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European Standard S1000D, an Unnecessary Expense to OEM?

This article is useful if you are into technical documentation. IETM is a software that handles the thousands of pages of user manuals and technical manuals and organizes them in a desired manner.

A few years ago OEMs used to deliver Manuals in the form of PDF files on DVD.

It is easier to refer single PDF when an issue arises. But in many cases, the operator needs to refer to multiple PDFs from multiple DVDs, Hence the concept of IETM was introduced and all the manuals were converted to a common database, and in a single click would reach to desired page using IETM viewer for help.

Thus, IETM was evolved. European countries used the S1000D standard similarly Indian defense has framed guidelines and finalized JSG 0852 standard almost 20 years ago. And slowly the guidelines were developed in the latest JSG 0852: 2019 standard is used now.

What is the Current Problem?
Earlier 10 years ago, IETMs were implemented at the ship level which means the Shipbuilding company used to collect all the manuals from OEMs and convert them to IETM JSG 0852 standard. This was a good process.

There used to be a separate big documentation wing in the Shipbuilding companies and they used to manage the documentation and IETMs. Due course of the time, the team got shirked and left with very few young officers who did not have much knowledge about IETMs.

Hence shipbuilding had decided why should they take the burden of IETM development, So, let the OEM deliver IETMs for us. They have kept a clause in all tender documents that OEM also needs to deliver IETMs along with equipment.

Every OEM will have a Technical documentation team and they are used to deliver IETMs. Of course, it was undoubtedly an additional expense to OEM. Even though it was a burden they managed to get the IETMs developed by companies like us ( code and Pixels) and delivered to Shipbuilding.

This is the First Part of the Story.
Now, the real problem is the usability of the IETM. As per the tender clause every OEM used to give one IETM in one DVD. For one war shipbuilding almost 50 OEMs supply 50 DVDs of IETM. And all the 50 IETMs were installed in one machine. The real problem was, each OEM had its own frontend and database version of IETM and its own software and database, interface installation process etc.

And no IETM talks with other IETM. Because they are all standalone IETMs. Of course, Every OEM has followed the JSG 0852 standard only.

For deliverable checklist purposes, IETMs were delivered but for real-time usage, they are not useful.

Then Why S1000D Has Come Into the Picture?
Shipbuilding companies have understood the problem that every OEM IETM is different and they wanted a common IETM.

Internet says S1000D is the latest version of IETM. And few local S1000D companies that have access to Shipbuilding top officers have wrongly educated and influenced them that S1000D is the solution to their problem and they have influenced the top officers and made S1000D mandatory in their tender documents, without understanding the working principle of S1000D.

Both JSG 0852 and S1000D work on a similar principle. JSG uses a SQL database and S1000D uses XML to store the pages.

And if 50 OEMs supply 50 different IETMs of S1000D, still one S1000D IETM does not talk with another S1000D IETM. Because Each S1000D IETM is a separate standalone IETM. Hence there won’t be any communication between one IETM and another IETM.

The problem is not at all addressed by the shipbuilding companies or organizations..

Moreover, OEMs had to spend almost 3 times more cost for S1000D.

Indian Companies Indian Version of S1000D
When the industry demanded for S1000D, all IETM companies wanted to quickly adopt the S1000D.

Local companies understood that S1000D means XML-based IETMs and they started developing XML-based IETMs but not at all real S1000D standards

Now, NO one knows what the original S1000D looks like, hence Shipbuilding has approved Indian versions of S1000D projects.

Neither the S1000D service provider knows what the is S1000D, nor OEM and Shipbuilding companies.

All are playing around with dummy XML-based IETMs and renaming them as S1000D IETMs.

Original and real S1000D has a lot of attributes and these dummy XML IETMs have none and there is no authentic companies to certify them.

Local companies having reach in top Navy officers influenced them and declared themselves as authentic and started certifying S1000D. If you want real certification, then hire European countries that have done real IETM projects.

In a simple example, Local IETM companies made an Indian version of Chinese chicken fried rice.
How the original Chinese chicken fried looks like, none of the clients know, hence they assume that it’s rice and chicken. They mix all Indian ingredients like ginger garlic paste, red chilly powder, and all Indian masalas making an Indian version of fried rice and serving to customers.

When the customer does not know how the real fried rice looks, then the customer assumes that whatever is served is the original and consuming that.

Similarly, Local S1000D companies are serving the Indian version of S1000D to clients and educating them that it is the actual S1000D.

What is the solution then? : The Conclusion :
The solution should be cost-effective/affordable and easy to use.

Only the solution is instead of asking OEMs to supply IETMs ship buildings have to make IETMs on their own. Ship buildings must collect final PDF manuals and convert them to IETMs.
Whether you implement S1000D or JSG 0852, usability is the same.

Say no to S1000D because
S1000D requires high-cost software CSDB servers may be in a few crores
The manpower required to handle the S1000D is very costly and high-paid
After all putting money it does not give any more features than the Indian standard IETM.
JSG 0852 – Indian standard IETM
When this standard was made, don’t you think that they thought about implementing S1000D?
This Indian standard is made to suit Indian conditions with matching international features
Indian IETM has loads of features and high flexibility for the user
Very economical (S1000D costs one crore and Indian standard costs a maximum of 10 lakh)
Any fresher with HTML/ javascript can be trained on Indian standards and deployed in the project
The conversion cost per page of Indian standard is 150 then S1000D is more than 450
Looking at the Indian scenario, it is better to go for JSG 0852 than S1000D.

I will conclude by giving a small example. No doubt that Tesla or Lamborghini are the best cars for Europe conditions, but those best cars perform worst in the Indian context.
Hence paying crores on the cars and using them on Indian roads is inanity. Choose wisely.

Urge to Shipbuildings:
Let the ship-building organizations take responsibility for IETM conversion whether it is S1000D or JSG 0852 does not matter.
Collect all PDF manuals from OEMs, and convert them using Indian standard IETM which is very economical.
Let IETM not be a part of deliverables in the tender document of OEMs
(Of course, our/ Code and Pixels‘ main business comes from OEMS, if this is implemented we are the first people to become jobless. Still, our main objective is country first. Let the soldiers use the documentation more effectively)

Ultimately, the operator should use IETM in real-time scenarios in the aim of IETM.
What is the point of spending 5 crores on S1000D IETM when the same is delivered more efficiently and effectively by Indian standards for 50 lakhs using Indian standards?
S1000D, a White Elephant.
I wanted to add one more line here. If you are using S1000D IETM then, for life long you need a CSDB studio subscription to edit or update IETMs.
If the life of the IETM is 25 years then one should spend 1 crore every year as a subscription and life-long you need to maintain the S1000D experts in your organization.
Better happily opt for the Indian standard which is functionality-wise better than S1000D and usage-wise very easy and maintenance is free. No subscriptions and in 2 days you can train a fresher and make them handle IETM maintenance works.
Interactive Electronic Technical Manual Software
JSG 0852 Indian standard IETM.
Pocket friendly
Easy to buy and easy to use by anyone
No expert required
Many more features than S1000D for user point of view
Most efficient
Zero maintenance
In short, S1000D is a sales pitch to promote their services, like years ago few companies promoted iodized salt or refined oil. They created panic by telling us that if we do not use iodized salt and refined oil, we will die.

Similarly, the S1000D is promoted like that.

There is no urgent or necessity for S1000D in many of the projects. The S1000D was designed for the Aerospace Industries Association of America for a different purpose.

Definitely, it is useful but not for our context.