PAD(R) - Provided by the Association of Software Professionals

PAD(R) is the Portable Application Description, and it helps authors provide product descriptions and specifications to online sources in a standard way, using a standard data format that will allow webmasters and software application librarians to automate app listings. PAD provides a complete content solution for application developers and the webmasters of software catalogs and directories.

PAD Overview. -> Specification Resources -> PAD Specification History

PAD Specification History

IMPORTANT: On December 1, 2012, the ASP has released PAD Specification v4.0. This new specification immediately replaces PAD v3.1 and prior versions. All application developers, software publishers and websites who are currently deploying and supporting the PAD 3x specification need to immediately upgrade to PAD v4.0. All are encouraged to contact the ASP's PAD Committee here:

PAD Specification 3.11 (June 2010)

PAD Specification 3.10 (June 2009)

  • PAD 3.10 Specification
  • Download URLs: Added AIR extension
  • Program_OS_Support: Revised and deprecated unneeded OSs

PAD Specification 3.03 (March 2009)

PAD Specification 3.02 (November 2008)

PAD Specification 3.01 (November 2006)

PAD Specification 2.02 (June 2006)

  • PAD 2.02 Specification
  • PAD 2.01 - 2.02 Differences
  • Address (Address_1, Address_2, City_Town, Country): Single apostrophe character (0x27) allowed.
  • Country (Country): Special characters between 0xBC and 0xFF and the dash sign allowed.
  • Currencies (Program_Cost_Other_Code): Updated currency list according to ISO 4217.
  • Languages (Program_Language and Program_Descriptions): Updated list of language identifiers according to ISO 639.
  • Operating Systems (Program_OS_Support): Added current OS identifiers to list.
  • Ordering URL (Application_Order_URL): Field made optional.
  • Icon URL (Application_Icon_URL): Preferred size is 32x32 pixels.
  • Download Extensions (Primary_Download_URL, Secondary_Download_URL, Additional_Download_URL_1, Additional_Download_URL_2): Added common download extensions.
  • Distribution permissions and EULA (Distribution_Permissions, EULA): Allowed tab character.
  • 2000 Chars Description (Char_Desc_2000): Allowed tab character and line breaks.
  • Remove Deprecated Fields (Filename_Versioned, Filename_Previous, Filename_Generic, Filename_Long, Program_Categories, Includes_JAVA_VM, Includes_VB_Runtime, Includes_DirectX): Deprecated fields removed from the spec.

PAD Extensions Specification 2 (October 2004)

  • Separated into extension creation spec and extension generation tools implementation spec.
  • Applies the proven concept of field validation against regular expressions to the extensions.
  • Adds the version and home URL of the extension to the file, so it can be found and updated easily.
  • Adds the possibility to mark an extension as company information specific, so generation tools may save the data entered with the company information and it does not need to be reentered for every program.
  • Enforces reservation of extension names ("extension identifiers") to avoid naming collisions.
  • Includes the possibility to let the ASP host an extension together with a XML view of the extensions directory.
  • 100% backwards compatible

PAD Specification 2.01 (May 2004)

  • PAD 2.01 Specification
  • The PAD 2.01 Specification is now an XML file. For each field in the PAD dataset, it lists the XML tag name, the XPath, a human readable title and description, a regular expression defining a constraint for the field content, and a human readable description of the regular expression.
  • All field titles and descriptions have been reworded for better consistence, readability and clearness.
  • The regular expressions have been revised for better compatibility with different regex implementations, but without effecting their meaning.
  • Some bugs have been found and fixed in the regular expressions.
  • Some minor changes have been made to a number of regular expressions.
  • In addition to the changes noted below, nearly all field descriptions have been reworded for better language consistence, readability and clearness. Additional comments have been added to display meaningful error messages within validations.
  • Another change has been made to most of the regular expressions. Instead of using non-greedy quantifiers, which is a unique feature of PCRE (Perl Compatible Regular Expressions), we do now use the (...){min, max} syntax where needed. This makes the spec more compatible to other common regex implementations that do not support the whole PCRE syntax, but technically results in the same in our case. There have also been other fixes of small bugs in the regular expressions.
  • MASTER_PAD_VERSION: RegEx added (was missing in 1.51)
  • MASTER_PAD_INFO: RegEx added (was missing in 1.51)
  • Address_1: RegEx beautified (no functional change)
  • Address_2: RegEx beautified (no functional change)
  • City_Town: Special characters /# added to allowed characters
  • State_Province: Special character / added to allowed characters
  • Sales_Phone: RegEx minor bugs fixed (no functional change)
  • Support_Phone: RegEx minor bugs fixed (no functional change)
  • General_Phone: RegEx minor bugs fixed (no functional change)
  • Fax_Phone: RegEx minor bugs fixed (no functional change)
  • Program_Version: Special characters _- added to allowed characters
  • Program_Release_Month: RegEx with better checking for valid date value
  • Program_Release_Day: RegEx with better checking for valid date value
  • Program_Cost_Dollars: RegEx with better checking for valid currency value
  • Program_Cost_Other_Code: Currency list updated to currently known currency codes
  • Program_Cost_Other: RegEx checks now for valid currency value (before: all characters where allowed)
  • Program_OS_Support: Removed restriction of a maximum of 10 OS; Fixed a bug in regex (. was not masked)
  • Program_Language: Removed redundant entry of German and changed back Chinese to ChineseTraditional and ChineseSimplified (used in PADGen 1.x)
  • Filename_Versioned: Marked as deprecated
  • Filename_Previous: Marked as deprecated
  • Filename_Generic: Marked as deprecated
  • Filename_Long: Marked as deprecated
  • File_Size_Bytes: Removed decimal separator from allowed characters
  • Has_Expire_Info: RegEx beautified (no functional change)
  • Expire_Count: RegEx changed to decimal value without thousand separation (before: with separation)
  • Expire_Other_Info: RegEx bug fixed (no functional change)
  • Expire_Month: RegEx with better checking for valid date value
  • Expire_Day: RegEx with better checking for valid date value
  • Expire_Year: RegEx beautified (no functional change)
  • Program_Category_Class: Categories containing the & sign are now defined as unique identifiers (before: either & or & was allowed)
  • Program_Specific_Category: Marked as deprecated
  • Program_Categories: Marked as deprecated
  • Program_System_Requirements: RegEx bug fixed (no functional change)
  • Includes_JAVA_VM: RegEx beautified (no functional change), Marked as deprecated
  • Includes_VB_Runtime: RegEx beautified (no functional change), Marked as deprecated
  • Includes_DirectX: RegEx beautified (no functional change), Marked as deprecated
  • Keywords: RegEx bug fixed (no functional change)

PAD Specification 1.51 (April 2003)

  • Added regular expressions for each field
  • Improved the spec's presentation

PAD Specification 1.15 (October 2001)

  • PAD 1.15 Specification
  • Added Program_Info/Program_Cost_Other_Code - 3 character field used to signify which currency the value entered for Program_Cost_Other is.
  • Added WinXP to the OS list.

PAD Specification 1.10 (October 2000)

  • Added Program_Info/Program_Change_Info - 255 character field allows authors to enter information about the program that has been changed since the last release.
  • Added Program_Info/Program_Specific_Category - Specific category that best fits the application
  • Moved the ASP tag information to an extension page. From: Company_Info/ASP_Member, Company_Info/ASP_Member_Number To: ASP/ASP_Member, ASP/ASP_Member_Number
  • Removed the ESC tag

PAD Specification 1.00


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