A Web-Based Architecture for Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals

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					                                  Eric L. Jorgensen and Joseph J. Fuller

       A Web-Based Architecture for Interactive Electronic Technical
                           Manuals (IETMs)


Abstract                                                   become a reality. Thus, for the first time, the
                                                           presentation of maintenance information to
This paper presents a concept of a Web-based
                                                           shipboard and flight-line technicians is made
Architecture for achieving user-level
                                                           possible, with the advent of the Interactive
interoperability of DoD Interactive Electronic
                                                           Electronic Technical Manual (or IETM).
Technical Manuals so that an end user can view
any DoD IETM, no matter what the source,                   An IETM is a Technical Manual, authored by a
using only one electronic display device and               contractor or by the Government in digital form,
common set of browser software. The particular             designed for electronic (screen) display to an
solution presented is that developed by a study            end user, with three innovative characteristics
performed for the Navy; however, the paper also            not possible with paper Technical Manuals
discusses the effort to extend the Navy                    (TMs). These three characteristics are:
Architecture to all of DoD. The DoD effort is
being undertaken by a Tri-Service team                     •    Optimized style and organization of
chartered by the Assistant Undersecretary of                    information for computer-screen
Defense (Logistics Reinvention and                              presentation; i.e., frame-oriented vs page-
Modernization). The Architecture is being                       oriented presentation with such additional
developed in response to a requirement from the                 capabilities as scrolling, zooming, color,
Joint Logistics Commanders, which identifies                    motion, and sound.
that non-interoperability of IETMs as a major              •    Enormously improved access to required
impediment in conducting Joint Operations.                      information on a practically instantaneous
                                                                basis, through a variety of paths.
Introduction                                               •    Interactivity between the user and the
A revolution in Information Technology in the                   Technical Information (TI); the computer-
last ten years has also revolutionized the Navy's               based IETM can provide procedural
way of acquiring, managing, and presenting to                   guidance (based on user input), navigational
the Fleet the Technical Information required to                 directions, and logistic -support functions
train for, maintain, and operate its weapon                     supplemental to maintenance (such as
systems.                                                        maintenance reporting, parts ordering, etc.).
During this period, millions of pages of paper             Test after test in the Navy with both surface and
Technical Manuals have been digitized and                  air weapon systems, ashore and afloat, under
stored in electronic form by the Navy and by the           operationally realistic conditions, has shown the
other Services. Warehouses full of paper                   superiority of this mode of information
Technical Manuals are becoming a thing of the              presentation at the end-user level, and its
past. An information-system infrastructure                 acceptance by Fleet users.
based on hard copy is being converted to a                 As a result, during the last few years, many
computer-controlled infrastructure that can                System Acquisition Managers who are
provide high-speed, on-line information                    developing new systems, in all of the Services,
availability on a worldwide basis.                         have established requirements for IETMs
As capacity, speed, and availability of small              containing weapon-support Technical
computers increased by orders of magnitude, a              Information, and are acquiring and fielding this
number of long-anticipated improvements in                 type of TI. Others are converting existing paper
providing weapon-support information can now               manuals (legacy data) to IETM form in order to
realize the life-cycle benefits achievable in          support infrastructure, to the IETM presentation
effectiveness and reduced handling costs.              system. Although several military
                                                       Specifications were developed and promulgated
                                                       throughout the DoD for use in IETM
The Problem                                            acquisition, their emphasis was on performance
As is the case with the implementation of any          requirements and not on assuring standardization
new technology, technical problems have arisen         of hardware, software, or information-system
in effecting these changes. At the same time,          protocols. This interoperability problem
changes in the military environment have               involving Technical Information within the DoD
occurred; for example, a change to a more              is, however, similar to same basic problem,
Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS)-oriented               albeit on a much greater scale, which has arisen
acquisition philosophy, downsizing of                  as a result of the information explosion on a
Government facilities, reduction of available          world-wide basis over the last few years.
funds, and an increasing emphasis in the
                                                       The global need for interoperability at the end-
Department of Defense (DoD) on Joint
                                                       user level has largely been satisfied by the
operations, weapon systems, and information
                                                       World-Wide-Web (WWW) and Internet
procedures. Each of these factors has had
profound effects on procedures for acquiring and       technology using a common Web browser.
managing Technical Information in such a way           Such an approach is completely adaptable for
that its full potential can be applied to              deployment on an DoD intranet to resolve the
                                                       similar DoD problems of establishing the needed
supporting the warfighter in the face of the
                                                       interoperability.
