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Using a Web Archive (WA) document type for a QMS

Recently we announced a case study with a partner, Primilis, in which they used a CogniDox feature to implement a Graphical Quality Management System (G-QMS). It's available to download (no registration required) in PDF format from http://www.cognidox.com/graphical-qms-case-study.

A typical QMS is a set of pages each describing a company process or procedure to ensure a standard and consistent level of business quality. Those pages often contain workflow graphics in the form of flow diagrams. They're a lot more user-friendly and interactive when presented on-screen within a web browser.

Primilis created two QMS solutions for a couple of existing customers. How best to store these within CogniDox?

The answer is to create them as Web Archive (WA) document types.

By way of background, normally CogniDox allows user-companies to decide what they want to name their document types but there are three special or reserved types that come with built-in functionality. These are:

  • Document Holder (DH) for structured lists of contained documents
  • Licensee Source (LS) for packages of software source or binaries
  • Web Archive (WA) for zip files containing HTML pages

Example uses for Web Archives are:

  •     Automatically generated documentation
  •     Containers for legacy documentation
  •     Packaging websites e.g. a marketing or sales promotion micro-site

Web archives are zip files containing an index.html page at the top level. Once the zip file is uploaded they can be directly browsed from both CogniDox and the Customer View. An example might look like this (note the highlighted index file):

Cognidox WA zip file

When the zip file is uploaded it is represented by a Zip icon as the master file and a HTML icon as the 'derived' file. When a user clicks on the HTML icon it opens the entire package as a web site within the same browser that's being used for CogniDox, with the index file as the home page. The user can then follow any links that have been coded in the HTML.

The WA file is like any other document - you can call for reviews and ultimately it can be approved and published. When it is published it can be licensed to appear on a customer portal and again there it will display as a set of web pages,

There's a certain elegance to the fact that one of the controlled documents is itself the entire company QMS.

Value of a DMS for product development

Tags: Document Control, Graphical QMS, Quality Management