Initially developed by the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD), formerly known as the European Association for Aerospace Industries (AECMA) but currently is maintained by the S1000D Steering Committee comprising three separate organizations; ASD, Aerospace Industries Association of America (AIA) and ATA e-Business Program.
S1000D utilises a Common Source Database (CSDB) and is used for the procurement and production of technical publications. The specification utilises Continuous Acquisition and Life-cycle Support (CALS), International Support Organization (ISO) and World Wide Consortium (W3C) standards. Information generated is in neutral format, which means it can be used on disparate IT systems. It is this feature together with the modular approach to data creation and storage that makes the specification so acceptable to the wider international community.
S1000D incorporates a methodology for storing data in electronic form and provides the capability to output information both in electronic and paper format. The standards and DTDs/Schemas for the XML IETP-X are also included.
Data produced to ASD S1000D is presented in a modular form (data modules). A data module is defined as "a self-contained unit of data". Individual data modules are identified by a logical and specific numbering system, the Data Module Code (DMC), which permits the use of a database to store and manage the complete information set.
Data modules have two sections, one containing the content, which is the data required by the user e.g. the description or procedure, the other is the Identification and Status section, which contains all the metadata necessary to control the data module and its configuration. Each item of information, therefore, carries all its own configuration data.
A project's complete technical publications information set is held on a Common Source Data Base (CSDB). The combination of data module code, information types and DM metadata allows a selection of subsets of information to be chosen by query or table of contents designed to meet a specific user's needs. Graphic standards are supported with Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM - ATA profile), Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), CALS Raster Grp 4, JPEG, GIF, PNG, PDF and TIFF.
The use of a DMC ensures that information is not duplicated in the CSDB. Items of information, which are repeated in different contexts, for example, warnings, opening and closing procedures, can be stored once as a single data module and can be used many times in different contexts. This provides considerable savings in data maintenance and enhances data configuration control. When change is required only the single DM needs to be changed whilst the changed information appears throughout the output, an example of the fundamental CALS philosophy of "create once, use many times".
Adopting S1000D has numerous benefits and advantages. The full list can be viewed at the S1000D website.