Information Delivery Specification (IDS)

Define your exchange requirements with IDS to build confidence, clarity and enhance interoperability

IDS-illustration-v2

What is IDS?

IDS

Information Delivery Specification (IDS) is a buildingSMART standard for defining information requirements in a computer interpretable form. It allows for automatic compliance checking of IFC models, that increases quality control and fidelity of data. IDS also aids the efficient delivery of the data, by setting the expectations and providing clear guidelines of what needs to be exchanged. A user of IDS can specify how objects, classifications, materials, properties, and even values should be delivered in an IFC model.

Previous versions
All the versions of IDS prior to 1.0 are not an official standard.

IDS 1.0
On 1st June 2024 the IDS has been approved and became the official buildingSMART standard!

Future versions
We are collecting feedback on the improvements needed for the IDS 1.1 and 2.0 versions.

IDS example

Human-friendly 👓

All walls should have the property FireRating in the set Pset_WallCommon with a value being one of REI30, REI60, REI90.

Computer interpretable  💻
<ids:ids xmlns:xs="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:schemaLocation="http://standards.buildingsmart.org/IDS http://standards.buildingsmart.org/IDS/1.0/ids.xsd" xmlns:ids="http://standards.buildingsmart.org/IDS">
<ids:info>
<ids:title>Example IDS</ids:title>
<ids:version>1.0</ids:version>
<ids:author>technical@buildingsmart.org</ids:author>
<ids:date>2024-01-06</ids:date>
</ids:info>
<ids:specifications>
<ids:specification ifcVersion="IFC4X3" name="Walls need fire rating" identifier="S1">
<ids:applicability minOccurs="0" maxOccurs="unbounded">
<ids:entity>
<ids:name>
<ids:simpleValue>IFCWALL</ids:simpleValue>
</ids:name>
</ids:entity>
</ids:applicability>
<ids:requirements>
<ids:property dataType="IFCLABEL" uri="https://identifier.buildingsmart.org/uri/buildingsmart/ifc/4.3/prop/FireRating" cardinality="required">
<ids:propertySet>
<ids:simpleValue>Pset_WallCommon</ids:simpleValue>
</ids:propertySet>
<ids:baseName>
<ids:simpleValue>FireRating</ids:simpleValue>
</ids:baseName>
<ids:value>
<xs:restriction base="xs:string">
<xs:enumeration value="REI30" />
<xs:enumeration value="REI60" />
<xs:enumeration value="REI90" />
</xs:restriction>
</ids:value>
</ids:property>
</ids:requirements>
</ids:specification>
</ids:specifications>
</ids:ids>
Automated validation ✅

🗹 7/10 walls passed the requirement.
🗷 2/10 walls don’t have a FireRating property.
🗷 1/10 wall has a FireRating, but the value is “REI_60” which is not allowed.

Why use IDS?

Clarity

IDS helps you automate data exchanges thanks to its clear and strict structure and well-defined requirements.

Confidence

Enhance interoperability by controlling the quality and reliability of data with IDS.

Consistency

Ensure all project data adheres to the same specification through the IDS standard.

"By adhering to openBIM standards, like IDS, we can show that standardization enhances project efficiency and quality. This helps improve automation that streamlines compliance checking and validation processes, saving time and boosting productivity."

York Tang

R&D Manager at Wings & Associates Consulting Engineers Limited

Use IDS with popular software

The list above is randomized and buildingSMART does not favor any particular solution.

Frequently Asked Questions

IDS, unlike most other information requirement standards, is strictly tied to the IFC data schema. It enables unambiguous interpretation and automatic compliance checking, providing identical results in all checking software. IDS is limited to alphanumeric information, meaning values of properties, quantities, classifications, materials and relations, but doesn't cover geometrical aspects. IDS format can be used in combination with other standards, for example, to capture Exchange Information Requirements (ISO 19650), Level of Information Needs (EN 17412), or Product Data Templates (ISO23387).
Read more about the comparison in the blog post: "Methods to specify information requirements in digital construction projects"

Both IDS and bSDD are there to capture agreements on data content. While IDS is a standard, formalizing how to capture them, the bSDD is a service containing many terms and definitions that can be used in the agreements. Think of bSDD as a shared library of properties that can be utilized when preparing an IDS. Thanks to this synergy, we popularize the usage of consistent terms across the industry. Read more about the bSDD here: https://bsdd.buildingsmart.org/.

IDS v1.0 is now approved as a final standard. All the previous versions, such as 0.4.2 and 0.9.6, were beta iterations and never an official standard. They differed in details of XML structure and attributes, and the differences can be traced in the IDS repository change history: https://github.com/buildingSMART/IDS. Modern tools support upgrading older version IDS files to the 1.0. 
There is a plan to release minor fixes and software implementers agreements in version 1.1, and a long-term plan of releasing an IDS 2.0 containing improvements.

The primary purpose of IDS is to specify information requirements and check if an IFC model complies with that specification. This process is called IDS checking. 
An IDS audit or validation is about ensuring the specification file is structured according to the IDS standard. buildingSMART provides an open-source audit tool, often embedded in an IDS authoring software.

The IDS specification has two key roles: capturing agreements and checking compliance. While an IDS can be produced and applied to check the quality of already existing IFC data, it is recommended to start with an IDS before data production starts. This way, users can benefit from clear guidelines and placeholders for data production, preventing wrong inputs.

IDS specification can be captured (serialized) in .ids file, which is a file format based on IDS XML Schema Definition. However, the IDS standard is much more than just a file format. It is a whole set of implementers agreements, documentation, suite of test cases, and an overarching project governed by the buildingSMART members.

The workflow explained

IDS plays a crucial role in the openBIM workflow by helping to set the requirements for exchanging information at the start of a project. Without this clarity and early set of definitions, challenges later in a project can occur as a result.

IDS technical documentation

The IDS standard is captured in an XML Schema (XSD). Apart from that, buildingSMART provides a thorough documentation including implementers agreements and guidelines. The official GitHub repository is where collaborators can propose and discuss updates and implementation challenges. To ensure complete implementation, we provide a comprehensive test suite for auditing all the IDS aspects.

IDS

Explore other buildingSMART Standards and Services

The IDS is a Strategic Project supported by:

IDS is a Strategic Project supported by:

buildingSMART International

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