The Open Group

The Open Group

The Open Group is an industry consortium to set vendor- and technology-neutral open standards for computing infrastructure. It was formed when X/Open merged with the Open Software Foundation in 1996. The Open Group is most famous as the certifying body for the UNIX trademark, in the past the group was best known for its publication of the Single UNIX Specification paper, which extends the POSIX standards and is the official definition of UNIX. Their members include a range of IT buyers and vendors as well as government agencies, for example Capgemini, Fujitsu, Hitachi, HP, IBM, NEC, US Department of Defense, NASA and others.



The Open Group's best-known service are their certification programs, including certification for the Common Operating Environment (COE) Platform, CORBA, Directory, POSIX, Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF), UNIX, and Wireless Application Protocol (WAP). The Open Group is also the owner of the UNIX trademark.

The Open Group has also turned to the standardization of business and development practices instead, offering certifications for professionals. Primary among these standards is the IT Architect Certification and TOGAF (The Open Group Architecture Framework).

Member Forums

The Open Group provides a platform for its members to discuss their requirements, and work jointly on development and adoption of industry standards, to facilitate enterprise integration. (Note: Some of The Open Group documents are only available to members, especially when they are under development.) Based on their area of interest, members can join one or more semi-autonomous Forums, which include: Architecture Forum, Grid Enterprise Services Forum, Identity Management Forum, Jericho Forum, Messaging Forum, Enterprise Management and Quality of Service Forum, Platform Forum, Real Time and Embedded Systems Forum, Security Forum, and Universal Data Element Framework Forum Members come together at The Open Group’s quarterly conferences and member meetings

Government Programs The Open Group provides services to the government sector - agencies, suppliers, and companies or organizations set up by governments to advance government goals.

Services to Consortia The Open Group also provides a range of services to consortia and organizations, from initial organization set-up and ongoing operational support to collaboration, standards and best practices development, and assistance with technology transfer. They assist organizations with setting business objectives, strategy and procurement, and also provide certification and test development services.


By the early 1990s, the major Unix players had begun to realize that the standards rivalries known as the Unix wars were causing all participants more harm than good, leaving Unix open to emerging competition from Microsoft. The COSE initiative in 1993 can be considered to be the first unification step and the merger of the Open Software Foundation (OSF) and X/Open in 1996 as the ultimate step in the end of those skirmishes. OSF had previously merged with UNIX International in 1994, meaning that the new entity effectively represented all elements of the Unix community of the time.

The value of the UNIX brand has diminished due to changes in the open systems marketplace, notably the widespread acceptance of "non-standardized" Unix-like operating systems such as GNU/Linux. More recently there has been an effort by The Open Group in conjunction with the Linux Foundation to help standardize Linux via the Linux Standard Base specification, but the success of this initiative appears to be very limited to date.

Inventions and standards


External links

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