In Part 1 of the Shortfall Series we introduced the topic of educating our Managers on what they need to know about S1000D to ensure you achieve the most from the technology. In Part 2 we discussed that the first and essential item to a solid implementation of S1000D is the BREX or Business Rules EXchange data module and Part 3 we reviewed the benefits and purpose of utilizing Common Information Repositories (CIRs) as soon as you kick off your S1000D Project. In Part 4 we discussed what you need to know about stylesheets for your S1000D Project.
In this weeks’ discussion we are looking at Applicability.
The purpose of Applicability is to provide a method of identifying information that is specific to a variant of your asset that you are writing the documentation about. At the commencement of your project you need to identify if applicability will be used and if it will be used, how will it be implemented.
There are different ways that you can implement applicability. The options available are:
- Data Module Codes;
- Defining a Data Module only relates to a specific variant;
- Defining a Data Module to contain multiple pieces of information.
The Business Rules Management Team need to document how the applicability is to be implemented into the project and This information needs to be clearly documented into the Projects Business Rules including markup for the applicability.
Let’s look at the 3 different options above.
- Data Module Codes – by using this method the Data Module Code for the content will determine the information that is included within it. This will mean that when looking at the Data Module Code you will be able to identify which variant of the content you are working on.
- Data Module relates to a specific variant – this will mean that the whole Data Module relates to a specific variant. You may be able to identify this by the Data Module Code but the its more common that when opening the Data Module you will be able to see the information.
- Data Module contains multiple pieces of information – this is the most complex option to consider but may end up being the most economical. With the two previous options you may end up with duplicate content. With this option the applicability identification is applied to the content. The lowest element that this can be applied to is a para element. Authors must make sure that they clearly look at the content to make sure that they are updating the correct piece of information.
Implementing the third option can provide the most flexibility as you only have one file that contains information for output to multiple deliveries, however the author needs to be very aware of the applicability that has been implemented into the data while they are authoring.
The management team need to consider all options and determine if using applicability, the best method for using it and then clearly documenting that in the Business Rules.