Frequently Asked Questions about IETM
Interactive Electronic Technical Manual.
Let’s understand what the meaning of IETM is. IETM is a Manual or softcopy of any book. Even PDF scanned files can also be called IETM. Any books, documents that are in digital format are IETMs.
Because if the book is seen in computer or whatever the manuals we see in a digital device is called Electronic Manual. If this manual is technical then it is called ETM, Electronic Technical Manual.
If this manual is dynamic or has multiple references in the form of hyperlinks, hotspots, etc, it is called Interactivity.
Whichever Manual is digital has technical information and contains cross-references are called Interactive electronic Technical Manual.
Many people think that IETM is a separate format like MS Word (.DOC) or Portable Document File (PDF).
IETM is a technical term used to represent but not a format. Even PDF file is also ETM. Normal scanned images compiled together is Level -1 IETM and PDF has hyperlinks, cross-references, indexing which means interactivity is called Level -2 IETM.
Level -3 IETM uses XML or HTML and makes it much dynamic than PDF. Level -4 is database-based IETM. All the manuals are converted into the MYSQL database and stored. A viewer is used to access the data based on the user request, data will be pulled from the database and displayed to user.
Level-1 and LEVEL -2 its PDF file. Level -3 HTML-based web application, LEVEL 4 is Databases based web application.
IETM Viewer is software that is used to see the manuals that are converted into a database.
Level 1,2 does not need any IETM viewers because they are PDF files. Level -3 is HTML based. A complete manual is converted into HTML/XML files page-wise like we create a website. Images, illustrations will be placed in a folder. HTML/text, Images, Illustrations, Images, etc are called media assets.
Using IETM Viewer, one can see all the files in a structured way. IETM Viewer is a piece of software that is used to view the documents and also used for interactivity and switch between topics, subtopics, cross reference, hyperlinks, etc.
In the case of Level -4 this viewer is very powerful and gives full power to the user for quick access.
IETMs are basically used in the defense system. A couple of years backs OEMs used to deliver many sets of hard copies to end-users (Navy/Army/IAF) if the number of pages is less, in this case, it is easy to refer for troubleshooting or operational procedures, etc.
For complex systems i.e. Missiles, Defence vehicles, communication, and non-communication systems where many systems and subsystems are involved, which makes the document count goes in thousands.
In such cases when the issue arises it will be very difficult to do quick referring. In such cases, IETMs are very very effectively used.
These IETMs are now made as mandatory deliverables along with actual equipment by the Indian defense.
This IETM follows Indian defense guidelines, standards JSG 0852:2019 which gives guidelines for IETM structure.
IETM Vs 3d Blowups
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 on 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.
Interactivity does not mean, clicking on the part it will blow up into sub-parts, and clicking on a subpart it will further blow up and an explanation comes in voice-over, etc.
They are called 3d Blowups or 3d Virtual reality models and Computer-based tutors (CBTs)
Having said this, still we can put these 3d blowups in IETM. If OEM has any videos or 3d animation blowups then we can plug them into IETM.
- This job is creating Interactive Technical Manuals Level -4
- IETM Vendor will only make IETM by using inputs given by the Client
- Videos, Images, Cad drawings/PDF, to be provided by Client only
- Whatever Videos, Graphics, Diagrams, etc available with the client will be integrated into IETM
- IETM Vendor will not create any 3d animations or 3D Models, or 2 d Animations, 2d Drawings, etc. Whatever the 3d file, OEM has, we will plugin in IETM only.
- Videography, photography or cad designing, blowup drawings designing, etc will not be done by IETM Vendor
3d Animations and blowups can be taken as separate tasks based on the complexity of the system and the level of blowups that you want. We have a separate division to take up such assignments.
If your SCOPE /SOTR /RFP says IETM then stick to IETM only. These 3d animations cost more than IETM cost.
Another important point to check is which IETM level the client/ SCOPE is asking for. Generally, they may ask for Level 3 or Level 4. (If your RFQ is 5 years old around 2016-17 then they may ask for Level -2)
The latest RFPs / SCOPE asks for Level -4 only.
If your client simply says IETM then opt for IETM level 3 only. Because Level 4 costs almost double of Level -3.
