RDBMS Information Systems

Subject: RDBMS Information Systems
From: Charles Cantrell <chc -at- ONTARIO -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 6 Jun 1996 09:08:08 -0500

One of the issues that is I think is (or will be) becoming of importance in
the field of technical communication is the "automatic" creation of
technical documents, constructed from a database of "content" by scripts
and other processing tools.

These tools extract and format the information, based on the needs and
objectives the "information consumer." For example, a service tech needing
to repair a machine would be able to pull up the particular service
procedure on-line from the control of that machine. That service procedure
would be constructed "on the fly" for the particular machine being
repaired, and would have machine-specific part numbers, steps and so on,
depending on some identifying factor, such as a machine serial number.

Another technician with a problem with different symptoms and a different
machine would be presented a different sequence of steps and different part
numbers to effect the repair.

Are any of you aware of individuals currently working at constructing these
kinds of information systems or developing tools for this kind of effort?

Have any of you had any experience with these kinds of systems, or seen
documents that were produced with such systems? Do you have experience with
setting up such a system?

I understand that Information Systems has a product called Basis, which is
supposed to present extracted info using a web browser environment.
However, I have not seen a demo of this.

If you have experience with any of this, please contact me directly at
chc -at- ontario -dot- com or 317-751-7000.

I will produce a digest of all suitable responses. TIA.

Charles Cantrell
chc -at- ontario -dot- com

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