What’s in a name?

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.

2 Responses to What’s in a name?

  1. Robin Benjamins May 4, 2012 at 12:51 pm #


    To add to the subject of “what’s in a name”, the name of “iRING” itself has had an interesting evolution. What started out as a concept to bring all things together to exchange information within and in between companies on a capital project (You remember the original orange “ring” diagram?), has developed into several other related names. These other names evolved to distinguish aspects of the overall concept.

    So it started with “iRING”, which got heavily associated with the open source technology software that the Camelot project produced. Then there was “iRINGTools”, which was created to separate the technology software from the concept of iRING. (iRINGTools is just one possible implementation choice for ISO 15926.)

    Then there was the “iRINGUserGroup” which was the name of the virtual user group to own the iRINGTools software and facilitate usage of that software and any other implementation that was able to exchange information using the same set of reference data. Then there was the iRINGUserGroup’s “iRINGSandbox” which was meant for the landing page of various WIP reference data endpoints, which was also independent of whatever ISO 15926 compliance choice where being made.

    And finally there is “iRINGToday” which is a new web interoperability news outlet that is agnostic to choices of implementation provided that it is a least using ISO 15926 reference data. It is the ISO 15926 all-inclusive news site.

    But what is important is that once a name is cast and promoted outward, the creators of the name start to lose influence over how those names should be interpreted. The community has adopted iRING and then, given the similarity of the various names and iRING’s intense origins (that’s my fault), iRING itself tends to be used for all the aspects I stated above.

    A bit blurry perhaps but we hope to soon bring clarity to the iRING world.

    Robin Benjamins

  2. Glen_B May 4, 2012 at 2:40 pm #

    Yes Robin,
    The human brain has an innate ability to add missing information (just one of the issues ISO 15926 is attempting to solve) and therefore, I was trying to ensure users recognise that Windows compatible does not mean it works on every version of Windows, only that it will work on one or more versions of Windows.
    I often hear the term “install iRing” … yep that is what we want … in reality though installing iRingTools Server is what they mean and then they realise that they have to create a TIP and then they have to implement the mapping. Then they have an ISO 15926:8 end point which is visible to their enterprise and more importantly their enterprise applications.
    Of course ISO 15926 Realtime Interoperability Network Grid, seems to have some superfluous words after all, is a Grid a Network, is a Network Realtime … In the parallel universe there is iGRIN … ISO 15926 Global Realtime Interoperability Network … that is a Friday afternoon smiley …

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