Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The "O" in OSLC

 is for Open, I think we all know that.  Though what is really unique and special about OSLC is the many ways it is open.  Not just that fact it is on a public website for people to see or that the integration style opens up your data, it covers many dimensions.  Let's take a close look how OSLC is open:

Open participation model
Anyone who wants to join in can do so and contributions are made under the Creative Common Attribution License.

Open and free use of specifications
Each of the working groups adheres to an intellectual property covenant, allowing implementers the ability to freely implement the specifications without fear of licensing fees.

Open community
If you are motivated to make a change and have the time, you are encouraged to join the community.  Contributions to improve lifecycle tools interoperability can be accomplished in many ways: scenario development and review, specification development, researching solutions, reviewing specifications, doing implementations, providing implementation reports and on and on.

Open collaboration
Collaboration occurs in the open at in the form of updates to wiki pages, mailing lists and regular conference calls.   If you can't make a meeting, minutes are posted (as good as they are taken) and community members can review at their leisure.  When the communications and collaborations don't work for a given working group, changes are proposed and enacted.

Open services
After all that is what the S stands for.  Though there is more to it than putting the two words "open" and "services" together.  Its about defining consistent patterns, guidance and specifications for achieving the common goal of interoperability between lifecycle tools.  The architectural principles for these services is based on HTTP REST and user interface patterns supporting loosely coupled integrations.  Since these services don't rely on any particular programming language or frameworks, it allows greater possibility for all tool vendors to implement.

Opening up data 
...and their relationships.  As important is the lifecycle data is the relationships (links)  defined in that data.  This has been the foundation and basis for most scenarios that drive our efforts.  Therefore it is natural that a way to expose this data and their relationships (links), that follows in the approach outlined by W3C and Tim Berners-Lee as "Linked Data".  As we continue to open up the data traditionally closed in lifecycle tools, we see that we can achieve new levels of interoperability using  linked lifecycle data.

Open possibilities
We continue to find new and innovative ways to leverage the open linked lifecycle data.  We see this in the evolving work done to support scenarios in: PLM/ALM, DevOps, model management, to name a few.  It clear though that OSLC is real, adoption continues to grow and end-users (who may not even know they are using OSLC) are getting real value: this will continue for years to come.

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