Common Questions: SCM

SCM support in Arbortext Content Manager (Windchill)

This week’s topic: Source Control Managment

SCM, Source Control Management, is a big topic. To date, the best article I’ve ever read on branching strategy is an article by Perforce. Today, we’re not talking about that, we’re talking about all the features SCM supported in Arbortext Content Manager (ACM) (aka Windchill).

PTC uses Windchill internally for software configuration management for all software and documentation. Multiple versions exist simultaneously (5.4 is under active development at the same time 5.3 is). Documentation is associated with the software build so that it can automatically be built dynamically.

Today, we’re answering some of the more common and general questions about SCM in Arbortext Content Manager (ACM). As always, if you have a question that we haven’t answered or if you want more details, remember to send us your questions or add them to the comments!

Question: Modification model

Can multiple writers edit the same XML file (topic) at a time?

Answer:

Only one user can check out the content for editing. Other users can see the content but ACM  eliminates the problems caused when multiple users overwrite each others work.

Question: Branching and version management

Does ACM support branching in version management?

Answer:

Yes.

Question: Simultaneous branching

Can ACM support multiple concurrent versions of the same component that must exist simultaneously (branching)?

Answer:

Yes

Question: Complex Versioning

Can ACM support complex versioning without automatically switching from version 1 to version 2 whenever you check a topic in?

Answer:

Yes

Question: Versioning Components

Can you version a commented document or component?

Answer:

Yes

Question: Configurations, Baselines

Can you label all content that has been included in a released publication? In other words, can you publish the same configuration of the publication as necessary and also provide an audit trail making it easy to determine the configuration of a particular publication (traceability)?

Answer:

Yes.

If you’re interested in traceability, you’ll want to stay tuned for our discussion on Auditing in Arbortext Content Manager coming soon.

Common Questions: Change Markup

All of the standard change markup functions are supported OOTB in Arbortext Editor and publishable through Arbortext Styler or Publishing Engine

This week’s topic: Change Markup

Change markup has traditionally been something that you had to implement yourself in XML publishing. Arbortext supports typical change markup behavior in the standard document types, and with a small amount of configuration for custom doctypes.

All of the standard change markup functions are supported OOTB in Arbortext Editor and publishable through Arbortext Styler or Publishing Engine. OOTB, you have support for Add, Delete, Modify. You can highlight changes, accept changes, and reject changes. You can even compare documents.

When combined with Arbortext Content Manager (ACM), you get the ability to add baselines to documents, to version, to create snapshots in time. You can recreate document output at any point in the document’s history and know that you’re producing today exactly what you froze then.

Today, we’re answering some of the more common and general questions about change markup content in Arbortext. You might want to read the article on reviewing content in XML or consult one of the related articles listed at the bottom of this post.

As always, if you have a question that we haven’t answered or if you want more details, remember to send us your questions or add them to the comments!

Question: Highlighting

Can a writer highlight specific parts of a draft for review?

Answer:

Yes

Question: Comparing Files

Does the ACM have a diff function?

Answer:

Comparisons between source files are handled in the Arbortext Editor not ACM.

Question: x

We would like to know the detailed specification regarding tags for change tracking. What tags does ACM insert into the XML file?

Answer:

ACM does not insert anything with regard to the change tracking functionality.

Change tracking is handled in Arbortext Editor. Change tracking supports the usual features — Add, Delete, Changed. You can highlight changes and accept or reject changes.

Question: Review comments

How are review comments incorporated into the source?

Answer:

Through the Change Markup mechanism

(You might also be interested in the article we wrote previously about reviewing content in XML.)

Question: Change Tracking

Can you simply click Accept/Reject/Modify?

Answer:

Yes

Change tracking happens as expect in most normal editing applications: Add, Delete, Changed, Highlight changes, Accept Changes, Reject changes, compare documents.. All of these are standard OOTB with Arbortext.