The data modules in a CSDB are the basic information units for a document. Each one contains a particular topic or procedure related to the equipment. Data modules contain text as well as references to any illustrations, multimedia objects, or other data that are related to that text. (The illustrations and multimedia objects are not stored in the data module itself, but rather referenced as with an HTML page.)
Each module in a project CSDB is unique. If the same text or graphic is repeated within a document or another publication on that project, that module can be reused as many times as needed. This means that information that is likely to repeat should be in its own module (as long as it is a complete set of information, e.g., a repair procedure, and is completely self-contained). Then in the publication, it can be combined with other modules containing new information.
A goal of S1000D is to eventually permit data modules to be used by other projects and even other services since a data module may be appropriate for more than one program.
Parts of a Data Module
All data modules use the same basic two-section structure.
Identification and status contains all the information needed to manage a module and the data contained in it—the metadata.
- The identification segment contains identification and address information. The identification portion, which is unique, includes the data module code, language, and issue information. The address portion includes the issue date and the data module title.
- The status segment contains data such as security classification, responsible partner company and originator, applicability (effectivity), quality assurance status, data restrictions (export control, distribution, etc.), and the reason for any update that was performed.
Together, the two segments make it possible to control a module’s retrieval, to automatically compile sets of information, and to manage quality control; as well as provide applicability and other information to users. Note that the contents of identification and status govern the whole data module, so its applicability, classification, and other requirements must always be appropriate for all of the module’s content; whatever the individual content segment’s applicabilities or classifications may be.
Content contains the text (and links to the illustrations or multimedia objects) that is presented to the user. The structure and elements of this segment of a data module are dictated by the type of data module selected and its schema.
The content selection matrix dictates the type of content that is required by a project. The maintenance plan and the complexity of the equipment itself will dictate the level of detail required in each data module. Information Codes (ICs) must be identified that match the contents of each data module (in most cases the content selection matrices dictate the IC that must be used).
For additional details on data modules and how they are created and used, consider registering for one of our training courses.