What is Interoperability? (May 1998)

POSC, as part of the Interoperability and Business Objects Request For Technology, have had a work group look into and delineate what is meant by interoperability.

The team (from quite a number of companies) defined six levels of interoperability as follows

Level 0 Applications must access the same data store to avoid the data reformatting overhead.

Level 1 End-users can run the same application against different data stores using standardized intermediate data servers

Level 2 Actions taken in one application can dynamically cause actions to take place in another.

Level 3 Applications can share process or presentation objects/servers such as GUI's. Users can control aspects of multiple applications through a common interface.

Level 4 System integrators can create virtual applications, which have components from different vendors and may be customized to end user work processes.

The POSC work group concluded that to talk about Interoperability as though it is a single, "one-size-fits-all" concept is fairly misleading.

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