Legacy Data – a Controllable Nightmare
A huge advantage in aviation are aircraft programs that run for more than 40 years. That is a benefit for vendors, manufacturers, spare part productions, material support, etc. But for the preparation of technical documentation, this benefit often becomes a nightmare. In many cases, the technical documentation has been compiled several years ago and since its generation, a lot of things have changed: Operating systems have changed, the text processing software either does not exist anymore or the past version is no longer compatible with the current version, source data can no longer be processed etc. These are all reasons that show how important it is to work with the platform-independent and revision-proof XML/SGML format. Budgets for such old topics will certainly not be available except for production or spare part matters. For that reason, there is always a demand for an affordable migration solution of such legacy data. That excludes a costly complete new revision or the time-consuming comparison of different software programs that can handle the raw data of many years ago. Since the start of our business, we have had to deal with these migration efforts as well which is why we have developed our software module ARDOS PDF2XML.
With the ARDOS PDF2XML module we have created a uniform interface that converts such legacy data from PDF files into structured documentation. In our case, the converted XML structure is also compatible with the ARDOS Author. During the conversion process, it might happen that some part of the structure “gets lost” and that there is a certain amount of rework for the migration. But with such a conversion, it is possible to save at least about 60 to 90% of the time that is usually needed for standard copy and paste mechanisms of individual sentences. After the conversion, the textual content of the document is already separated into its respective elements and a large part of the structure is already properly organized as well. How much of the PDF contents can be converted into usable XML structures also depends on the quality of the source file. In the past those PDF files were not written in XML/SGML and thus realize the ATA iSpec rules and structures differently.
The following videos display the function of our ARDOS PDF2XML module. Even otherwise inaccessible content and texts that cannot be copied can be migrated with this module.