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In the world of IETM publishing there are a lot of terms, standards and acronyms used that you may find confusing. Here is a short glossary explaining some of the more commonly used terms.

  • ETM - Electronic Technical Manual. An ETM is a technical manual that is an electronic version of a paper manual. The content is viewed primarily in a linear manner, i.e. turning the pages instead of jumping directly to a subject and then jumping back. ETMs may be created using tagged content or in the same manner traditional paper manuals are created, depending on the end user needs.
  • Point to Point/Schematic Tracing Software. An important part of technical manuals is the ability to trace electrical faults on schematics for the equipment. Several different packages exist that allow computer viewing of schematics, and tracing connections.
  • Electronic Maintenance System (EMS) Software Suite - The EMS software is provided by Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM). The software is used to generate IETMs for the Maintenance Support Device (MSD) use by Army personnel for the maintenance of vehicles. The current version of EMS is EMS Next Generation (NG) which publishes MIL-STD-2361C tagged data for viewing in a customized web browser application. The previous version, EMS-2, used SGML tagged data based on earlier military standards and displayed data in a custom developed SGML viewer. The EMS software supports linking within the manual, linking to 3rd party software, hot spots to Repair Parts & Special Tools List (RPSTL) figures, collection of data for parts ordering and linking to schematics.
  • IETM - Interactive Electronic Technical Manual. An IETM is an electronic version of the traditional paper manuals used by mechanics for maintaining and troubleshooting equipment and by the operator for information on using the equipment with different configurations. The IETMs are created using tagged content which allows re-use of the content for printing, electronic display, data searches, and training. The tagged content also allows for a non-linear based navigation structure more like a web page than a paper manual, which supports searching and linking to parts directly within maintenance pages.
    The original IETMs were created using Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) with a pre-defined DTD. As the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) has evolved out of SGML, newer IETMs are being tagged with XML based Document Type Definitions (DTDs). The military has been the primary driver of tagged content development for technical manuals, however, commmercial companies are increasing their use of these documents as they see the value of re-use of the original authored content.
  • Maintenance Support Device (MSD) - A ruggedized portable computer used by Army personnel to run software for troubleshooting and maintaining Army vehicles and aircraft. The MSD is used to hook into different hardware for taking readings from the vehicle. The Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) kit is hooked to the MSD for electrical readings. The Data Protocal Adapter (DPA)is used to connect to the J1708 or J1939 bus on the vehicle to read codes from the Electronic Control Units (ECUs) for the engine, transmission and other electronic systems on the vehicle.
  • Repair Parts & Special Tools List (RPSTL) - The RPSTL is the list of parts and special tools that are required to maintain a vehicle. Each vehicle has it's own RPSTL list. The parts have the data required for ordering within the Army procurement system.
  • S1000D - An international standard defining tags for creating an IETM. The tags are based in SGML and XML and information can be obtained from The standard was originally used for aircraft manuals Europe. It is now growing and is planned for vehicle manuals in Europe and the United States for military and commercial uses.
  • MIL-STD-2361/MIL-STD-40051 - A US Army military standard for the look and feel of US Army IETMs. MIL-STD-40051 defines the look, feel and organization and MIL-STD-2361 defines the tags to be used for meeting the items defined in MIL-STD-40051.

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