RDBMS Information Systems

Subject: RDBMS Information Systems
From: Stuart Burnfield <slb -at- FS -dot- COM -dot- AU>
Date: Fri, 7 Jun 1996 16:32:30 +0800

Charles Cantrell <chc -at- ONTARIO -dot- COM> wrote:
> 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...

The fellow who sold me Frame showed me a University handbook he'd just
produced as a contract job. This sort of information is notoriously
subject to last-minute changes, and the handbook is always overdue even
before the course information is ready.

Ed was able to prepare everything ahead of time, using various Frame
features (templates, book files, MML, fmbatch). When the data finally
arrived, producing a master was literally a pushbutton affair. Frame
chugged away for a while, pouring data via MML into the predefined
templates. The ~250 page handbook was at the printers within a day or
so of the data being ready.

I don't think he was exaggerating at all. He knew I wasn't in the market
for his services, and I'd alreday bought Frame from him. I think he was
just really chuffed at how well it had turned out.

> I understand that Information Systems has a product called Basis, which
> is supposed to present extracted info using a web browser environment...

It's a small step from producing a single paper master to allowing
prospective students to download a custom handbook showing only the
courses they're interested in.

Stuart Burnfield (slb -at- fs -dot- com -dot- au) What's next after tech. writing?
Functional Software Pty Ltd "He who is tired of TW is tired of life."

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