What is S1000D?

S1000D is an international specification for the production of technical publications for any civil or military project. While the title restricts its use to technical publications, it has been found through application that the principles of the specification can be applied to non-technical publications.

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.


Structure Of S1000D

The way an S1000D publication is “constructed” is by using separate modules to form the building blocks of the final publication. The term for these modules or building blocks is “Data Modules” . It is the smallest self-contained information unit within a technical publication. Data modules control and contain text, illustrations, multimedia, and data. They have defined neutral structures based on international standards.

Whatever authoring tool you use, all data modules are industry standart XML/SGML documents. And for a project to produce IETP or IETM these documents have to be published and read by customers and authors. So a Common Source Data Base(CSDB) is formed for these data modules and their interactions such as links, references forms illustrations.  Information management is comprised of the addressing, storage and handling of information objects such as data modules, illustrations and publications that enables the production and use of common technical publications within a project.


Producing cycle of a S1000D Project

This specification has been produced to cater for many different types of products. Therefore, tomake it suitable for a given project or organization, some aspects of tailoring will be required. 

Project business rules must be agreed between parties to document the details of the agreed tailoring of this specification. Business rules are decisions that are made by a project or an organization on how to implement S1000D. Business rules cover all aspects of S1000D and are not limited to authoring or illustrating. Business Rules are the starting point of a S1000D project.



 Benefits of S1000D

There are many benefits of integrating S1000D into an organizations documentation process. These benefits can be summarized into the following major points:

·         Share Information: The primary reasons to use S1000D are to have the ability to produce content that can be integrated into other vendors systems and projects and enhance technical information exchange among the many defense and commercial stakeholders. This data exchange will enable organizations to achieve the key goal of international interoperability and information reuse between civil and defense related projects.

·         Use Data More Effectively: With more organizations authoring to the guidelines set out in S1000D, data mining will be a natural flow on benefit. Data mining allows relationships between content in different stores of data to be discovered and exploited. Without data mining, content that is common to different items is not captured. With data mining enabled however common information can be identified. By identifying this information across database, the documentation process can be streamlined because the same information can be reused.

·         Save Time: The overall time needed to create new documents will decrease because organizations can reuse their content in other S1000D documents. This is particularly desirable for organizations that may produce almost identical products with minor physical or mechanical differences.

·         Reduce Errors: Reusing data many times has a number of benefits but one that may not be as obvious is the potential reduction in errors. If you are referencing a certain document in a number of different locations within a publication and you discover that the document contains errors, there is no need to open every document that may contain this particular piece of information. Because the information is reused, the source document that contains the error can be easily corrected. Then the other documents that contained referenced information from the originally erroneous document can be updated automatically with the new information.

·         Save Money: The costs for producing documentation will decrease since documentation will be written in a structured format (i.e. SGML or XML). This will result in a more streamlined publishing process, eliminating the need to have multiple computer programs and staff skill sets for generating the technical documentation. Using SGML and XML to author content for publications offers many cost-saving benefits for organizations. Some of the major benefits are:

o   The focus is taken off format and back to what’s important => content.

o   Authors and writers will return to doing what they do best, namely creating and maintaining accurate information in their area of expertise.

o   The reuse of data will mean less redundancy and less time spent recreating standard data.

·         Increase Usability of Documents: S1000D recommends that the use of Simplified English in technical documents should be incorporated into technical publications. By encouraging the use of Simplified English in an organizations writing style, the amount of ambiguity in technical publications will be substantially reduced. Ambiguity is a dangerous thing to have in technical documentation because it puts the onus on the reader to interpret instructions and make an educated guess in some cases.

·         Use The Latest Technology In Your Publications: The S1000D specification is responsive to emerging technology. S1000D will never become irrelevant from a technology standpoint.


Viya LM&BT is a partner of Absolute Data Group (ADG).


Absolute Data Group (ADG) is an award-winning technology company that specializes in creating, managing and leveraging technical data and maintenance information for clients across a variety of industries.