IETM | Development Process

IETM development process

This article describes the end-to-end process of the IETM development and distribution.

By the end of reading this article, you will know about
  • How to start an IETM project?
  • Detailed steps for developing IETM
  • What is the authoring tool
  • What is IETM Viewer
Understanding about IETM

By this time, you may be familiar with what is IETM. If not please refer to the links mentioned here, before reading this article.

  1. Outline of IETM
  2. IETM for beginners
  3. What is IETM and What is Not IETM?
We strongly recommend you go through the above 3 links (5 minutes of reading time) before reading the below content)

I will start with an example so that you will understand how IETMs are developed.

Let us assume, you have to send an electrical wiring diagram to your client, what do you do?

First, you open Auto Cad, design it, and save it as .dwg file , which is a source file. You won’t share the source file, because the recipient might update or edit the file or the recipient might not have AUTO cad software to open.

Hence you convert that drawing to PDF and share it with them so that they can view the drawing but not edit it.

In another scenario, assume that you want your recipient to edit the file. So, you share them .dwg but your client can not edit it, as they might not have Auto cad software installed on their PC. To edit the drawing, they need Auto cad which is called an authoring tool.

To create cad drawings, you need tools like auto cad etc. Similarly, to create an IETM you need an authoring tool.

The authoring tool is a piece of software which is used to build or develop IETMs. Using this software we develop IETMs

Developing IETM

It is not like you import the user manual PDF into software, and it automatically converts to Database. No. It will not. We need to build it from scratch.

Then how do we create IETMs?

Following are the steps to develop and deliver the IETM projects.

STEP-1: Preparing the Table of content

Collect all the Approved PDF files and create a broad Module list. Each client/project has different types of manuals.

All the manuals will be categorized and a detailed table of content is prepared. If the delivery is very big then a broad classification would be something like the below.

  • Electrical
    • Navigation equipment
      • Radar
        • Instructions
        • User Handboo
        • Technical Manual
        • Illustrated part list
        • Manufacturer's Recommended List of Spares
      • GPS
      • GYRO
      • EMLOG
    • Communication equipment
    • Main switchboard
    • Alarm systems
    • Battery chargers
  • Hull
    • HVAC
    • Tawin Hook
    • Magnetitic Compass
    • Life arts
    • Insulation
    • Windlass
  • Engineering
    • Fire fighting
    • Main engines
    • DA sets
    • PD pumps
    • CF Pumps
    • Compressors
    • Propulsion

The above is for very big systems smaller systems may have

  • User handbook
  • Technical Manuals part -1
  • TM – Part – 2
  • Illustrated part list
  • Manufacturer's Recommended List of Spares
STEP-2: Building the table of content in IETM

Once the above table of content (TOC) is made on paper, the same has to be structured in IETM using the IETM authoring tool. Using the tool, we prepare tree structure, parent, child, sub-child, sub – sub child etc. based on the actual TOC available in the original manuals

Once the tree structure is fully made, then they will be checked against the original PDF for the correctness of flow.

Step-3 Converting pdf content into Database

IETM Authoring tool has a set of default templates, using them any person can copy the content from PDF and paste it into the respective template. IETM tool automatically converts every text copied and saves it as a database.

Step-4 Making it interactive -Giving hyperlinks, Hot spots, Glossary, Related topics

Once the content is pasted into text editors of IETM, the next step is to create interactivity with the content.

Using the IETM authoring tool, these hyperlinks and hot spots, links to related topics and the glossary is created dynamically.

There is a misconception about IETM. As the name indicates interactive, then people assume that it is a 3d based on blowup software. Interactive means, users can browse or cross-refer or interact with the software to search for a particular topic/sub-topic.

Assume that you have 3000 pages in 10 different manuals, you cannot refer to all the pages quickly. But this interactive electronic technical manual searches the entire database of 3000 pages in a second and displays results. Because all the text is converted into the database,

hence search and retrieval will be done in seconds. Users can see related topics and also on rollover of text, users can see images, Video or text descriptions, etc.

Users can save bookmarks and annotate text etc. Users can see his search history, document access history, etc.