increased demands of system complexity, wide
dispersal of facilities, fewer personnel, and the
greater need for quick reactions.                      Need for a New IETM Architecture
One major problem that has arisen is a need for        Recognizing both the need for greater TI
greater interoperability; i.e., the requirement that   interoperability in the Navy and the potential of
technicians of one Service, must during Joint          WWW technology for providing a solution to
Operations be able to maintain and, at times           the problem, the Naval Air Systems Command,
operate, weapon systems of another Service by          and in particular the F/A-18 program,
accessing that other Service’s technical               established an effort in 1996 to develop
information, using the single electronic display       guidelines for the development and acquisition
device originally issued to the technician.            of IETMs in accordance with WWW
Ideally, interoperability of weapon systems            approaches. This capability was to be
within the DoD should be such that any user is         established in such a way that any authorized
able to access all relevant data systems               end user could access all relevant information
(consistent with security limitations) using only      regardless of source, nature of the IETM-
one display device. In order to make that              authoring system, or structure of the IETM. The
information easily available to the user (e.g., on     Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock
a common intranet in the field), it is important       Division (NSWCCD), was assigned the
that the barriers to the smooth flow of                technical responsibility for this task.
information throughout the logistic -support
                                                       Through the Tri-Service IETM Technology
structure have been eliminated.
                                                       Working Group (IETMTWG), chaired by
The achievement of such Technical Information          NSWCCD, this project was briefed to the other
interoperability is by no means inherent in            Services, to the Office of the Secretary of
IETM-acquisition procedures that have been             Defense, and to the Joint Logistics Commanders
developed over the last few years. This results,       Group for Communications and Electronics
because a System Acquisition Manager is                (JCG-CE). The Joint Logistics Commanders
required to construct his own new development          (JLC) and the Office of the Deputy
path from the establishment of interactive             Undersecretary of Defense (Logistics)
digitized product information, through the             (DUSD(L)) recognized both the problem of
assuring wide IETM interoperability and the        TRI-SERVICE IETM TECHNOLOGY
applicability of the proposed solution on a        WORKING GROUP
Service-wide basis, and assigned to the
IETMTWG the mission of broadening the                  Reports to ADUSD(LR&M), formerly
approach to provide a new IETM architecture to           the OSD CALS Office
attack the problem on a DoD-wide basis. This
effort has been assigned to the IETMTWG, with          Initial Charter- 24 Aug 1989; Revised-
technical input provided by the Army, Navy, Air            20 Jun 1997
Force, and Marine Corps, leading toward                Purpose: To foster the exchange of
development of a suitable Joint IETM                      ideas and the agreement on a
Architecture (JIA) and a suitable Pilot-                  common approach regarding the
Demonstration program involving candidate                 acquisition of IETMs.
weapon systems from all of the Services.
                                                       Membership:
The IETMTWG has, at this time, been
                                                         Army- Logistics Support Activity
chartered to provide a new DoD Information
                                                         (LOGSA), Huntsville AL
Architecture for IETM interoperability,
specifically to:                                         Navy- NSWC Carderock MD
                                                         (Chair)
•   Develop a uniform approach for                       Air Force- Air Force Product Data
    electronically communicating and accessing           Systems Modernization (PDSM),
    technical data throughout the DoD.                   Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
•   Maximize the use of commercial off-the-              (WPAFB), OH
    shelf technology in the process.                     Marine Corps- Marine Corps
                                                         Systems Command (MCSC),
•   Develop a common user/information                    Quantico VA
    interface for field delivery systems.
