If you regularly read our blog, you’ve probably already noticed that the topic of automation takes centre stage for us, as developers of component content management systems. Simply managing and creating clean content is no longer a feat for a modern CMS. One big challenge is integrating into environments with diverse expert systems and interacting with these systems as efficiently as possible.

Today I’d like to introduce a new integration solution that will be available in the 2017 version of our SCHEMA ST4 component content management system. This will allow you to integrate ST4 directly into the world of Electronic Parts Catalogues.

What powerful EPC systems are now capable of

A completely unique category of systems has established itself over the years for Electronic Parts Catalogues (EPC for short): the so-called EPC systems. High-end applications in this field, such as the CATALOGcreator from TID Informatik, allow for the fully automated creation of Electronic Parts Catalogues based on parts lists from an ERP or PLM.

From a technological point of view, creating a sophisticated end product in the form of a classic PDF file, interactive HTML or mobile application is a remarkable achievement. bild3Data from a variety of sources must be combined with each other, for example spare parts lists and exploded views. The EPC system automatically gives the data additional functions, e.g. automatic hotspots on the exploded view drawings.

The capability of modern EPC systems is thus far from exhausted. In order to provide their service technicians with the maximum possible benefit, companies are now expanding their EPCs with additional information, including videos, feedback forms, planning components and much more besides. Thanks to standards like HTML5, XML, SVG, etc. the sky’s the limit.

ST4 comes into play on the input side of things

What does this all have to do with SCHEMA ST4? Simple: as a component content management system, ST4 is a tried-and-tested source of additional information for EPCs; additional information that is not available in other systems, for example maintenance instructions.

Technologically speaking, the ST4 interface to the CATALOGcreator comprises of a special Online Media Designer (OMD). The necessary content for the EPC is prepared in such a way that the CATALOGcreator can automatically integrate and process it. One condition in ST4 is that the content must be enriched with the appropriate metadata. Often the material number is sufficient as an identifying feature.


Premium versions with the SCHEMA CDS

With the launch of the SCHEMA CDS (Content Delivery Server) three years ago, we added a highly powerful platform for content distribution to our product range. The cooperation between CDS and CATALOGcreator is also an interesting combination.

While an EPC organises information according to the logic “device setup, assemblies, spare parts”, in CDS the faceted navigation also allows information to be accessed efficiently independent of assemblies. Furthermore, the CDS offers additional benefits thanks to its output channels for mobile devices with integrated offline mode and advanced security features.

In this scenario, CDS takes over content distribution (the content from SCHEMA ST4 and the catalogue content from the CATALOGcreator). This is the premium version of Catalog Content Integration.


More in Stuttgart at the tekom annual conference

Does your technical writing department also produce Electronic Parts Catalogues? Do you want to create EPCs more simply whilst making the content even more effective? Maybe you already use ST4 and CATALOGcreator?

Then it’s definitely worth visiting our stand at the tekom annual conference in November. In our blue box, regular presentations will be taking place on the integration of ST4, CDS and CATALOGcreator. Something else to make a note of:

TID + SCHEMA = Catalog Content Integration
Tu, We, and Th at 11.15am – 12.00pm
Blue box at the SCHEMA stand (Hall 2, Stand C07)

We are of course always available for a face-to-face meeting – just drop by.