Automated change management has long been a necessity in the software industry with widely accepted tools like Visual Source Safe (TM) from Microsoft, BMC software and others. With millions of lines of code required for most applications the software industry recognized early on the need to manage change between the different versions of software in their releases. The aviation industry has a similar need to manage change between different versions of designs and all the ramifications associated with changes either in preliminary or released drawings. Once the drawing is released to production, changes on the drawing must be quickly identified and accounted for.
Visual Engineer handles change management by keeping track of the complete history of changes for released drawings. This allows the engineers to quickly pinpoint what has changed between two revisions of a drawing without having to visually inspect each drawing. In fact, Visual Engineer can identify every single difference between multiple drawings from multiple projects in seconds. This is particularly useful for installation and certification teams as they can quickly and accurately identify changes to the design saving hours of research.
When a project is completed all relevant drawings released or active including the various versions are added to a read-only database. Additionally all components, wires, terminal blocks, connectors and equipment used on the project are also added to a read-only database. This provides an audit trail of the entire project much like what the financial and accounting industry adopted many years ago. This way as new copies of the design work need to be reviewed or reprinted it is readily available. Additionally if future changes need to take place the finalized drawings and project database can simply be imported into a new project without having to start from scratch. This saves considerable time on new projects, resulting in lower cost which provides the organization with the ability to make a very competitive bid to retain that clients business.