Throughout the years the SM has been revised, reviewed and updated several times. The latest published version is Issue 6. This issue as well as the older issues of SM are available for download from www. Issue 4. Issue 6.
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Information generated is in neutral format, which means it can be used on disparate IT systems. It is this feature together with the modular approach to data creation and storage that makes the specification so acceptable to the wider international community. SD incorporates a methodology for storing data in electronic form and provides the capability to output information both in electronic and paper format.
How does it work? A data module is defined as "a self-contained unit of data". Individual data modules are identified by a logical and specific numbering system, the Data Module Code DMC , which permits the use of a database to store and manage the complete information set. Data modules have two sections, one containing the content, which is the data required by the user e.
Each item of information, therefore, carries all its own configuration data. Items of information, which are repeated in different contexts, for example, warnings, opening and closing procedures, can be stored once as a single data module and can be used many times in different contexts.
This provides considerable savings in data maintenance and enhances data configuration control. When change is required only the single DM needs to be changed whilst the changed information appears throughout the output, an example of the fundamental CALS philosophy of "create once, use many times".
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