|Open Group Technical Standard|
|Application Instrumentation and Control (AIC) API Version 1.0|
|Document Number: C910|
©November 1999, 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 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.
Formed in 1996 by the merger of the X/Open Company Ltd. (founded in 1984) and the Open Software Foundation (founded in 1988), 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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
The Application Instrumentation & Control (AIC) API provides the facility to instrument an application, so that a user of that application will receive real-time information on the progress of work flowing through that application. It also enables the user to exercise control over the work being processed by that application.
These facilities enable business managers to monitor the progress of work though their computing system applications, identify any problems with workflow through the application (for example, a particular item of work taking too long to complete a process and holding up processing of other high-priority work, or a need to switch more resources to processing a high priority workload), and empowers them to take controlling actions within the application to ensure their key business targets are met.
This application management and control facility is particularly valuable to businesses that run mission critical applications, where smooth running of application processes and timely delivery of the results of transactions are key to the profitability and overall efficiency of the business. Obvious initial deployment has been in the financial (banking) sector, where even the briefest delay in completing a transaction on time can cost significant sums of money. However, the facilities AIC provides are also suited to many other types of business applications.
The AIC API has been carefully designed to minimize the impact of making an existing business application AIC-enabled. An application can be instrumented with AIC very quickly, and does not require the installer to have expert knowledge of the software.
Motif®, OSF/1®, UNIX®, and the "X Device"® are registered trademarks and IT DialToneTM; and The Open GroupTM; are trademarks of The Open Group in the U.S. and other countries.
Many members of the Open Group's Management Program Group have contributed to this specification by reviewing drafts. In particular, thanks are due to:
The Open Group would also like to acknowledge the contribution of the following people: