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DITA and S1000D Two Paths to Structured Documentation


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Today, the creation of usable technical documentation is accomplished through through the managed authoring of quality content. Increasingly, that content is being created using structured data, in part due to its unique inherent advantages. This presentation will compare the similarities and differences between two of the most popular XML-based structured data specifications that are being adopted by companies world-wide: DITA and S1000D.

NOTE: This presentation refers to DITA 1.2

Published in: Technology
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DITA and S1000D Two Paths to Structured Documentation

  1. 1. DITA and S1000D Two Paths to Structured Documentation Presented by: Joseph Storbeck Senior Structured Data Analyst
  2. 2. DITA and S1000D Overview Senior Structured Data Analyst - JANA, Inc. Joe is an expert in Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA), and has extensive experience in the use and implementation of structured data products, projects and programs. • During his tenure at IBM, Joe chaired IBM’s DITA Advocates Group, a team of specialists dedicated to supporting the efforts of DITA authors corporation-wide. • Joe was also heavily involved in developing and improving IBM’s DITA conversion guidelines, standards and best practices throughout the migration and development process. • In addition to JANA, Joe has led technical development teams for some of the nation’s largest companies, including IBM, Citibank, and AIG. Bio - Joe Storbeck
  3. 3. DITA and S1000D Overview JANA’s Experience JANA has extensive knowledge and experience related to the creation, revision and publishing of structured data. Our authors and editors have made major contributions to the development of structured data-based manuals and IETMs for several commercial and military aircraft programs, including: • Lockheed C-130 • Airbus A400M • Sikorsky UH-60 • Sikorsky CH-53E • Airbus A350 • Boeing 737 • Boeing 747 • Boeing 757 • Dassault Falcon 7X
  4. 4. DITA and S1000D Overview DITA and S1000D • Overview of the Structured Data Model • DITA Overview • S1000D Overview • Common Features • Differences • Which spec is right for you? • Bridging the Gap • Q&A
  5. 5. DITA and S1000D Structured Data
  6. 6. Structured Data Structured Data Model Travis C. Jan K. Reminder Don't forget me this weekend! Content HEADING 12 point Arial Red Bold FormatStructure note to name from name heading body DITA and S1000D To: Travis C. From: Jan K. Reminder Don’t forget me this weekend!
  7. 7. Structured Data Structured Data Objectives • Minimize costs • Improve quality and timeliness • Provide a standardized means of data exchange DITA and S1000D Companies can choose to implement a structured data strategy for any number of reasons, but most are looking for a way to:
  8. 8. ‘Cover-to-Cover’ Content Strategy XML DocBook XML eBook XML AgXML... Structured Data XML Flexibility DITA and S1000D Paper & PDF Tablets CD-ROM eCommerce Web/HTML/ IETM ‘Topic-based’ Content Strategy XML DITA XML S1000D
  9. 9. DITA and S1000D DITA Overview
  10. 10. DITA Overview DITA Origins DITA was originally created by IBM in the early 2000s. • Ownership was transferred to the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) in 2004. DITA and S1000D
  11. 11. DITA Overview DITAAdoption According to, over 500 companies world-wide have adopted DITA. DITA and S1000D • The majority of companies using DITA are in the software/high-tech sector. • DITA is making significant inroads into the telecommunications, semiconductor and medical device manufacturing industries.
  12. 12. DITA and S1000D S1000D Overview
  13. 13. S1000D Overview S1000D Origins S1000D was originally developed by the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD). DITA and S1000D • Is currently maintained jointly by members of the S1000D Steering Committee and various industry and national defense representatives. • ASD • Aerospace Industries Association • ATA e-Business Program
  14. 14. S1000D Overview S1000D Background Originally designed specifically to manage information related to maintenance and operation of military and civil aircraft. DITA and S1000D • Scope has been expanded to allow for the management of information related to heavy equipment and marine craft.
  15. 15. S1000D Overview S1000D Adoption DITA and S1000D Both the civil aviation industry and North American defense organizations have begun adopting S1000D, extending its use to land, sea and air systems. • S1000D is being used to produce documentation in support of new commercial aircraft, including the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350.
  16. 16. S1000D Overview S1000D Examples DITA and S1000D S1000D examples throughout this presentation are from the sample ‘bicycle’ manual, which is made available to all S1000D users.
  17. 17. DITA and S1000D Common Features
