Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions about Data Item Descriptions are listed below.

Data Item Descriptions

Q: What is a data item description (DID)?
A: It is a completed document that defines the data required of a contractor. The document specifically defines the data content, format, and intended use.

Q: Where can I obtain a copy of a specific DID?
A: If you know the DID number, you can use the ASSIST Quick Search. Simply enter the 5-digit DID number (do not use revision letters) in the search filed labeled [Document Number:] and click on the [Submit] button.

Q: Is there a website that lists all data item descriptions?
A: All active and canceled DIDs are indexed in the ASSIST database. Once logged on, to print a preformatted listing of all DIDs in Adobe PDF format, click on the [DIDs] link on the left side of the page to get to the [DIDs Menu] and then click on the link for the [DIDs Browser]. The DIDs Browser allows you to generate a list of active DIDs, canceled DIDs, or all DIDs (both active and canceled). This same screen allows you to filter results by standardization area, preparing activity, or preparing service, or to search for DIDs by keywords. The resultant list will be generated in HTML but may be saved as a preformatted report in Adobe PDF format by clicking on the [Report] button at the bottom of the screen. The list may also be exported in Microsoft Excel format by clicking on the [Spreadsheet] button at the bottom of the screen. (Note: If you have never before used ASSIST, you'll first need to register for a user account and password.)

Q: Where can I find an online copy of DoD 5010.12-L, "Acquisition Management Systems and Data Requirements Control List (AMSDL)"?
A: The AMSDL which formerly listed all DIDs, was canceled in 2007, as all DIDs have been incorporated into the ASSIST database.