ARDOS Publisher

The Challenge

Next to marketing brochures and company presentations, even technical documentation underlies the corporate identity too. That is why the technical documentation should always “look the same” throughout the projects. This requirement can easily be achieved with the use of SGML and XML and the associated separation of layout and content. In addition, other demands concerning the implementation of specifications, legal regulations or corporate rules exist for all projects, i.e. for old and current projects. Every technical writer is aware of the problems that occur when a project is almost completed and new requirements have to be implemented in the current documentation. And all that has to be accomplished when the technical documentation had already been edited with many different page formats, paragraph formats, etc. This is where the technical writer is looking for a fast and customizable solution.

Our Approach

Since the aircraft industry demands structured documentation, we already write our documentation either in the SGML format in accordance with iSpec 2200 or in the XML format in accordance with S1000D. To efficiently implement the above-mentioned requirements, it is only reasonable - beside the separation of layout and content - to avoid using layout-based methods (e.g. DTP programs with XML/SGML extensions) or FOSI-based technology to compile the technical documentation.
ARDOS uses XSL (Extensible Stylesheet Language) to publish the structured documentation. During this process, a modular approach is used: XSLT for transformation processes and XSL-FO for formatting instructions. At the same time, we are capable of customizing all documents whereby the technical writer does not need knowledge in programming. ARDOS adds the XSL-FO elements to the SGML/XML document with all graphics and then transmits it to the XSL processor (currently XSL Formatter by Antennahouse). All graphics are imported into the document in their respective size. Afterwards, the graphic sizes are automatically assigned, the associated letter or fold-out pages are selected and the corresponding “Intentionally Left Blank” pages are inserted. A configuration file that is included in the ARDOS process defines all parameters required for the publishing of the PDF file. We are currently capable of customizing over 200 different parameters of the technical documentation with the configuration file. With that the technical documentation can meet even the most diverse requirements:

  • Different fonts
  • Incorporate logos at the same place throughout the whole document
  • Import other data bases (tools, materials etc.)
  • View/hide various indexes
  • Change the layout
  • Customize the PDF properties
  • View/hide specific SGML/XML elements in the PDF
  • Relocate elements in the PDF
  • Generate different indexes (numerical index, list of effective pages etc.)
  • Set revision markers consistently throughout the whole document (in the LEP and the corresponding pages)

and much more!

The modular approach of the style sheets used in ARDOS allows for a fast implementation of other document types, if required. The ARDOS publisher supports a wide range of ATA iSpec documentation, and especially documentation according to the latest S1000D specifications:

  • CMM – Component Maintenance Manual
    • SGML DTD Version 5.1, 6, 6.1, 7, 7.1, 8, 9, 10, 11 und 12
      Please note: Beside the ARDOS DTD, the ATA DTD/S1000D DTD is supported as well for all documents
  • ACMM – Abbreviated Component Maintenance Manual
  • SB – Service Bulletin
  • SIL – Service Information Letter
  • CRM – Component Repair Manual
  • FRM/FIM – Fault Recovery Manual/Fault Isolation Manual
  • AMM – Aircraft Maintenance Manual (Supplement)
  • IPC – Illustrated Parts Catalog (Supplement)
  • OM – Operation Manual
  • CLM – Cargo Loading Manual
  • OSMM – Operation and System Maintenance Manual
  • GEM – Ground Equipment Manual
  • UM – User Manual
  • SPM – Standard Practices Manual
  • WDM (AWM) – Wiring Diagram Manual (Aircraft Wiring Manual)
  • Diverse S1000D Datenmodule nach v.2.3
  • Diverse S1000D Datenmodule nach v.4.0
  • Diverse S1000D Datenmodule nach v.4.1

The following video presents a range of configuration parameters possible for the publishing of the technical documentation.

With the usage of the ARDOS Publisher, you are capable of:

  • implementing different formatting requirements,
  • complying with the different end customer requirements (Airbus/Boeing) or
  • complying with the different client requirements as contractor!
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