Yesterday, We have received a call, “Can you develop IET Manuals for our System?”, and we said Yes, We have been doing it for 8 years. Immediate question was, can you share 10 pages of the sample Interactive Electronic Technical Manual (IETM)?
IETM is a Software/ Web Application Having Database
We would like to clarify here that, of course, the IETM name indicates technical manual, but actually it is not any document i.e. PDF, MS Word, or another document format. It’s a software/Web Application where all the manuals are dynamically hyperlinked using an SQL database. You may call it a Web Application, Software having Database (SQL CSDB, Common Source DataBase)
As the name suggests, it’s interactive and used in electronic devices i.e. systems, PDAs, etc.
IETM Explained in Simple Terms
Not clear yet, let me put it in another way. When we purchase a Car, we get a user Hard copy of the manual has some 1000 pages. Similarly, when OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) delivers some big vehicle or machinery or systems having a lot of subsystems, then along with the Physical components, OEMs also delivers hard copies of manuals.
Hard copies may be related to the user manual, maintenance manual, troubleshooting, Operations, Man-machine Interface, etc. Then the volume of hard copies would reach 3000 per subsystem.
For large systems i.e. Missiles, Ships, Radars, etc will have the number of subsystems then OEMs have to give around 20,000 – 50,000 hard copies to Army/Navy/Airforce.
Along with hard copies OEMs also have to supply, Training Videos and Commuter based training, and soft copies of manuals(PDFs).
Now, when trouble arises, it’s really difficult to refer 30,000 pages and cross-refer few sections which are in separate hard copies in stipulated time.
How Interactive Electronic Technical Manual (IETM) is Being Used?
In this scenario, IETMs have evolved as saviors. IETMs are electronically combined and given hyperlinks. We may consider PDF files as Level 1, Indexed PDFs as Level 2, HTML Based indexed files will be considered as Level -3. Levels -1 and 2 or no more used as deliverables. Level -3 can be used when the pages are 3000 to 4000.
When pages are more than 25,000 then to access faster, the Database plays a major role. Content / all manuals are converted into the SQL database (CSDB – Common Source DataBase) and hierarchically organized with User management and content management and authoring functionalities
Levels Usage in Interactive Electronic Technical Manual (IETM)
The software that is used to manage thousands of pages is called IETM Level 4. Based on the complexity, the number of pages either Level 3 or Level 4 is used. Level -5 also exists with more functionality i.e. intelligent search, user activity tracking, and other advanced navigation features.
JSG – 0852:2001 is the Indian Standard of IETM and s1000d is the European standard of IETM
We are proud to be in association with Indian Defense. CODE AND PIXELS IETM Framework has been successfully used by Army, Navy, and Air force since 2013. We have empaneled vendors to supply software to DRDO, ASL, BDL, ECIL, and many other OEMs who supply systems and subsystems to various Indian Defense agencies.
Code and Pixels has developed Robust Framework and authoring tools and we have successfully executed 25 + IETMs design and Development projects
- When Navy/IAF/Army wants s1000d IETM, it is implied that the navy has CSDB Suit /Local CSDB Server
- 20- 50 OEMs or Service providers will give S1000d data Modules of various systems and the Navy CSDB Local server will host them and monitor them and does the user management
- If the navy does not have a CSDB suit then, still they can run IETM, but a standalone version where no user management will be done by IETM Viewer.
- (User management will be done by Navy CSDB Local server which hosts all the data modules of various OEMs)
- If you are OEM and navy has asked you for S1000d, then ask them that being an OEM you will give s1000d XML files. Where will they host them? do they have CSDB Server to host the files? Are they planning for CSDB Server in the future?
- User administration and management, course allocation is done from CSDB Server only
- if they don’t have a CSDB server, still they can View S1000D, but in standalone mode (IETM Viewer)
Advatages of Interactive Electronic Technical Manual (IETM)
- A major advantage of s1000d is, let us say each ship is built by has 50 OEMs and all 50 OEMs supply IETMS in different formats, then it will be difficult to maintain uniformity.
- If all 50 vendors give navy s1000d IETMs then all the IETMs will almost in a similar format.
- To achieve this, the Navy must have an S1000d CSDB server with them to host all OEMs received by various vendors.
- If the Navy does not have an S1000d CSDB Server with them, then the purpose and benefits of S1000d cant be achieved
Definitely, S1000d has Advantage if the navy has an S1000d CSDB Server, otherwise, it’s equivalent to seeing files in IETM Level 3 viewer.