The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) is a global consortium that drives the development, convergence and adoption of e-business and web service standards.
Members of the consortium decide how and what work is undertaken through an open, democratic process.
Technical work is carried out under the following categories: Web Services, e-Commerce, Security, Law & Government, Supply Chain, Computing Management, Application Focus, Document-Centric, XML Processing, Conformance/Interop, and Industry Domains.
OASIS was first formed as SGML Open
in 1993 as a trade association of SGML
tool vendors to cooperatively promote the adoption of SGML through mainly educational activities, though some amount of technical activity was also pursued including an update of the CALS Table Model
specification and specifications for fragment interchange and entity management.
In 1998, with the movement of the high tech industry to XML, SGML Open changed its emphasis from SGML to XML, and changed its name to OASIS Open to be inclusive of XML and any future structured information standards. The focus of the consortium's activities also moved from promoting adoption (as XML was getting lots of attention on its own) to developing technical specifications. In July 2000 a new technical committee process was approved. With the adoption of the process the manner in which technical committees were created, operated, and progressed their work was regularized. At the adoption of the process there were five technical committees; by 2004 there were nearly 70.
During 1999 OASIS was approached by UN/CEFACT, the committee of the United Nations dealing with standards for business, to jointly develop a new set of specifications for electronic business. The joint initiative, called "ebXML" and which first met in November 1999, was chartered for a three year period. At the final meeting under the original charter, in Vienna, UN/CEFACT and OASIS agreed to divide the remaining work between the two organizations and to coordinate the completion of the work through a coordinating committee. In 2004 OASIS submitted its completed ebXML specifications to ISO TC154 where they were approved as ISO 15000.
Specific standards under development by OASIS technical committees
- BCM - Business Centric-Methodology, BCM is a comprehensive approach and proven techniques that enable a Service-oriented architecture (SOA) and support enterprise agility and interoperability.
- CAP - Common Alerting Protocol, is an XML-based data format for exchanging public warnings and emergencies between alerting technologies.
- CAM - Content Assembly Mechanism, is a generalized assembly mechanism for using templates of XML business transaction content and the associated rules. CAM templates augment schema syntax and provide implementers with the means to specify interoperable interchange patterns.
- CIQ - Customer Information Quality, is an XML Specifications for defining, representing, interoperating and managing party information (e.g. name, address).
- DocBook (DocBook) is a markup language for technical documentation. It was originally intended for authoring technical documents related to computer hardware and software but it can be used for any other sort of documentation.
- DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) is a modular and extensible XML-based language for topic-based information, such as for online help, documentation, and training.
- OpenDocument (OASIS Open Document Format for Office Applications) is an open document file format for saving office documents such as spreadsheets, memos, charts, and presentations.
- SAML - Security Assertion Markup Language, a standard XML-based framework for the secure exchange of authentication and authorization information.
- SDD - Solution Deployment Descriptor, a standard XML-based schema defining a standardized way to express software installation characteristics required for lifecycle management in a multi-platform environment.
- SPML - Service Provisioning Markup Language, a standard XML-based protocol for the integration and interoperation of service provisioning requests.
- UBL - Universal Business Language, National effort to define a royalty-free library of standard electronic XML business documents. All invoices to the Danish government have to be in UBL electronic format since February 2005.
- UDDI - Universal Description Discovery and Integration, a platform-independent, XML-based registry for companies and individuals to list Web Services.
- WSDM - Web Services Distributed Management
- XACML - eXtensible Access Control Markup Language, a standard XML-based protocol for access control policies.
- XRI - eXtensible Resource Identifier, a URI-compatible scheme and resolution protocol for abstract identifiers used to identify and share resources across domains and applications.
- XDI - XRI Data Interchange, a standard for sharing, linking, and synchronizing data ("dataweb") across multiple domains and applications using XML documents, eXtensible Resource Identifiers (XRIs), and a new method of distributed data control called a link contract.
Patent disclosure controversy
Like many bodies producing open standards
, OASIS has a patent disclosure
policy requiring participants to disclose intent to apply for software patents
for technologies under consideration in the standard. Like the W3C
, which requires participants to offer royalty-free licenses
to anyone using the resulting standard, OASIS offers a similar Royalty Free on Limited Terms mode, along with a Royalty Free on RAND
Terms mode and a RAND (reasonable and non-discriminatory) mode for its committees
Controversy has arisen because this licensing allows publication of standards requiring licensing fee payments to patent holders, the use of which would effectively eliminate the possibility of free/open source implementations of these standards. Further, contributors could initially offer royalty-free use of their patent, later imposing per-unit fees, after the standard becomes accepted.
Supporters of OASIS point out this could occur anyway since an agreement would not be binding on non-participants, discouraging contributions from potential participants. Supporters further argue that IBM and Microsoft shifting standardization efforts from the W3C to OASIS is evidence this is already occurring.
- According to Doug Mahugh, a Senior Product Manager at Microsoft specializing in Office client interoperability, many countries expressed frustration about the pace of OASIS's responses to defect reports that have been submitted on ISO/IEC 26300.
OASIS Adoption Forum
In 27-29 November 2006 the third annual OASIS Adoption Forum
was held in London
, focusing on security.