As per the new guidelines of defense, all the OEMs must supply IETM along with the physical component.
Login-based access, Next, Previous, History, Search, Annotations, Bookmark, Activity tracker, Fullscreen, Hotspot/hyperlinks, Image-based hotspot, Text-based hotspots, Video-based Hotspots, Change password, Content tree, expandable and collapsible, homepage main menu items, etc.
Yes, if it is IETM Level 3, you can run from DVD, because it does not have any database. Its standalone HTML 5 based pages with IETM Viewer. IETM Level 3 does not update your navigation history or user credentials etc hence can be run from DVD. Whereas Level 4 is database based, hence requires database installation. LEVEL 4 tracks all user activity and user-wise reports hence, every activity is tracked and the database keeps updating always. That is the reason IETM level 4 does not work from DVD or CD
When the electronic revolution started in 1990, PDF files were used as IETM till 2000. They used to be scanned images/raster images. Searching and hyperlinking indexing were not possible in those raster images. These are called LEVEL -1 IETM.
Advancement in technology, use of OCR, and other features was added in PDF files. Thus PDF was made with selectable text, images, tables, hyperlinks, and indexing etc. Cross-references hyperlinks made PDF more interactive and user-friendly. These were called LEVEL -2.
In level -2 there was one limitation. If the user manual or PDF file is single, then LEVEL 2 worked well. Hyperlinks inside a single PDF were possible but refereeing multiple PDFs i.e. cross-reference between manuals was again a challenge. For instance, let us assume that a user is looking for troubleshooting of some device and the troubleshooting requires the user to see the operational manual and technical manual etc.
Cross referring to multiple manuals was a problem. During that time HTML 5 has very strongly emerged as technology (2012). Taking advantage of technology, all these files are converted into HTML -5 and an IETM viewer is a piece of software program developed to see the files. This is LEVEL -3.
When the documents were thousands in number and ultra-quick navigation is needed for user inputs. In this scenario LEVEL, -4 was evolved. Level -4 is Database driven software which is way ahead powerful than all the previous levels.
This IETM was initiated in US defense having MIL-PRF-87268A number (MIL-M-87268, 87269) Based on these MIL standards, the Ministry of Defense, Directorate of Standardization, Joint service Guide (JSG) has framed guidelines which is 0852:2019.
Code and Pixels IETM framework is developed based on the Indian defense standard.
In earlier days, OEMs used to deliver hard copies of manuals due course of time it has become scanned image so that space is reduced. As technology advanced, PDF and Interactive PDFs were delivered. For more fats and better reference, IETMs were evolved which are database based hence takes very little space and fast in terms of searching for key ford and excellent for cross-referring between multiple manuals.
INDIAN Defense Standard JSG 0852 and International aviation standard S1000D.
IETM is not freeware and not open-source. It’s customized software developed as per the defense guidelines. This IETM framework or software is designed using Angular, Node.Js, MYSQL databases. IETM software has 3 Login modes. User, Admin, and Super Admin or authoring tool.
Users can see the manuals and Admin can create users and monitor user activities and super Admin can be used to create IETM content/database. Super Admin is also called as Authoring mode.
If you want to edit IETM level -3, you need basic HTML. Edit means you can edit the IETM developed by us. Similarly, if you want to edit IETM Level -4 you need not have any programming skills. We have inbuilt text editors to edit the content and easy to use GUI to update the content.
YES, IETM can be viewed from different devices and different sizes of monitors.
Yes, IETM can be viewed in Linux OS.
All the browsers support IETM viewing.
A few years ago IETM was EXE based. Due course of time, browsers have become more powerful and easy to use, and they are compatible with multiple devices and OS independent hence, browsers have taken over EXE-based IETMs.
EXE-based IETMs are obsolete now. A few years back, in 2015 Exe based IETMs were delivered to clients. A separate EXE has to be delivered for 64 bits system and also for 128 bits system. IETMs cannot be seen in Mobiles or Tabs. Hence all the EXE based IETMs are converted to browser-based IETMs
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org from your official mail ID and schedule a demo
IF IETM is mentioned in RFQ then it is Indian JSG 0852 standard only. Only very few end users are asking for S1000D. The use specifically mentions S1000D if they are looking for that standard.
