When speaking about online and offline connection with S1000D Viewer software, the specification defines that the end user can either connect directly to the S1000D Common Source Database (online) or connect to data pre-published to CD, DVD or a network drive (offline).

When connecting directly to the CSDB in an online mode through an IETP viewer, the end user will get the most up-to-date data that has been set to a published status and they have permission to see. As soon as a document has gone through the complete process to be published, the maintainer will see it in their viewer. This however is only good if you are continuously connected via an internet/intranet connection to the CSDB.

When connecting to a CD, DVD, USB or local drive the user only has access to the content that has been delivered on that media type. This is a convenient way of delivering IETP content when there is no internet/intranet connectivity, such as remote user locations. But if updates and changes have been made to the documentation, they will not be delivered until the next release of the CD/DVD. This may be a defined period between releases.

Both online and offline have their advantages and disadvantages, but there is some planning required as to how you wish to deliver. There may be extra tools or applications that may be required to get online access to work that is not required for offline access. There is also no reason why a project cannot have a combination of both access modes.

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