Original Date: 02/03/1997
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Technical Information Management System
In late 1993, The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) established a committee to focus on the Society’s technical information assets. A decision was made to change the collection, production, and distribution of technical information from a paper distribution system to a computerized database system driven by engineers’ needs for quick, on-demand information. With this goal in mind, SAE’s core competencies will be maintained through the Technical Information Management System (TIMS). Figure 2-7 depicts the flow of the technical information and positioning of TIMS within the SAE organization. Using ORACLE, SAE is developing the TIMS database interface which will combine the system’s major components: the Publishing System, the Document Management System, the TIMS Explorer, and miscellaneous tools and utilities.
The Publishing System component is performed using Adobe’s FrameMaker+SGML. As a structured word processor, this software allows information to be tagged. For example, by tagging the scope of each standard, it can be identified and extracted from the document’s content and reused in other products without being retyped. The Document Management System component is performed by Documentum Corporation’s Documentum. As a document management system, this software controls access, manages the numerous revisions, and provides features for tracking various items such as the check-in and check-out times of individual products. The TIMS Explorer is the desktop user interface which integrates the other components and provides the real functionality of the management system in supporting SAE processes. TIMS will be able to provide more detailed online status reports of the standards development process; more accurate and timely status of ballots and voting participation; integration to the Global Mobility Database for more complete searching; and delivery standards in customer-defined documents (e.g., all standards of a particular committee combined into a single document and provided in electronic or hard copy versions).
To successfully introduce such a large system, SAE developed a process to reduce complications typically encountered during the implementation of complex management systems. In October 1996, SAE began a beta test on TIMS so teams of users within SAE could use the system for daily activities. This roll-out will address converting the existing documents into the new format, training users, and adding new features as needed. TIMS will allow the standards committees to focus on a standard’s content and the SAE staff to focus on a standard’s format.
Figure 2-7. Role of TIMS in Technical Information Flow
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