What’s in a name?
The recent press releases of the versions of Windows, created some publicity, and I am not sure it is all good. Certainly in the minds of the “casual” user, there will be some confusion with the Windows RT version compared to the Windows version.
The concern of some is how this will be marketed and how the consumers will know that an application written for Windows will not work on some versions of Windows. However, in practice this has generally been the case.
An application written for Vista or Windows 7, would not let you install on Windows 2000 or XP, so the suffix of an Operating System becomes important.
This made me think about how we go about identifying compatibility and what parts an ISO 15926 application works with. It is easy to write an application that is ISO 15926 compatible, just as it is easy to write an application that is Windows compatible. Therefore what does ISO 15926 compliance mean.
To the end user does it matter that an application works at the Part 2 level ? What does it mean to say that an application is Part 4 compliant ?
The iRing Interface project (and note Robins recent blog indicating this project has been renamed ISO 15926 Information Patterns project) is working hard to ensure that transfer mechanisms work with Part 8 and Part 7, but already we are seeing the creation of standards beyond the OWL technologies. Let’s hope that these new standards do not “dilute” the efforts being made by the various teams around the globe.
However, back to the thread.
What’s in a name? Without the definition and boundaries of a standard, the standard can be mis-used. While I am sure that Microsoft will do their utmost to clarify the differences between Windows 8 and Windows RT, there will be some users who miss the messaging and make the wrong selection of technology. In their case, it is a lesson learned, and if they have purchased from a reputable dealer, they may be able to exchange.
However, how will that work with the ISO 15926 community. In reality (and I do not want to undermine the sterling efforts of the iRing development teams), there is a lot of effort going into the creation of the Information Patterns. In practice this effort can break down the payload to Part 8, Part 7, Part 4 or Part 2.
Then what if your project uses a Reference Data Library class that has only been defined on your project? This is the normal practice, so how do you overcome this ?
The key is to ensure that your implementation uses the correct part of the standard. The effort being made by the iRing project (and the recent release of 2.3 shows that this is continuing unabated), promotes the use of ISO 15926 Parts 8 and Part 7.
Make sure that your implementation is using the most common version of the standard, while Windows Vista made sterling efforts, in reality how many applications were developed for Vista. Similarly, while Windows 8 is being promoted, will the majority of applications in the near future be for Windows 8 or Windows 7 ?
What’s in a standard ? The key to data interoperability and global co-operation on projects. However, only if we utilise the standard correctly along with our business partners will we maximise our return on our investment.