                                                       Primary Current Task: DoD IETM
                                                          Interoperability
Testing Architecture in a DoD
Framework
Under the sponsorship of Assistant Deputy          of the Marine Corps. Army programs
Undersecretary of Defense (Logistics               participating in the test include the AN/PPS-5,
Reinvention and Modernization), the Tri-Service    the Enhanced Position Location Reporting
IETM Technology Working Group will be              System (EPLRS) Net Control Station, and
demonstrating the applicability to the Joint       Apache Longbow. Planned Air Force programs
IETM Architecture (a modification and              include the General Methods and Procedures
extension of the Navy IETM Architecture [NIA]      Technical Orders, F-22, and Joint Surveillance
described herein) to a variety of representative   Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS). The
DoD programs in FY99. Navy Department              evaluation program will address all levels of
programs participating will include the F/A-18     IETM functionality and cover the IETM
Aircraft, the New Attack Submarine (NSSN),         spectrum from legacy systems to newly
the E-6B aircraft, the LM-2500 Gas Turbine         developed IETMs. The tests will cover the
System, the Naval Sea Systems Command              following products and/or standard formats:
(NAVSEA) and Submarine Ship System                 Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF),
Manuals (SSMs), as well as the Advanced            Air-Force Indexed Portable Document Format
Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAAV) program          (IPDF), Boeing Quilt, General Dynamics
                                                   TechSight, Navy Class-2 Standard Generalized
                                                   Markup Language (SGML), Raytheon
                                                   Advanced Integrated Maintenance Support
                                                   System (AIMSS), Litton MediaLynk, Advanced
                                                   Technical Information Support (ATIS) System,
Lockheed Martin F-22 Integrated Maintenance          unified approach to the acquisition,
Information System (IMIS),                           management, and use of existing ETMs
Air Force/Grumman JSTARS IMIS (JIMIS),               (Electronic Technical Manuals) and newly
Navy Advanced Technical Information Support          procured IETMs. To meet this goal, the overall
System (ATIS), and Internet Standard Hypertext       approach will be based on the use of existing
Markup Language (HTML). These tests are              COTS and Non-Developmental Item (NDI)
planned to provide a comprehensive assessment        Internet and World-Wide-Web technology. An
of the proposed Web-based IETM Architecture.         overall end goal is to achieve end-user-level
                                                     interoperability of the IETMs delivered to and
The details below describe the completed Navy
                                                     used by the Navy. In this context, an IETM is
IETM Architecture (NIA) effort. The final NIA
                                                     defined as having end-user interoperability when
report has been widely distributed and is
                                                     it can enable a user with a common,
available on the NSWCCD Web Site,
                                                     commercially available display device, such as a
http://navycals.dt.navy.mil, under the IETM
                                                     portable personal computer:
subtopic. The Joint IETM Architecture (JIA)
will be similar in construct and philosophy;         [1] to view and interact with an IETM from
however, the results were not available at the            any source and of any internal format; and
time this paper was prepared and will not be
formalized until the second quarter of CY 1999.      [2] to view, by means of an electronic -link
                                                          reference in the displayed IETM,
                                                          information in any other IETM to which the
The Navy IETM Architecture (NIA)                          link refers.
Development Effort
The objective of the NIA Study effort has been       Technical Approach
to create a high level IETM Architecture to
guide and standardize IETM acquisition,              The overall concept of this effort is to utilize the
management, and display that:                        group of emerging technologies that the
                                                     commercial marketplace is rapidly adopting as
[1] will enable, for the end user, maximum           the standard for electronic documents based on
     interoperability of Technical Information to    the technology of the Internet and the World
     meet the needs of the Naval Aviation            Wide Web. For security and operational
     community in supporting the Naval               reasons, the Navy will not, of course, utilize the
     Logistics Information Strategy Plan;            actual Internet or the World Wide Web itself,
                                                     but can employ essentially the same technology
[2] will also serve as the basis for a DoD-wide      and COTS products in a private and dedicated
     adoption of the proposed approach, to be
                                                     DoD intranet environment. Such an approach is
     based on pilot-test programs that will assess
                                                     becoming the de facto standard for corporate
     the applicability of the Architecture to
                                                     information-distribution systems worldwide.
     supporting IETMs for candidate weapon
                                                     Once this approach has been proved effective, a
     systems of the Military Services.
                                                     set of implementation standards will be
                                                     developed within this comprehensive,
Goal for the Architecture                            DoD-wide, commercially supported (i.e., COTS)
The primary goal for the Navy IETM                   framework.
Architecture is to set the foundation for the        A major objective of the effort to develop the
acquisition and deployment of sharable and           Architecture is to demonstrate end-user
interoperable technical data is distributed to the   interoperability of proprietary and legacy
work location of an end-user, who will be able       Electronic Technical Manuals by encapsulating
to view and utilize that data through a common       them into a common IETM View Package (VP)
user interface, no matter what the authoring         format which can be viewed by the end user
source or data format. In so doing the Naval         employing a single commercially available user
Aviation Community will be able to establish a       information interface, a process referred to in
this report as "object encapsulation". This          based entirely on COTS and NDI technology.
