Custom Documents are one of the easiest and most powerful ways to produce high quality and flexible publications, for compliance with project or contractual obligations, or simply for internal use by other team members. These formal publications are important and could be required for contractual reasons, but as an alternative it is also worth considering giving an audience access to a live model - through WebEA or Prolaborate - that is part of the Pro Cloud Server.
A Custom Document can contain three types of content:
- Content contained in the document template - including a title page, table of contents and paragraph text
- Dynamic Content that is dragged into the document from the Browser - including Packages, diagrams, elements and features
- Static Content that a user types or pastes into the document
This provides great flexibility and allows users to type in or paste content just as they would in a word processor, formatting it with the Edit Ribbon. At any point in the document where a diagram is needed or a list of items is required that exist in the model, these can simply be dragged in from the Browser window. How these items are rendered is determined by the selection of an appropriate document template. For example, you might write some static text describing the types of Requirements and how some were derived from the analysis of stakeholder requests, and then by dragging in a Package of Requirements from the Browser and applying a template that puts elements into a table showing their Name, Description (Notes) and Status, the Requirements will be neatly rendered in tabular format.
A productivity feature of the Custom Document facility is that you are able to refresh an entire document, or just a particular inserted fragment that will dynamically update the document, ensuring that it reflects the latest changes in the repository. The facility will be welcome for those users that have previously created documents in their favorite word processor and have manually exported and pasted diagram images into their document, which of course are out of date the minute the repository diagram is changed.
The dynamic content that is dragged from the Browser window can be entire Packages, diagrams, elements, attributes or operations, and the granularity that you choose will depend on how you want your document to be structured. Multiple items can be dragged at a time if they are using the same template.