Airbus SE (from 2000 to 2013: EADS) is Europe's largest aerospace and second largest defence company with over 130,000 employees at 170 locations worldwide and revenues of 63.7 billion euros (2018). The portfolio of the Airbus Defence and Space division includes military aircraft, satellites and orbital systems as well as security solutions and communication technology.
The "Technical Information and Data Combat A/C" department produces technical documentation for various military aircraft. These documentations follow strict formal framework conditions such as international but also project-specific specifications, which are defined by a set of rules (DTD).
Although the SGML/XML-Editor used so far for the creation of documentation was adapted to the company's own needs by means of individual extensions, it still required detailed knowledge of the underlying SGML/XML schema. The creation of valid technical documentation was therefore very complicated, time-consuming and only feasible for trained users.
A decoupling of the user view from the underlying XML schema should optimize this process. Airbus initiated a project to find an editor with a "WYSIWYG" philosophy (WYSIWYG = What You See Is What You Get), a user interface that does not require any XML knowledge of the users. In addition, it was necessary to keep the effort for individual adaptation of the software during prototype development as low as possible.
As part of a proof of concept, Xeditor was configured for the S1000D standard; an international specification based on the XML format for the creation and procurement of technical documentation in the aerospace industry.
In the course of the further project, workshops were held in order to develop, prioritize and subsequently implement the individually required features with users and project managers.
Xeditor's intuitive user interface allows a large number of authors to work on technical documentation. The process of creating and reviewing technical documentation offers great potential for simplification and acceleration.