demonstration requires the establishment of the      The architecture is based on a dedicated Web or
following technical capabilities:                    intranet that, at a minimum, has at least one
                                                     Web-browser client, at least one Web server
[1] an authoring system to effectively create        (more precisely, a Hypertext Transfer Protocol
     and manage IETMs (regardless of which           [HTTP] server and its included file -based store),
     authoring tool, etc., is used);                 and a network to connect them. The specific
[2] an infrastructure that permits a military        implementation of the network, which is
     component to distribute, manage, and            typically a TCP/IP (Transmission Control
     present these IETMs; and                        Protocol / Internet Protocol)-based network
                                                     when more than one device is involved, is not
[3] a system that permits an end user to             discussed in detail in this report and will
     perform his job effectively through access      typically vary from one implementation to
     to required Technical Information, and that     another. As will be described more fully below,
     allows him to retrieve relevant data from       the intranet may include optional database
     other IETMs, including those of other           servers and application servers as well as the
     Services, if necessary.                         HTTP server.
In order to achieve interoperability, the
performance specification recommended for the        Use of Internet and World Wide Web
NIA will be specific, but with the clear intent to
                                                     Technology
not preclude innovative solutions, especially in
light of the constantly expanding technology         The approach to developing a solution for this
base. Achieving this balance has required            interoperability problem has been to adapt
making some decisions that may need to be            commercial and industry applications involving
reexamined over time. Whenever possible, the         electronic documentation for which there is
design adheres to open standards or de facto         widespread vendor-product support. The Naval
standards widely implemented by multiple             Aviation IETM Information Architecture Project
vendors.                                             is applying the products and standards being
                                                     developed for the World Wide Web and the
                                                     Internet in a dedicated private-intranet
Overview of the Architecture                         environment. The NIA has intentionally been
The NIA is firmly based on the proven and            designed to be extensible, flexible, and able to
widely accepted Internet and World Wide Web          accommodate the predictable rapid growth in
technology, implemented as a private Web on a        technology for all aspects of the Internet, the
contained intranet. This intranet can be             Web, and the emerging electronic
configured as a private DoD World-wide               documentation applications being developed to
network (e.g., the Global Combat Support             operate on the Web.
System [GCSS], as a ship or squadron-wide            The Web is, by its nature a client/server
network (e.g., the NAVAIR Automated                  architecture and there is one area on the
Maintenance Environment [AME] network                client/server spectrum in which NIA compliant
envisioned for all Naval Aviation sites), or as a    IETM Applications may differ in emphasis from
group of computers in close proximity hard-          a major server-centric trend that is emerging for
wired in an Ethernet configuration. It can also      many commercial “enterprise” applications.
be configured in a single display device             The NIA is intentionally biased towards a client-
(portable or workstation personal computer)          centric model employing encapsulated objects
which operates both as a client browser and a        that are downloaded to a portable device for use.
personal single -user Web server.                    The server is treated as a utility electronic
The technology for implementing such an              bookshelf with the IETM View Packages (i.e.,
intranet is low-risk, easily implemented, and        the encapsulated objects) designed so they can
widely understood. The proposed architecture is      easily be moved to another electronic bookshelf
at another physical site, reflecting the               Following is a summary of initial
operational reality of the military unit itself. On    recommendations for the Naval Aviation
the other hand, commercial Web sites tend to be        implementation of the NIA, as well as, the
permanently located corporate resource centers         baseline requirement for the NIA.
at which both the servers and the information
providers are located. For these commercial
                                                       Proposed Performance Specifications
activities, the mobile and less controlled entity is
                                                       for the Architecture
the user client. In this scenario, the preference is
towards server-centric computing and the use of        In addition to assuming the widely known and
server-oriented Web-object components. The             accepted Internet/Web standards utilized in
corporate personnel resources for maintaining          building any intranet based on the International
both the Web server and the content are located        W3 Consortium Standards, the IETM Improved
at the Web site.                                       Interoperability Architecture is being specified
                                                       in the form of performance and interface
In the military, the server sites have more of the
                                                       specifications in the following areas:
characteristics of a technical library and not a
computer information center. The content               •   Object-Encapsulation Specification needed
related technical expertise lies with the content          for definition of the delivery, transport, and
creator or the end user. This situation at this            structure of the IETM View Packages.
time favors total object encapsulation and client-
centric computing as the primary emphasis of           •   Intranet Server and Database Interface
the NIA.                                                   Specification.

