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CapStone™ S1000D Productivity Suite

As I mentioned in our last blog, we are in the process of developing a new S1000D productivity Suite called CapStone™. CapStone represents what we are referring to as the “second generation” of S1000D applications. The first generation of tools were worried about storage and retrieval of documents. While storage and retrieval is indeed important, it is a fairly trivial challenge in the IT world. In order to make an S1000D environment truly robust and usable, additional features are required. CapStone will include the following individually available components:

  • DecisionPoint™ – For Business Rules Management and BREX generation
  • DMRL Manager
    • SNS management
    • Information code management
    • DMC (Data Module Code) component management
    • DMRL (Data Module Requirements List) management and generation
  • Applicability Manager
    • ACT, PCT, and CCT management
    • Field updates
  • Publication Manager

An interesting feature of CapStone is that it can sit on top of any existing S1000D CSDB, or database (Oracle, SQL, etc.). If you have a site license for Oracle and want to turn it into an S1000D CSDB…great! If you already have a first generation S1000D CSDB and need a more robust environment to make it work the way you need it, CapStone will fit the bill. In addition, we are building integrations to other “S” Standards, including:

  • S3000L
  • S2000M
  • S4000M
  • S5000F

We anticipate debuting CapStone™ S1000D Productivity Suite at the AIA-Joint Services Technical Publications workshop, May 12-13 in Clearwater, FL. We hope you will join us. We also plan on attending the S1000D User Forum, June 6-8 in Montreal, CA. Of course, if you want a preview before then or are interested in becoming one of the first customers, contact us and we will make it happen!

–Rick Schochler

Happy New Year!

Happy 2011! I managed to avoid (once again) having to eat a spoonful of black eyed peas (a New Years tradition in my part of the world that I am not particularly fond of) and am ready to tackle the new year. This year is an exciting one for us at Crowell and I wanted to share some of the highlights of 2010, as well as upcoming events for 2011.

2010

In 2010, we saw the roll-out of our first application. We initially developed DecisionPoint™ (www.s1000ddecision.com) as a means of solving an immediate problem:

How do companies quickly and effectively develop S1000D business rules?

DecisionPoint™

DecisionPoint has since grown to not only take on the task of developing business rules, but creating and managing BREX documents as well. DecisionPoint is the manifestation of what everyone in the S1000D community is realizing: S1000D business rules are “living”, “changing” things. As such, they need to be stored and managed in a manner that allows for easy update and dissemination. Although it will certainly continue to be available for individual purchase, in 2011, DecisionPoint is becoming one part of CapStone™, our new S1000D Productivity Suite…but more on that later.

Services

Of course we are, at our core, still a services company. We enjoyed many successful projects this year and look forward to even more in 2011. If you have not met us, ask around. We are confident enough in our reputation that we do not employ a sales staff. Instead, we rely on our reputation and word of mouth.  We look forward to continuing to serve our existing customers in 2011 and adding new customers to our growing list of references.

2011

As for 2011, we have a lot on our plate.

CapStone™ S1000D Productivity Suite

We are developing a new S1000D productivity suite called CapStone™. CapStone represents what we are referring to as the “second generation” of S1000D applications. The first generation of tools were worried about storage and retrieval of documents. While storage and retrieval is indeed important, it frankly, is a fairly trivial challenge in the IT world. In order to make an S1000D environment truly robust and usable, additional features are required. More details to come…

Well, that’s my update for this new year. Here’s to a great year and our combined and continued success!

— Rick Schochler

New Customer Support Tools

Crowell Solutions is committed to providing the highest-quality of service to our customers. We are pleased to announce a line up of new customer support tools. 

  • Ticket tracker Ticket Tracker allows you to create, update, and resolve issues. It contains a knowledge base containing information on each product, file downloads, resolutions to common problems, etc. 
  • Technical Support Forum The Technical Support Forum is an online discussion site where you can hold conversations in the form of posted messages.

We are always looking for ways to improve the products and services we offer our customers. Let us know how we can improve our service to you.

 

ROI for Using an S1000D Business Rules Management Tool

It’s quite common for companies to spend a lot of time and effort on writing, agreeing upon and managing their S1000D business rules; not to mention the time spent on updating BREX data modules whenever authoring rules change.  You can save both time and money by using an S1000D business rules management tool.  Based on our experience, it takes companies an average of 1.5 FTEs over 2.5 years to develop a complete set of acceptable S1000D business rules.

By using a management tool for your rules, it is possible to reduce your time to completion down to 6 months with an average of 0.5 FTE over that shortened timeframe.  Essentially, your return on investment will come out to be nearly 4 FTEs!  If you multiply this by your internal loaded rate, you can easily calculate the cost of completing this effort without a management tool.

Our Math:

Your costs without a business rules management tool:

  • 1.5 FTEs = average FTE working full-time to complete the effort
  • 2.5 years = Duration of business rule development
  • X = your loaded rate
DecisionPoint ROI

Therefore, your cost = 3.75X

For example, if you have a loaded rate of $60/hour your total cost comes out to $468,000:

DecisionPoint return on investment

Your costs with a typical business rules management tool:

  • Software price = $50,000 – $90,000
  • Duration of business rule development = 0.5 years

ROI:

  • Cost savings:  $418,000 – $378,000
  • Time savings: 2 years

— Kate

BREX Data Module: What, Why, Who, When, Where & How

What?

The Business Rules Exchange Data Module (BREX DM) is used to programmatically enforce business rules that govern what can and cannot appear in an S1000D data module’s content. The BREX DM uses XPath statements that verify that authored content conforms to the project’s business rules. For example: to ensure consistency in the units of measurement used in a program a BREX rule could specify and enforce the use of only metric values.

Note: There are business rules that are defined by a project that cannot be enforced programmatically. Business rules that cover general policy (such as publishing to an IETM environment) are dictated in a Business Rule document, but are not part of the BREX.

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