It depends on the number of pages and Basic software cost. If OEM wants an authoring tool, the additional amount is paid. Price also depends on standard. In general, s1000d cost 4 times more than the INDIAN standard.
Deliverables are, IETM DB ( Database), IETM Viewer to see the DB and a server file, and Installation manual and User manual ( User manual and Admin manual) If you are also delivering Authoring tool then Authoring modules user manual.
The way JSG 0852 is the standard of Indian IETMs, S1000D is the standard for defense IETM.
Usage may be similar, but the Complete structure of IETM is entirely different from Indian standards.
S1000D uses XML files whereas JSG uses MySQL as a database. S1000D is a very costly solution. Users/Navy need to have S1000D CSDB studio to get all the documents converted as per S1000D.
If the navy /airforce does not have an S1000D suit or a CSDB studio then going for S1000D is absolutely no use. It is just like going for Level -3 IETM of Indian standard.
For S1000D, IETM is generated using CSDB studio which is authoring and distribution software. Once the document is authored then, it is exported as S1000D IETM. CSDB exports as XML package and also as IETM. This XML package has a Manifesto file wrapped with XML files. These XML packages can be imported into any Standard CSDB application.
Definitely not. S1000D IETM output is XML which used thousands of S1000D tags and DMs. Hence IETM developed using XML is not S1000D IETM. CSDB studio is needed to export IETM. CSDB studio maintains all version changes and Data Modules (DM) etc. Normal XML based IETMs can be called S1000d based IETMs.
Common Source DataBase is a software used to generate S1000D IETMS. S1000d is an international specification for developing technical publications.
S1000D is a recent concept introduced in India. S1000D IETMs are being developed by big aerospace companies but they use foreign-based CSDB i.e. Boeing spectrum etc. They cost crores. Indian companies use CSDB of western countries as of now.
Any XML-based application cannot be called CSDB studio.
CSDB Studio can create S1000d specified pages/DMs using specific Tags. CSDB can import original S1000D DMs and export any project into 2 3 outputs. IETM Viewer, XML package and PDF file.
CSDB studio can produce different DMs for different types of content.
A file or XML produced using CSDB studio is called Data Module. Its self-contained unit of data. It means it can be imported into any other CSDB studio
As the name indicates, it’s a complete list of data modules that are required to make a project or export a project.
It’s a unique code given for each data module. A 17 to 41 character alphanumeric code. No DMs will have the same name. Every DM is identified by its DMC.
We are OEMs and serving Indian navy. Our client wants us to deliver IETM along with the Machinery/System/Vehicle/Equipment. What inputs should I take from my client? We have no knowledge about IETM. We are supplying all the manuals in PDF format and hard copies. Why navy needs IETM?
From 2018, all Defense/Navy/Air force clients are asking for IETM along with other training Aids such as CBT, Video Film, Charts and Boards, and Technical literature Hardcopies.
Based on the complexity of your Machinery/System/Vehicle/Equipment, you will need to provide different types of manuals as deliverables. (User handbook, Design specifications, Technical manuals, and Illustrated spares parts list)
Manufacture recommended list of spares, DIM, SMT & STE, ISG, MS, PRS, Inventory, Deployment manuals, Combat manuals, Operating manuals, Maintenance manuals and many more as per your system. The count of all together may range from 5000 to 25,000 for big systems.
If the user has to refer for a topic, then she/he has to refer to all 10-15 manuals hard copies or soft copies (PDFs) separately. It’s a time taking and troublesome process and also not completely resourceful.
For example, if a user wants to search for some particular LRU (line replaceable unit) then he has to open each and every PDF and search for the LRU. He will get many results and it will be hard to refer to all the 16 PDFs at a time. Sometimes, he may have to refer to 2-4 manuals together for a solution. In this case, traditional PDF file or Hard copy will have many limitations.
To overcome the limitations, IETMs are designed.
IETM basically combines all these manuals and creates interactivity between all the manuals and drawings etc. That’s the reason it’s called Interactive Electronic Training Manual.
