Architecture Description Markup Language (ADML), Version 1
Document Number: I901
ŠApril 2000, The Open Group. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owners.
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The Open Group ADML - Background
The Open Group is the leading vendor-neutral, international consortium for buyers and suppliers of technology. Its mission is to cause the development of a viable global information infrastructure that is ubiquitous, trusted, reliable, and easy-to-use. The Open Group creates an environment where all elements involved in technology development can cooperate to deliver less costly and more flexible IT solutions.
The Open Group is supported by most of the world's largest user
organizations, information systems vendors, and software suppliers. By combining the
strengths of open systems specifications and a proven branding scheme with collaborative
technology development and advanced research, The Open Group is well positioned to meet
its new mission, as well as to assist user organizations, vendors, and suppliers in the
development and implementation of products supporting the adoption and proliferation of
systems which conform to standard specifications.
With more than 200 member companies, The Open Group helps the IT industry to advance technologically while managing the change caused by innovation. It does this by:
Consolidating, prioritizing, and communicating customer requirements to vendors
Conducting research and development with industry, academia, and
government agencies to deliver innovation and economy through projects associated with
its Research Institute
Managing cost-effective development efforts that accelerate consistent multi-vendor deployment of technology in response to customer requirements
Adopting, integrating, and publishing industry standard specifications
that provide an essential set of blueprints for building open information systems and
integrating new technology as it becomes available
Licensing and promoting the Open Brand, represented by the "X" Device, that designates vendor products which conform to Open Group Product Standards
Promoting the benefits of open systems to customers, vendors, and the public.
The Open Group operates in all phases of the open systems technology lifecycle including innovation, market adoption, product development, and proliferation. Presently, it focuses on seven strategic areas: open systems application platform development, architecture, distributed systems management, interoperability, distributed computing environment, security, and the information superhighway. The Open Group is also responsible for the management of the UNIX trademark on behalf of the industry.
Development of Product Standards
This process includes the identification of requirements for open systems,
development of Technical Standards (formerly CAE and Preliminary Specifications) through
an industry consensus review and adoption procedure (in parallel with formal standards
work), and the development of tests and conformance criteria.
This leads to the preparation of a Product Standard which is the name used for the documentation that records the conformance requirements (and other information) to which a vendor may register a product.
The "X" Device is used by vendors to demonstrate that their products conform to the relevant Product Standard. By use of the Open Brand they guarantee, through the Open Brand Trade Mark License Agreement (TMLA), to maintain their products in conformance with the Product Standard so that the product works, will continue to work, and that any problems will be fixed by the vendor.
Open Group Publications
The Open Group publishes a wide range of technical documentation, the main part of which is focused on development of Technical Standards and product documentation, but which also includes Guides, Snapshots, Technical Studies, Branding and Testing documentation, industry surveys, and business titles.
There are several types of specification:
Technical Standards (formerly CAE Specifications)
The Open Group Technical Standards form the basis for our Product Standards. These Standards are intended to be used widely within the industry for product development and procurement purposes.
Anyone developing products that implement a Technical Standard can enjoy the benefits of a single, widely supported industry standard. Where appropriate, they can demonstrate product compliance through the Open Brand. Technical Standards are published as soon as they are developed, so enabling vendors to proceed with development of conformant products without delay.
CAE Specifications and Developers' Specifications published prior to January 1998 have the same status as Technical Standards (see above).
Preliminary Specifications have usually addressed an emerging area of technology and consequently are not yet supported by multiple sources of stable conformant implementations. They are published for the purpose of validation through implementation of products. A Preliminary Specification is as stable as can be achieved, through applying The Open Group's rigorous development and review procedures.
Preliminary Specifications are analogous to the trial-use standards issued by formal standards organizations, and developers are encouraged to develop products on the basis of them. However, experience through implementation work may result in significant (possibly upwardly incompatible) changes before its progression to becoming a Technical Standard. While the intent is to progress Preliminary Specifications to corresponding Technical Standards, the ability to do so depends on consensus among Open Group members.
Consortium and Technology Specifications
The Open Group publishes specifications on behalf of industry consortia. For example, it publishes the NMF SPIRIT procurement specifications on behalf of the Network Management Forum. It also publishes Technology Specifications relating to OSF/1, DCE, OSF/Motif, and CDE.
Technology Specifications (formerly AES Specifications) are often candidates for consensus review, and may be adopted as Technical Standards, in which case the relevant Technology Specification is superseded by a Technical Standard.
In addition, The Open Group publishes:
This includes product documentation-programmer's guides, user manuals, and so on-relating to the Pre-structured Technology Projects (PSTs), such as DCE and CDE. It also includes the Single UNIX Documentation, designed for use as common product documentation for the whole industry.
These provide information that is useful in the evaluation, procurement, development, or management of open systems, particularly those that relate to the Technical Standards or Preliminary Specifications. The Open Group Guides are advisory, not normative, and should not be referenced for purposes of specifying or claiming conformance to a Product Standard.
Technical Studies present results of analyses performed on subjects of interest in areas relevant to The Open Group's Technical Program. They are intended to communicate the findings to the outside world so as to stimulate discussion and activity in other bodies and the industry in general.
Versions and Issues of Specifications
As with all live documents, Technical Standards and Specifications require revision to align with new developments and associated international standards. To distinguish between revised specifications which are fully backwards compatible and those which are not:
A new Version indicates that it replaces the previous publication of the same title.
A new Issue indicates that both previous and new documents of this same title are maintained as current publications.
Readers should note that Corrigenda may apply to any publication. Corrigenda information is published on the World-Wide Web at http://www.opengroup.org/corrigenda.
Full catalog and ordering information on all Open Group publications is available on the World-Wide Web at http://www.opengroup.org/pubs.
ADML is a representation language for architecture that was developed by the Micro-electronics and Computer technology Consortium (MCC) as part of its Software and Systems Engineering Productivity (SSEP) project.
ADML has been used by MCC in collaboration with The Open Group to develop a proof of concept for a Building Blocks Description Language (BBDL). The Open Group intends this work program to provide a means of defining architectural building blocks in a way that allows their interactions with other building blocks to be captured, and that allows real products to be conformance tested and procured to fulfil the defined functions.
The following informative presentations were delivered by MCC to The Open Group at its October 1999 meeting:
An ADML representation of the Building Blocks Example (originally "Appendix J") found within The Open Group Architectural Framework (TOGAF) is also available on the MCC web site.
ADML is directly based on ACME, an architecture description language. The principle language design and tool development work for ACME has been undertaken by David Garlan, Bob Monroe, and Drew Kompanek at Carnegie Mellon University, and Dave Wile at USC's Information Sciences Institute. ADML adds to ACME a standardized representation (parsable by ordinary XML parsers), the ability to define links to objects outside the architecture (such as rationale, designs, components, etc.), straightforward ability to interface with commercial repositories, and transparent extensibility.
The following Contents page provides links to the documentation of the ADML Document Type Definition (DTD); and to the DTD itself.
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