These elements are called INTERACTIVITY. These features power the document and make it an Interactive electronic manual. These documents are technical in nature and seen using electronic devices hence they are termed interactive electronic technical manuals.

Step-5 Drawings and Original PDF manuals

IETM has a separate tab for drawings and Manuals (original PDF files). First, we export all the drawings from PDF to high resolutions images. Then we insert them using an authoring tool category-wise.

For future reference, all the original/actual manuals/ PDFs will also be stored inside IETM, under the manuals tab.

Step-6 Branding

OEMs logo will be taken and fixed on the Upper left corner. Based on the images provided by OEM, the background for Log -in screen will be prepared.

Step-7 Internal Quality check

Complete IETM is verified against the original PDF files for any missing paragraphs, topics and functionality of hyperlinks, hot spots, search, User management, Bookmarks, Annotations, user activity tracking etc.

Step-8 OEM’s Quality check

Developed IETM will be hosted in a private cloud, and is made available for OEMs for review.

Based on the review, the observations if any will be updated and IETM is released.

Step-8 OEM’s Quality check

Deliverables contain

  • IETM Viewer

The installation manual will be provided along with files so that anyone can install IETM.

All the above deliverables will be shared in a DVD/USB/ZIP format and OEM can make multiple copies and distribute them to the defence accordingly.

IETM can be installed in an Independent PC/Laptop or it can be installed in a server and all the systems connected with the server (LAN) can access the IETM using the browser.

By the way, IETM is a browser-based application. IETM can be used in Windows or Linux Operating systems.

Tools used to develop the IETM framework are Angular, Node and the Database MariaDB.


The authoring tool is not a deliverable. OEM has to deliver only IETM Viewer to the Client. Because other than OEM no one is permitted to update the documentation

These IETM viewers come with the Logo of the OEM on the Top Left Corner. They are fixed or hard coded. The OEM logo is always visible on IETM. Whereas Client logos can be changed by the OEM

Once OEM purchases IETM Viewer, they can distribute freely unlimited copies to unlimited customers. There won’t be any licensing or hardware binding etc.

So, do you need to OWN an Authoring tool to build IETM?

You need to buy an authoring tool under the following scenarios.

Case1: If you have a regular need for IETMs and your content keeps updating every time you need not come back to us. We will train your personnel on how to edit, delete and create IETM.

Case 2: If you have one piece of equipment and you have many models similar and you need to deliver IETM for each piece of equipment as and when delivery is needed.

Case 3: For different clients, you may want to change test certificates or add additional data. In this case, you make one basic IETM and take a backup of the original and update the data as per the client’s need.

Case 4: Your data is highly confidential and you want to get that done inside the defence lab (DRDO/RCI/DRDL/ASL/BDL/ECIL/BEL)

In the above cases, you need to BUY or OWN an authoring tool

Otherwise, give the assignment as a project basis, it will be much more economical than owning the Authoring tool.

  • Do we need to have software proficiency for using the tool?
    IETM authoring tool is a very easy and GUI-based tool and with a day of training, anyone can use this tool. No programming knowledge is needed to handle these tools. Any person with basic knowledge of Computers can use this software.
  • Is this perpetual or do we need to pay any yearly License fee?
    This is a perpetual license and you need not pay any yearly license for it
  • Other points
    The authoring tool is not a deliverable for the end users. Because the end user is not authorized to update IETM without knowledge of OEM. Hence, the Authoring tool is only for OEM’s purpose so that OEM can update IETM without coming back to Code and pixels for updations.
  • This Software license is for reuse in your organization’s products only. Not for reselling. Once you buy the authoring tool, Your logo will be placed and delivered to you.
If the IETM Requirement is one-time.
  • If your requirement is one-time, then you need not buy an Authoring tool. You can simply give it as a project to execute.
  • Based on the number of pages costing will be done.
  • IETM Viewer cost + Number of pages conversion cost = Project cost
    Send mail to or call 98495 27706 for cost estimation of your project
  • 2 days of training will be given remotely for the identified set of people.
  • User manual and installation manual will also be shared
  • Training will consist
    • Using an Authoring tool to build IETM(Hands-on training)
    • Using Configuration file to customize IETM
    • Installation process