In IETM, all the manuals and drawings, images, and videos will interact with each other through hyperlinks, hot spots and cross references etc. Thus, searching for topics is made possible in a single click with 100% efficient result.
Ask your client whether they want IETM Level 3/Class 3 or Level 4/Class 4. And count how many pages of text they have.
Price varies based on the number of pages and the Level of IETM. Level 3/Class 3 is less expensive than Level 4/Class 4
Though the name reads Electronic Training Manual, it is not a single file or Manual. IETM is a software package.
A software where all the pages of manuals are converted and embedded in IETM framework or IETM software.
IETM is a software where all your manuals sit.
May it be IETM level -3/Class 3 or LEVEL -4/Class 4, we need all the manuals which are to be converted (either into PDF or Word format), all the images (JPEG, PNG, TIF) and all the CAD drawings converted in PDFs and Videos that are to be embedded into IETM.
We need table of content/content classification done by your subject matter experts.
We also need your subject matter expert’s help in connecting documents and also giving hyperlinks, related topics, glossary etc.
If you have any Videos or Images already made, then we will put exploded views in IETM. The IETM vendor’s responsibility is to embed all inputs provided by OEM into IETM frame work.
The IETM scope does not cover the designing of Charts, Blowups, Exploded Views, and Animations etc.
If you want exploded views, then that will be taken as content development activity.
It depends on the number of pages to be converted. We have done almost 35 IETMs of various levels. As per our experience to make Level 3/Class 3 IETM having 5000 pages, it takes around 30 days.
For documents 10,000 to 20,000 it takes around 60 days.
Major hindrance that we face is availability of final documents from OEM.
We had this experience several times that OEMs have to collect documents from many sources and number of versions are available for each document. OEMs usually focus on actual equipment but not on documentation of equipment. Collecting final approved files from OEM is the biggest challenge in IETM development. If all the final approved documents are in place, it takes standard time as mentioned above.
There is no specific standard for IETM ARMY. For Indian defense, there is a single standard used. May it be for ARMY IETM, NAVY IETM, or AIR FORCE IETM. The standard id JSG 0852.
You need to nominate a person as a Point of Contact from your end. Our technical team will be in constant touch with the POC to take approval on UI and UX (User interface and user experience), i.e. the logos to be used, color formats, table of content finalizing and cross checking of IETM etc.
Probably, your client must be looking for IETM level 3/Class 3. IETM level 3/Class 4 only can be played from CD/DVD player. IETM -4 requires installation as it used Database.
It depends on your client’s requirement. General practice is, IETM level 3/Class 3 is used when documents are less, i.e. below 5000. When documents are more, IETM -4 is required.
Having said that, we have also done 5000 Pages IETM Level 4/Class 4 or Level 5/Class 5 and 6000 pages Level 3/Class 3.
It completely depends on the Client. If your system is small, you can convince them to go for IETM level 3/Class 3
We are the only company having experience of delivering 30 + IETMs in past 5 years and one of the few companies having experience in developing the IETMs for Indian defense
We worked closely In associated with all the Defense Labs and we are fully aware of their requirements as almost 30 IETMs are being used by various Army or Naval, Air Force headquarters and training centers and Army Air Defense Colleges etc.
You can verify our Purchase Orders and approval letters.
IETM is the combination of software and data conversion. We have the strength of 50 + software and content development professionals and we guarantee delivery date as we have experienced resources having dealt with 30 project life cycles.
We have a strong R&D team, which exclusively works on improving software as per the latest technologies.
We have come across a few Tenders, especially 3-4 years back tenders, where the client has just mentioned IETM only. Did not mention whether it is Level 3 or Level -4.
Generally, the cost for Level 4 is almost double of cost of Level -3. Hence you can take decisions based on the size of systems i.e. number of pages etc.
If pages are below 1000, you can propose or deliver Level -3.
Very few clients ask for S1000D. The clients who have CSDB studio with them only need S1000D. In India, only 2 or 3 government organizations might have CSDB studios. CSDB studio is very costly, in crores.
All the IETMs should be developed as per JSG 0852: 2015, unless they mentioned specifically to develop in S1000D, which is the European aviation standard to develop IETMs.