The OGF has two principal functions (plus an administrative function) being the development of Standards relating to Grids, and the building of Communities within the overall Grid community (including extending it to encompass wider participation from both academia and industry). Each of these function areas is then divided into Groups of three types: Working Groups with a generally tightly defined role (usually producing a standard), Research Groups with a looser role bringing together people to discuss developments within their field and generate use cases and spawn working groups, and Community Groups (restricted to community function area, not yet very common, this description needs work).
Three meetings are organized per year, divided (approximately evenly after averaging over a number of years) between North America, Europe and East Asia. (See schedule of events for more information). Many working groups organize face-to-face meetings in the interim.
The following major standards have been produced by OGF:
In addition to technical standards, the OGF Document series comprises over 70 community-developed informational and experimental documents.
The first version of the DRMAA API has been implemented in Sun's Grid engine and also in the University of Wisconsin-Madison's program Condor. The separate Globus Alliance maintains an implementation of some of these standards through the Globus Toolkit. The current release of UNICORE is based on the OGSA architecture and JSDL.
The concept of a forum to bring together developers, practitioners, and users of distributed computing (or grid) technologists was discussed at a "Birds of a Feather" session in November 1998 at the annual SCxx supercomputing conference. Based on positive response to the idea during this BOF, the first Grid Forum meeting was hosted at NASA Ames in June 1999, drawing roughly 100 people, mostly from the US. A group of organizers nominated Charlie Catlett (from Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago) to serve as the initial chair, confirmed via a plenary vote was held at the 2nd Grid Forum meeting in Chicago in October 1999. With extensive advice and assistance from IETF leaders, OGF established a standards process that is based heavily on the Internet Standards Process of the IETF. OGF is managed by a steering group whose members are selected by the community through a nomcom process that IETF uses, as outlined in RFC 2282.
During 2000 groups similar to Grid Forum began to organize in Europe (called eGrid) and Japan. Discussions among leaders of these groups resulted in combining strength to form Open Grid Forum which met for the first time in Amsterdam in March 2001. GGF-1 in Amsterdam followed five successful Grid Forum meetings. Catlett served as GGF Chair for two 3-year terms and was succeeded by Mark Linesch (from Hewlett Packard) in September 2004.
At GGF-18 (the 23rd gathering of the forum, counting the first five GF meetings) in September 2006 GGF became Open Grid Forum (OGF) based on a merger with an industry group named Enterprise Grid Alliance (EGA).
The organisation has now reached its 23rd event. this will be held in Barcelona in June 2008. This event will be held in parallel to the BEinGRID Industry Days event, which will be demonstrating the initial results of the 18 Grid pilot implementations.