S1000D Specification

The S1000D™ Specification is a non-proprietary international specification. This means that the specification does not dictate the product platform.

The ASD S1000D Specification, as defined by S1000D™, is an “International specification for technical publications using a common source database”. This specification was initially developed by the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD).

S1000D is either SGML or XML and depending on the version of the specification will determine which format will be used. If the issue is prior to 2.0 then the content will be SGML. Issue 2.0 to Issue 2.3 could be wither SGML or XML. Issue 3.0 onwards can only be XML.

The concept for the S1000D™ Specification originated in the early 1980s. At this time most civil airline projects were being documented in accordance with the ATA100 specification. Military projects were using various national military specifications. Because of the many different specifications that were available the costs grew for the implementation because complex computer systems were required. Because of this it was decided industry should harmonise the civil and military documentation. It was decided that the ATA 100 specification was to be the source document, and the implementation of ASD the Documentation Working Group (DWG) was realized.

The first release of the S1000D Specification was in 1989 and the last release Issue 5 was in August 2019.

All issues prior to Issue 2.0 were, were focused on Aviation documentation. Issue 2.0 onwards included Land and Sea applications.

Issue v4.1 was jointly produced by ASD, the Aerospace Industries Association of America (AIA), and the Air Transport Association of America (ATA), together with their customers. These form the S1000D Council and the S1000D Steering Committee to establish standards for documentation agreed by the participating parties.

Today, the S1000D Council is responsible for coordinating the development of the specification, all administrative duties associated with maintaining S1000D and for preparing for any Steering Committee meetings.

Since the release of Issue 4.1 the Commercial Aircraft Manufacturers are now requesting component manufacturers to delivery Issue 4.1 S1000D data as part of their parts delivery. Because of this S1000D is being incorporated into commercial airlines for all operational procedures. With the expansion of S1000D, this specification is being adopted by more and more countries and purposes.

Today S1000D covers the planning and management, production, exchange, distribution and use of technical documentation that support the life cycle of any civil or military project. Projects include air, land and sea vehicles and equipment.


The specification adopts International Standards Organization (ISO), Continuous Acquisition and Life-cycle Support (CALS) and World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards, in which information is generated in a neutral format. This means that it can be implemented on different and often disparate systems. Neutrality, added to the concept of modularisation, makes the specification applicable to the wider international community.

With the expansion in use of S1000D, other industries outside of military and air are now implementing the specification including the Rail and Ship Manufacturing industries:

RailDex is based on S1000D Issue 4.1 and uses Descriptive, Procedural, Illustrated Parts Data (IPD) and Business Rules Exchange (BREX )schemas. RailDex also support Applicability, including Applicability Cross Reference Table (ACT), Product Cross Reference Table (PCT) and Conditions Cross Reference Table (CCT).

Shipdex is based on S1000D Issue 2.3 and uses Descriptive, Procedural and Illustrated Parts Data (IPD) schemas.

Find out more

To download the specification, schema’s or sample data modules, visit S1000D Org.