If you think you have headaches writing that monthly sales report, imagine what it's like creating and updating documentation for a jumbo jet. The paperwork can actually outweigh the plane. And there are as many versions of the document as the number of aircraft built, because each jet is designed to a customer's specific requirements.

Documentum Inc. in Pleasanton, Calif., reckons it has just the software to help. The package maintains a data base of every item in a large document--text, charts, graphs, spreadsheets, even digitized sound and video. When it's time to deliver a document, whether on paper or CD-ROM, Documentum's software can reach across a network of computers and pull together just the right version of each item and assemble it in the proper order--in hours, not months. Unlike most previous versions of such document-management software, Documentum works with computers and software of disparate brands, translating incompatible formats as necessary.

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