Progress in Web-oriented technology and the            •   Browser Specification.
state of the availability of secure and affordable
                                                       •   Electronic Addressing Specification.
military global intranets may well change this
situation in the future. Thus, the NIA proposed        The Object-Encapsulation, Intranet Server and
below is intentionally designed so to not              Database Interface, Browser, and Electronic
preclude such server-centric solutions should          Addressing performance specifications are
such a change occur. In this light, it is important    required to effect interoperability of disparate
to emphasize that any implementing policy for          IETMs in the field. Achievement of
the NIA must include some specific guidance on         interoperability implies the ability to view any
how to apply the Architecture, as well as, the         IETM with any browser that conforms to the
requirement to conform to the architecture.            IETM Browser Specification. It thus requires
                                                       that all cross references by one IETM to another
The use of custom servers is an important for
                                                       IETM be encoded in a manner such that the
which such guidance must be matured over time.         IETM browser will be able to access the
Guidance documents for the NIA and any
                                                       referenced IETM by a simple selection button
possible DoD wide expansion of the NIA must
                                                       "push" (e.g., mouse click).
be continually updated over time. Such updates
must be based on a continuing study of the             In addition to these end-user interoperability
emerging Military requirement compared to the          specifications, the eventual complete
current state of commercial technology and             Architecture recommended for Naval Aviation
available COTS commercial products. The                will include a Source-Data Sharing Specification
Naval Aviation Community or any other DoD              in order to achieve interoperability of source
component can not simply buy the latest and            data; that is, the ability for one authoring
greatest commercially available technology             environment to automatically import source data
without checking it against real Military              from another authoring environment. The
requirements, which are not always the same as         details in this Source-Data-Sharing Specification
commercial requirements for which the products         will be established by an additional phase of the
are often created                                      study, which is still ongoing at the time of this
                                                       writing. Below is a short summary of the five
specifications with a more detailed discussion of    servers with widely available server extensions
the first four presented later in this report.       such as the Microsoft Front Page and Active
                                                     Server Page extensions. Such an approach will
OBJECT-ENCAPSULATION                                 require no additional software to be overtly
SPECIFICATION                                        installed on either the servers or the browser
A core philosophy underlying this architecture is    device. However, it is recognized that some
that developers of IETMs can package and             legacy systems, and possibly some highly
deliver, as a single data package composed of        innovative new IETM applications, may require
encapsulated objects called a View Package, all      some sort of custom server extensions and
capability and content for an IETM that is           database interface components. Final
needed to use the IETM on an unmodified              recommendations on the use and encapsulation
standard Naval Aviation Intranet. This View          of server extensions will require additional
Package may in fact contain both content data        technical investigations as the technology and
and software components and can be treated as        marketplace needs to mature before a full
an encapsulated data set for purposes of contract    tradeoff and the development of specific
delivery to an electronic archive or subsequent      recommendations can be accomplished.
store-and-forward management site. It will
eventually be delivered by the Naval Aviation        BROWSER SPECIFICATION
Infrastructure to the Fleet user activities as       The Browser Specification will specify the
though it were a simple data package. Similarly,     versions of the two dominant commercial
it will be treated by the Infrastructure as file -   browser products and a set of standard
oriented data for the User Intranet Web Server,      extensions (i.e., controls and/or plug-ins) to
i.e., simply as a generic “bucket of sequenced       these browsers, which include common DoD
bits” which makes sense to the server but is on      data viewers such as PDF, an SGML viewer,
no concern to the infrastructure as long as it is    CGM (Computer Graphics Metafile) Version 4
kept together. Essentially the View Package is a     Graphics, and CALS raster images. The utility,
set of industry standard binary files, each of       functionality, maturity, and compatibility with
which is assigned a notional Universal Resource      the Navy's "IT-21" policy of the DCOM
Locator (URL) which contains sufficient              (Distributed Component Object Model) family
information for installation as data in the          of object broker standards is such that it will be
Intranet Server file system.                         recommended for the Naval Aviation
Until the point of receipt by the intranet server,   implementation of the NIA. While Internet
the View Package is processed as a single            Explorer fully supports DCOM, there is a need
object. There are a variety of mature approaches     for an extension of the Netscape browser to
for bundling a set of files with headers into a      process Active-X Controls, the needed IETM
single data set (e.g., INTERNET MIME                 related aspect of DCOM. The eventual goal is
[Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions]              to have all valid DoD IETMs be compatible with
Standards) and the Architecture may use any of       both the Internet Explorer and Netscape
them, requiring only that the View Package can       products, possibly requiring some installed
be installed as a set of files on the intranet       extensions.
