POSC evaluates compliance in breakout session (February 1998)

At the London member meeting POSC examined thethorny issue of compliance in a breakout/brainstorming session. Contrasting views ofcompliance were expressed.

Hamish Wilson of PARAS opined that compliance was irrelevant if the ultimate goal was interoperability. The focus was therefore that software should inter-operate through a standard Software Integration Platform (SIP) - with all products tested against this. If they work on the standard SIP, then they are POSC compliant. POSC's role should be to create and maintain the SIP as technologies evolve. The problem of evolving a working business model for this remains. Why should vendors co-operate after all and what could be their motivation for such cooperation? Jean Paul Marbeau (CGG PetroSystems) described compliance as POSC's "sea serpent" and said that it would remain so as long as there was no clear idea of what it should be. Marbeau questioned whether new business drivers might emerge "as we approach interoperability through business objects".


Ian Shaw from BHP asked what the value of compliance would be to a) software companies and b) oil companies. Shaw pointed out that some companies mandated compliance from their suppliers today. BHP's particular requirement is for a standards-based vendor-independent data store. Shaw asked "how do we know what we are buying is what POSC offers?"

Other opinions expressed during the breakout session were

"POSC compliance today doesn't mean anything".

"Branding and or compliance should not be a barrier to take-up."

"No one can afford to migrate whole product suite at one fell swoop."

The different requirements of National Data Repositories, Corporate Data Stores and Project Data Stores could lead to a hierarchy of compliance. The conclusions of the meeting were that the objective of compliance is multi-vendor interoperability through open standards. The critical path to achieve this is through specification to testing and implementation. POSC specs are not currently tight enough for branding. POSC are to form a team to look at the compliance issue

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