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PKWARE® introduced the ZIP format in 1989. This new format combined data compression, file management, and data encryption within a portable archive format. ZIP quickly became the accepted industry standard for cross-platform data exchange and efficient data storage. In order to ensure the continued interoperability of the .ZIP file format for all users, PKWARE publishes an Application Note on the .ZIP file format. The APPNOTE provides developers a general description and technical details of the .ZIP specification. This specification is maintained and periodically updated by PKWARE with support from interested industry experts and other users of this format. These changes are intended to include new capabilities in anticipation of the emerging needs of the ZIP community, while ensuring on-going interoperability for ZIP files.  If your developing applications using the .ZIP format, take a look at our Application Developer Considerations.

The .ZIP format remains one of the most widely used file formats for cross-platform interoperability. Leading industry standards including the ECMA Office Open XML and the OASIS Open Document Format for Office Applications incorporate ZIP technology. Other major industry standards incorporating ZIP include the JAVA JAR specification, Sharable Content Object Reference Model (ADL-SCORM) and EPUB. These other industry standards are independently maintained by separate organizations that are not affiliated with PKWARE. Please consult with the appropriate authoring group for additional information about their respective specifications.