server. With this approach, no overt man-in-the-
                                                     ELECTRONIC ADDRESSING
loop software installation processes are required
                                                     S PECIFICATION
other than the automatic capability built into the
World-Wide-Web-capable browsers and servers.         The Electronic Addressing Specification will be
                                                     based on the existing Universal Resource
SERVER AND DATA-BASE INTERFACE                       Locator (URL) standard for the World Wide
SPECIFICATION                                        Web because it is widely implemented in
The simplest way for the NIA to achieve IETM         virtually all Web-enabled vendor products. Any
interoperability for the Naval Aviation              occurrence of a legitimate URL string of
Community is to utilize only primary generic         characters is automatically made "hot" in the
vendor application and a mouse click or two on          Figure 1 – Flow of IETMs through the NIA

that hot spot will launch a Web browser search
which in turn will locate the file referenced by
                                                           IETM
the URL and display it on the screen. In addition          Content Data
to requiring a standard syntax, the Electronic                                  Infrastructure
                                                                                Server
Addressing Specification will also require that                                 (Receive VPs from
all of the Services maintain and publish a                                      Developer
permanent registry of all valid references to the                               Store VPs
                                                                                Forward/Push to
IETMs issued by that Service. Once published, a                                 User Site Server
valid URL must not be changed. This type of                                     Manage as item-of-
URL is called a persistent URL. The NIA                                         supply)
assures that the URLs need not change over time
                                                          IETM View
by requiring URLs that do not reference an             IETM
                                                          Package
actual physical server on any particular network.         Transmitted to
(Note: the NIA calls these Persistent URLs -              Site Server
P/URLs. The JIA will call these virtual URLs -
vURLs.) The specification will address the
requirement in an intranet environment to remap
these virtual URLs (which reference a                     Site Server for
                                                                                                 Site
hypothetical server on the World-Wide Web)                User Intranet                          Server
into the actual server and file -system locations                                                File
on the intranet under use.                                                                       Base

                                                                           Request (via URL)
NIA Operational Flow Diagram                                               and Receive Web
                                                                           Objects
The following (Figure 1) illustrates the flow of
an NIA implementation from the original IETM
developer, through the management                         User Device
                                                                                               User views IETMs in
                                                          (Workstation or
infrastructure repository, to the user-site intranet      PEDD) with Web
                                                                                               Single Common
                                                                                               Browser Using Point-
server, to the Web browser viewing area and               Browser Client
                                                                                               and-Click Hot Spots
eventually to the user who selects the next object        Software Installed
                                                                                               (URL Links)
to view via a point-and-click Web-browser
interface. The presentation components referred
to can be client software components or server
software components. They can also be implied           The User Perspective
(i.e., omitted) in the case when they are
preinstalled in the standard browser. These             The end user accesses and views the IETMs in
Architectural Types are variants of this overall        the following manner. The typical device that a
flow diagram and are described below.                   technician will access is a workstation personal
                                                        computer or a PEDD (Portable Electronic
                                                        Display Device). This device will be configured
                                                        either as a network client attached to the
                                                        squadron intranet or it will be configured to
                                                        operate in stand-alone mode. In either case the
                                                        man-machine interface is identical and the user
                                                        cannot determine from the look and feel of a
                                                        display in which mode the device is operating.
                                                        To access an IETM, the user will employ an
                                                        URL reference using one of the many access-
                                                        screen or menu-select options available (e.g.,
                                                        favorites list, explicit entry, a pre-assembled list
of active IETMs on a squadron Home Page, a            transfer is complex, it is off-the-shelf and neither
hot-spotted index graphic, a Web-page job-            expensive nor difficult to obtain. This is due to
assignment form listing the needed technical          the exploding popularity of the Internet and the
references). All of these are common practices        World Wide Web for commercial applications
borrowed from the World Wide Web                      and the rush by suppliers to get competitive
community. From the user’s perspective the            products to market.
referenced IETM simply appears in the browser
                                                      A foundational principal of the NIA is that the
window.
