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The Open Group Standards Process

1. Introduction

This section provides an introduction to The Open Group Standards Process describing its purpose and the principles upon which it is founded.


1.1 Purpose

The Open Group Standards Process defines the procedures for key tasks within The Open Group Standards development activities. The objectives of having documented and observed procedures are:

  1. To explain how The Open Group Standards Process operates
  2. To record how complex tasks involving different groups may be executed in an effective and repeatable manner
  3. To ensure the quality of standards deliverables from The Open Group
  4. To ensure that The Open Group complies with legal constraints on the operation of consortia

1.2 Principles

The Open Group Standards Process is founded on the following principles:

1.2.1 Principle #1
Name: Openness
  • Standards are developed in an open process.
  • Openness is a basic part of The Open Group raison d'être (embedded in the name) – The Open Group must be seen to be open
  • Openness is a key part of the value proposition to members of The Open Group; our standards are competing in the market with vendor-specific standards; the openness of the process that produces them is a key part of the value of our standards to the market, and to the members who join us in order to help develop them.
  • The process must not only be open, but seen to be open.
  • Openness implies effective communication with and between all relevant parties.
  • Openness should be applied throughout the standards development process, not just in the final Company Review.
  • Openness implies that any member is eligible to participate in any Forum, Work Group, or Project, and stand for election to any office (e.g., Chair, Vice-Chair) of any such group of members, and stand for election to represent the membership at the Governing Board, limited only by entitlements associated with their membership type and status.
  • All standards published by The Open Group must be copyright of The Open Group.
1.2.2 Principle #2
Name: Consensus
  • Standards are based upon the consensus of the parties involved.
  • Industry consensus is critical to the adoption of standards.
  • The objective is to reach stable decisions.
  • The standard is supported by a consensus of members of the Forum/Work Group.
  • Decisions are not strongly opposed by a sufficient subset of the members to cause them to be revisited.
  • Unanimity is not a requirement for consensus.
  • Silence is not interpreted as agreement.
  • Significant objections are taken into account, and responded to.
1.2.3 Principle #3
Name: Timely and Deterministic Process
  • Standards are developed using a deterministic process that delivers standards in a predictable and timely manner.
  • There is a continuum of standards in any industry: de jure, industry consensus, and vendor-specific or commercial. The Open Group uses an industry consensus-based approach in developing standards. While consensus standards cannot be produced as rapidly as those of a single vendor, they do have to be produced at an acceptable pace to have value in the market, and have to be substantially faster and more deterministic in getting to market than de jure standards, which often have other drivers underlying them, such as health, safety, or national interests.
  • Determinism is a means to the end of timeliness, not an end in itself.
  • The inability of many de jure standards efforts to deliver effective standards in a timely manner means that we should distinguish ourselves from those de jure bodies in the market.
  • We should be prepared for an activity to be stopped or re-constituted if it does not reach consensus in a timely manner.
1.2.4 Principle #4
Name: Public Availability of Published Standards
  • Standards are made publicly available once published.
  • Standards only have value if they are widely adopted in the market.
  • A key part of the overall value proposition for members of The Open Group is the widespread adoption of their deliverables.
  • Standards should be available to all (members and non-members).
  • The Open Group should publicize the fact that a standard is publicly available.
1.2.5 Principle #5
Name: No Legal Impediment to Implementation or Adoption
  • There must be no legal impediment to implementation or adoption of a standard of The Open Group Standard.
  • Legal impediments could prove to be a significant barrier to the widespread adoption of the standard.
  • The Open Group must have copyright to the standard, and any patents must be licensed by their owners on a royalty-free, reasonable and non-discriminatory basis.
  • Contributors must disclose relevant patents.
1.2.6 Principle #6
Name: Confidentiality
  • Material is kept confidential until published by The Open Group.
  • To protect member submissions and the IPR of The Open Group
  • To promote open discussions
  • The participants must be under obligations of confidentiality.
  • Where information is shared throughout member companies, the obligations apply to all individuals.
  • All documents in progress should be clearly marked.
1.2.7 Principle #7
Name: Executable Standards
  • Standards should be executable.
  • Standards are only useful if they are implemented; the adoption and use of standards can be accelerated through the provision of prototype code, reference implementations, or API descriptions.
  • Standards can be demonstrated as fit-for-purpose through the creation of an executable version of the standard.
  • A standard should be accompanied by a reference implementation or a reference architecture that has been proven repeatable.
  • A standard may consist of executable code, provided that the code is subject to consensus-led change control.
  • Reference implementations can be considered part of a standard and must meet all of The Open Group Standards principles, especially Principle #5 (No Legal Impediment to Implementation or Adoption), as would any paper specification.

Last updated: September 2018.