Introduction to the Knowledge Warehouse Project

Knowledge Warehouse was the name of a legacy SAP document management system used by a major UK airline to manage engineering procedures, work instructions, user guides and other content created in house for use by aircraft engineers. Much of the content was in Microsoft Word format but it also contained Excel spreadsheets and PDF files.

The airline had already procured an ATA/S1000D content management system (Flatirons Solutions CORENA Suite) that would enable their engineers to access OEM aircraft maintenance manuals via tablet computer at the point of need. It therefore made sense to migrate the Knowledge Warehouse content to the same platform so that engineers could also view this content on their tablets using the same applications. Prior to this, engineers had to access on-line content via computer terminals in the hangar. This would mean walking from the aircraft to the terminal between each job, printing the relevant content and then returning to the aircraft. While no huge distances were involved, any time and motion study would show that being able to access the content from anywhere in the hangar via tablet has the potential to bring significant time and cost savings.

In order to manage these documents on the same platform as the OEM manuals it was decided to convert them into, and maintain them as, S1000D. This would have the added benefit of turning them into structured XML documents which would allow powerful searches to be performed using XQuery and multiple representations to be generated for different devices using XSLT. It would also mean that the content could be managed using the same tool-set as the OEM manuals.