                                                      products developed for the Internet can be used
Depending on the browser security level set, the      unmodified to develop IETM products for an
user may at times need to overtly accept              NIA-compliant Intranet. This process is in sharp
components that require installation, but no          contrast to a conventional IETM application
other explicit installation action is needed as the   where the IETM product is delivered as two
browser installs the components automatically.        separate items, the IETM content data and the
This is a key user-friendly feature of the NIA.       IETM presentation-system application-software
Thus, there is no need for a system administrator     program. The later requires an explicit
to install user software; that is a part of the       installation process onto every applicable end-
simplicity of this approach. Web access is a          user device even if it is co-located on the same
proven “point and click” user interface. If one       CD/ROM (Compact Disc/Read-Only Memory)
IETM contains a reference to another IETM, the        as the data. There are many options for the
user can click on the reference and that IETM         required object encapsulation, however, those
will appear in the browser window (assuming, of       specific methodologies are not specified in the
course, it is installed on the user’s intranet).      NIA. Only the Web-based interface to the
This second IETM can in turn reference a third        object is specified.
IETM. To return to the original IETM, the user
simply uses the “back” arrow on the browser
                                                      The Infrastructure Perspective
interface, effectively reversing the references.
Modern Web browsers can handle many levels            The key NIA concept for the Infrastructure
of such nested referencing with no performance        designer and user is that the IETM View
degradation, a very powerful feature. From the        Packages are composed of self-contained digital
user perspective the NIA is thus intended to          objects which appear to the infrastructure as
make the use of the disparate IETMs as easy and       large standard binary formatted digital files.
“seamless” as possible with modern technology.        These objects can be received from a developer,
                                                      stored, forwarded, and delivered from one server
                                                      to another without the end user's ever needing to
The IETM Developer Perspective                        know the internal structure of the View Package
The principal emphasis from the IETM-                 itself. The infrastructure site can function more
developer perspective is that all software            as a supply center than as an information-
components and data needed to make an IETM            systems center. The specific design of and
accessible on the NIA display device are              development of recommendations for a Naval
bundled into a single data product (i.e., the         Aviation Infrastructure was not in the scope of
encapsulated object), which is easily installed as    this reported effort. This will undoubtedly be a
a set of data files onto an intranet-server file      complex, difficult, but important task that will
system. This set of encapsulated objects is           be complicated by the impact it will have on
called a View Package. All data and component         many existing business practices. However, this
delivery to the end user is accomplished through      key NIA element, that the objects can be
the Web-based client-server interaction. An           processed as an item of supply, with no
additional feature is that this View Package can      requirement to manage the internal content or
be passed, unmodified, from server to server as       structure of the object, should make this task
part of the NIA electronic -distribution system.      much more manageable.
While the technology needed to accomplish this
Integrated Product Support Database                (NTIPS), F-14A Field Test Results. David
(IPSDB) Using the Navy IETM                        Taylor Research Center. DTRC-88-036..
Architecture                                       Fuller, Joseph J. and Samuel C. Rainey. 1992.
This report closes with the following              The Interactive Electronic Technical Manual.
recommendation for increasing the applicability    CALS Journal. Volume 1, Number 4.
of this Web-based architectural model to           Fuller, Joseph J., Samuel C. Rainey, and
applications other than IETMs. The above-          Theodore J. Post. 1996. Maintenance and
described Architecture can apply to any of the     Logistic System-Support Benefits Resulting
components of an Integrated Product Support        From Introduction of IETM-Based Technology.
Database (IPSDB), including training products      Carderock Division, Naval Surface Warfare
used to support a weapon system in the field. In   Center. NSWCCD/TSS-97/02.
developing integrated support for a product,
which includes IETMs as well as training           Fuller, Joseph J. and Tri-Service IETM
modules, it should be the DoD position to          Technology Working Group. 1998. Plan for
discourage the development of proprietary          DoD-Wide Demonstrations of a DoD Improved
monolithic IPSDBs for individual weapon            Interactive Electronic Technical Manual (IETM)
systems. Instead, it is recommended that a         Architecture. Carderock Division, Naval Surface
strategy be developed for using the proposed       Warfare Center. CDNSWC-TSSD-98-006.
unified IETM architecture to provide IPSDB         Jorgensen, Eric L. 1998. Proposed Web-Based
functionality incorporating field technical        Architecture for the Interoperability of Naval
training, diagnostics, and logistic support        Aviation IETMs. Carderock Division, Naval
products. The family of general-purpose            Surface Warfare Center. CDNSWC-TSSD-98-
commercial products being developed for            005.
private intranet Web servers utilizing Internet
World Wide Web technology can provide all the      Jorgensen, Eric L. and Joseph J. Fuller. New
functionality needed and should be adopted         Approaches for Navy Technical Training and
instead of applying traditional customized         Job Performance Aiding Using Expanded IETM
application software approaches usually            Technology. 1996. Carderock Division, Naval
employed to develop custom DoD product-            Surface Warfare Center. NSWCCD/TSS-97-01.
support systems.                                   Jorgensen, Eric L. and Joseph J. Fuller. 1993.