  18. 18. Common Features Benefits DITA and S1000D share similar benefits with all topic-based writing methods: • More consistent data development • Increased production through content sharing and topic reuse • Easier identification and elimination of unimportant or redundant information • Simplified documentation review DITA and S1000D
  19. 19. Common Features Content DITA Topics / S1000D Data Modules DITA and S1000D • DITA topics are grouped into one of three information types: Concept, Task or Reference. • S1000D Data Modules are grouped into one of nine information types: Descriptive, Procedural, Crew/Operator, Fault Information, Maintenance Planning, Illustrated Parts Data, Process, Wiring Data or Business Rules.
  20. 20. Common Features S1000D ID Status DITA and S1000D
  21. 21. Common Features S1000D Content DITA and S1000D
  22. 22. Common Features Data Management & Reuse DITA and S1000D Specific topics are created (containing text and graphic references), and then stored in a Content Management System (CMS) for DITA, and in the Common Source Database (CSDB) for S1000D. • Topics can then be reused and redistributed throughout any number of other projects or publications.
  23. 23. Common Features Common Source Database DITA and S1000D
  24. 24. Common Features Structure and Publication DITA ditamaps / S1000D Publication Modules DITA and S1000D • DITA maps specify hierarchy and the relationships among the topics; they also provide the context in which keys are defined and resolved. • S1000D Publication Modules contain references to data modules, other publication modules, or legacy data of a publication and its structure.
  25. 25. Common Features Publication Module DITA and S1000D
  26. 26. Common Features Profiling DITA ditaval files / S1000D Applicability Modules DITA and S1000D • DITA ditaval files define conditional processing rules for your transforms. • S1000D applicability modules declare conditions or values that are allowed in applicability statements in the content.
  27. 27. Common Features ACT DITA and S1000D
  28. 28. Common Features ACT DITA and S1000D
  29. 29. Common Features CCT DITA and S1000D
  30. 30. Common Features CCT DITA and S1000D
  31. 31. Common Features PCT DITA and S1000D
  32. 32. Common Features PCT DITA and S1000D
  33. 33. Common Features Head to Head Comparison DITA and S1000D FEATURE DITA S1000D Platform-independent Publishing File Management Conditional Processing Open Standard Content Reuse (CMS) (CSDB) Configuration Management Parts Catalog Management
  34. 34. DITA and S1000D Differences
  35. 35. Differences Difference in Complexity S1000D is much more complex than DITA. DITA and S1000D • S1000D requires a CSDB to be fully functional, as there is no built-in function for publish or end-product development • S1000D requires strict definition of complicated business rules • S1000D data modules are assigned a unique, highly structured Data Module Code
  36. 36. S1000DBIKE-AAA-DA0-20-00-00AA-520A-A LocInfo CodeDis CodeSNSModel Code Diff Code 00AA 520ADA0-20-00S1000DBIKE AAA Differences Data Module Code DITA and S1000D A Learn Code (OPT)
  37. 37. Differences Core Differences S1000D suits large, complex, highly structured, long lifecycle programs, especially those that require management of different configurations and replaceable parts. DITA and S1000D • Aircraft • Heavy Equipment / Machinery • Marine Craft
  38. 38. Differences Core Differences DITA is best suited for managing information related to intellectual property-driven products and processes. DITA and S1000D • Software Documentation • Gaming Code • Proprietary Processes
  39. 39. DITA and S1000D Choosing the Right Spec
  40. 40. Differences Choosing the Right Spec DITA and S1000D Use S1000D YES Is there an industry (or program) standard DTD? Use standard DTD YES NO Is there need (or opportunity) for content reuse? Use COTS semantic markup software YES NO Complex project with multiple configurations and/or replaceable parts? Use DITA NO
  41. 41. DITA and S1000D Bridging the Gap
  42. 42. Bridging the Gap The Interoperability Bridge Jean-Jacques Thomasson presented an initiative by the ‘S1000D-DITA Bridge Over Troubled Water’ group at DITA Europe last year. • email : • phone : +33 6 71 90 40 49 DITA and S1000D
  43. 43. Bridging the Gap Specialization Both DITA and S1000D can be specialized to accommodate project parameters which are outside of its scope, but this is not ideal. • DITA specializations can be created to utilize S1000D element names and semantics. • S1000D provides Standardized Numbering Systems (SNS) for a number of extra-spec uses, such as software management. DITA and S1000D
  44. 44. Bridging the Gap Hybrid Approach The two specifications can be used to great effect when each is used as a complement to the other within the same product development program. DITA and S1000D • S1000D is used to manage documentation of the items that you can fly, drive or float. • DITA is used to manage documentation of the data and information (software, processes, etc.) developed to support the program.
  45. 45. Thank you. Q&A Thank you for attending DITA and S1000D: Two Paths to Structured Documentation Feel free to contact Joe with any structured data questions you might have, and be sure to check out his DITA blog! • email : • phone : (210) 616-0083 • blog : DITA and S1000D