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S1000D: The Simplest Explanation Ever

At this past year’s AIA conference in lovely Clearwater, Florida (that’s not sarcasm, Clearwater is awesome…especially the SandKey Marriott…hey, maybe they’ll throw some points my way for this endorsement!) a speaker asked for a simple explanation of S1000D.

OK, here goes:

S1000D is a specification for creating and managing technical data in a modular format called “data modules”. Data modules are best described as one complete thought or process. This might be a description of a tool, or a subtask in a larger task. By creating this content in modular form (as opposed to traditional cover to cover technical manuals), content can be reused as many times as necessary. S1000D uses XML Schemas to control what can and cannot be found in data modules. There are several different types of data modules catering to content ranging from descriptive to procedural, to illustrated parts data and scheduled maintenance. S1000D is ideally suited for large-scale manufacturing and repair environments.

There. A simple explanation of S1000D. It occurs to me that S1000D is somewhat akin to baseball (though not as fun). Just as baseball is a simple sport to explain but a hard one to master, S1000D can be simply described, but the details of how it all works may take a LONG time to master.