                                                   Standards for Interactive Electronic Technical
Bibliography                                       Manuals. Proceedings of the 1993 Naval Sea
                                                   Systems Command International Logistics
Fuller, Joseph J. 1994. IETMs- From Research       Symposium. American Society of Naval
to Reality. CALS Expo '94 International            Engineers.
Proceedings.
                                                   Jorgensen, Eric L. and Joseph J. Fuller. 1993.
Fuller, Joseph J., et al. 1988. Test and           The Interactive Electronic Technical Manual.
Evaluation of the Navy Technical Information       ASNE Logistics Symposium Proceedings.
Presentation System (NTIPS). AN/SPA-25D            American Society of Naval Engineers and
Test Results. David Taylor Research Center.        Society of Logistics Engineers.
DTRC-88-035.
                                                   Kramer, Mark T., Theodore J. Post, and Samuel
Fuller, Joseph J. and Eric L. Jorgensen. 1997.     C. Rainey. 1993. Results of a Joint Navy/Air
Integrated Data Environment and Interactive        Force Operational Test to Evaluate USAF
Electronic Technical Manuals (IETMs). DoD          Integrated Maintenance Information System
Logistics Reform Focus Day Proceedings.            (IMIS) Interactive Electronic Technical Manual
Department of Defense.                             (IETM) Technology Applied to the F/A-18
Fuller, Joseph J., Theodore J. Post, and Anne S.   Aircraft. Naval Surface Warfare Center,
Mavor. 1988. Test and Evaluation of the Navy       Carderock Division. CARDEROCKDIV-
Technical Information Presentation System          93/007.
Military Performance Requirements Document         Joseph J. Fuller - Mr. Fuller is the Head, Fleet
MIL-PRF-87268A. 1995. Manuals, Interactive         User-Systems Design Branch, and the Interactive
Electronic Technical: General Content, Style,      Electronic Technical Manual (IETM) Program
Format, and User Interaction Requirements For.     Manager at the Carderock Division of the Naval
                                                   Surface Warfare Center (NSWCCD). He has 30
Military Performance Requirements Document
                                                   years of research and development experience in
MIL-PRF-87269A. 1995. Data Base, Revisable:
                                                   information technology and logistics. Mr. Fuller
Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals, For
                                                   is one of the pioneers in IETMs, starting with the
The Support Of.
                                                   formulation of IETM concepts in the late 1970's.
                                                   He has served as Program Manager of the Navy
Authors                                            Technical Information Presentation System
Eric L. Jorgensen - Mr. Jorgensen has been         program, which developed and tested IETM
involved for over 20 years in research and         prototype systems, and for which the NSWCCD
development programs directed at the               was awarded the 1992 Federal Leadership Award
development and implementation of Paperless        in Information Systems Technology. He has also
Documentation Systems, and more recently,          led DoD standardization efforts in CALS
Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals           (Continuous Acquisition and Life-Cycle
(IETMs) and related technologies for technical     Support). Mr. Fuller has authored over 100
training and diagnostics as applied to military    technical papers and reports; and has participated
applications. Today he is part of a team that      as a speaker, panelist, and track/session chairman
advises Navy Acquisition Program Managers          at ASNE (American Society of Naval Engineers),
and Policy Officials on matters regarding the      SOLE (Society of Logistics Engineers), AIA
Navy's use of this new medium, designed to         (Aerospace Industries Association), NDIA
replace the paper-based technical manual,          (National Defense Industrial Association), and
training materials, and diagnostic aids. He is     other professional conferences. Mr. Fuller is the
one of the Navy representatives on a Tri-Service   Chair of the Tri-Service IETM Technology
Working Group tasked to develop the Military       Working Group chartered by DUSD(L) and a
Specifications and Handbooks for IETMs. Mr.        Navy member of the Joint Logistics Commanders
Jorgensen is currently leading an effort to        Group for Communications and Electronics. He
develop a New Joint DoD-wide IETM                  holds a B.S. in mathematics from Manhattan
Architecture which utilizes the emerging World-    College and a M.S. in engineering from Johns
Wide-Web and Internet technology for the           Hopkins University.
management and delivery of interactive
technical information on dedicated Intranets on
Navy Ships and Air Stations. Mr. Jorgensen's
educational background includes a BS in
Mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology and a MBA from the Stanford
Graduate School of Business.