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Developments in the field of technical authoring and documentation have led to the emergence of new standards for the creation of technical documents. Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals (IETM) previously used in the Military and Defense sectors have gained popularity in mainstream industries. For organizations that develop, operate, and maintain complex equipment, technical documentation is essential, and many companies are moving away from traditional, paper-based publications in favor of electronic publications.
Electronic technical manuals and publications are generally classified based on their level of functionality and complexity. For instance class I, II, and III technical publications are categorized as type I technical publications. Although they are delivered in digital format, they still utilize a document-centric approach that emulates traditional book-based documents that have page-oriented elements which can be printed on paper as needed.
Class IV and V IETMs, which are categorized as Type II technical publications, follow a more data-centric approach. These are designed as fully interactive technical manuals that can be integrated with other systems and resources. Unlike the first IETM category, a Type II technical publication makes use of a centralized relational database. This allows for greater data integrity and the removal of redundant information. Technical content elements are dynamically generated and displayed from the underlying database which contains data module elements. These data modules can be re-used multiple times not just within the same document, but across different publications.
Another distinct advantage of Type II technical publications is that it allows for more dynamic data creation, organization and delivery across a variety of platforms.
Ultimately, IETM authoring and development gives engineering-driven organizations the benefit of technical documentation with enhanced scalability and portability, and cost-effective production, distribution, and data management.
CDG, a Boeing company, helps engineering-driven organizations maximize efficiency through its range of Engineering Design, Engineering Data Conversion, [http://www.cdgnow.com]Technical Publications, Lean Advisory Services and Document and Content Management services and solutions. CDG also has extensive experience in [http://www.cdgnow.com/services/interactivemanuals/]IETM authoring and development following. For more information, visit CDGNow.com or call 714-503-4200.