ability to use content to populate an interactive electronic technical manual (IETM), software that allows users to navigate through multiple manuals efficiently and access part numbers, related procedures, and preliminary requirements quickly

The process produced 40,000 modules, each representing a logical breakdown (trouble-shooting, maintenance, etc.). These modules are searchable and can be extensively repurposed. The data require fewer pages, and updates can occur simultaneously across all relevant content.