OSF Announces Progressive New Business Model

Broader Industry Participation Accelerates Open Systems Delivery

SAN FRANCISCO, CA March 23, 1994 -- The Open Software Foundation today announced a progressive new business and operating model which includes new technology processes and provides increased opportunities for both end user and vendor participation. Major systems vendors have joined together in endorsing the new organizational structure and business model as the focal point for promoting and accelerating the delivery of open systems enabling  technologies.

In the newly-defined organization, emphasis shifts to a more project-oriented operating model. Technology projects will be separately funded and individually managed multi-company development initiatives. This will enable more concurrent technology projects, addressing more customer-specific technology issues and requirements on a much more timely basis.

"We are creating a new organizational model to enable the widest possible industry support and participation," explained David Tory, OSF president and CEO. "Our goal is to create the most efficient and cost-effective vehicle for the accelerated delivery of open system technology. We are delighted that our new structure and development processes have already attracted many influential and key industry players interested in sponsoring the organization." 

The new model's development process introduces the Pre-Structured Technology, or PST, process. The PST process is the successor to what has been widely known as the "cose" process, taking the best elements of that process and formalizing them  within the OSF infrastructure. Moving the "cose" process into an organizational framework is a crucial step forward in uniting the industry around a focal point for open systems.

A PST process project begins as an industry initiative in which multiple companies collaborate in defining a specific technology project, identifying an outside third party to act as the prime engineering contractor, and enlisting project sponsors to fund the project.  Once this pre-packaged project is proposed to and approved by the OSF Board of Directors, the project is launched.

The engineering for all future technology projects (both RFTs and PSTs) will be performed by a designated third party Prime Contractor, who may elect to subcontract portions of work to other vendors or ISVs, but who will be responsible for the technology delivery. Projects will be managed through a Project Steering Committee, consisting of OSF staff, a representative from each project sponsor, and one representative selected by the End User Steering Committee.

"This shift to an out-sourcing development model capitalizes on existing pools of technical expertise, eliminating costly and time-consuming ramp-up periods and redundant engineering efforts," added Tory. "This promotes more collaborative development efforts by encouraging more companies to be directly involved with technology projects. Another clear benefit, of course, is faster time to market for more open systems products at lower cost."

All constituencies represented in the OSF membership, including end users and ISVs, will have the opportunity to participate significantly in the technology evolution process. Members participate by assisting in requirements gathering and by influencing the future directions and priorities for open systems technologies.

An Architecture Planning Council will be formed, comprised of OSF staff, representatives from each of the sponsor companies, and a representative of the end user community selected by the End User Steering Committee. The Council will maintain the technology roadmap, review technology project proposals and make recommendations to the Board.  PST projects are approved on the basis of their consistency with the open systems architectural vision, and their support for interoperability, portability and scalability.

In addition to a source code implementation,  each technology project will produce a specification which will be made freely and publicly available. The specification, along with test suites, will be submitted to X/open, and other relevant industry standards bodies, as appropriate.

Future enhancements to OSF's existing technologies, including the Motif graphical user interface, the OSF/1 open operating system, and the Distributed Computing and Distributed Management Environments (DCE and DME), will be transitioned to the new per-project funding  model upon completion of their current release cycles. Projects are already "under construction" to address the next releases of Motif and DCE and as well as the Common Desktop Environment (CDE) work begun under the auspices of the "cose" initiative.

The Open Software Foundation is an open systems technology delivery organization with the objective of enabling users of information technology to exploit that technology to fundamentally improve the way they do business. OSF supplies software to make information technology easier to learn and easier to use, while enabling various vendors equipment to work together, sharing applications and information across distributed, open computing environments. OSF has created a coalition of vendors and users working together to provide the best available open systems technologies. Headquartered in Cambridge, MA, with offices in Brussels and Tokyo, the OSF has over 400 members worldwide.


OSF, Open Software Foundation, OSF/1 and Motif are trademarks of the Open Software Foundation, Inc.