Goings on in the OPEN community
This will be updated every few months, the newest news first
Our most recent work at UTS on OPEN has been focussed on taking OPEN into the agent-oriented methodology community with some large grants from government under the normal university research funding schemes. This has resulted in a number of papers (listed under Journal Publications) and a book that describes a large number of the extant AO methodologies and then shows how OPEN, extended to support agents, can offer an established method engineering-based framework in which all these methodologies can co-exist and interact.
In addition, we have been working on metamodelling for processes and methodologies and COTAR/OPEN Consortium members have been heavily involved in the creation of an Australian Standard (AS4651) in this area.
The gap in News is mostly a reflection of our “busyness”. In Sydney, members of the OPEN Consortium have been working closely with a number of organizations undertaking “action research”. This involves individuals working as members of a collaborative team to test out certain hypotheses. These are then reported in publications (see publications page).
Extensions to agent-oriented methodologies has been proceeding apace with many new ideas, reflected in a number of publications and presentations. We ran both the AO and ME workshops in OOPSLA 2003 in the USA and have made presentations around the world on this topic.
As well as agents, our focus has been on method engineering (ME) which is the underpinning metaphor for the use of OPEN in creating site-specific methodologies for object-oriented and (now) agent-oriented software development approaches. We also have some embryonic tools in this area.
Despite the gap in News reporting, the OPEN community is thriving. We are now focussed primarily on working closely with individual companies to adopt OO and OPEN. In particular we have been working with companies in an action research project to ascertain how best an organization can adopt a new technology like OO with OPEN. Some publications on the success of this project can be found on our publications pages.
The biggest news is the extension of OPEN to support agent-oriented software development approaches. We have been involved in organizing workshops at OOPSLA and the AOIS workshops.
A project has also been initiated to merge Usage-Centered Design (UCD) ideas into OPEN.
In another project we have constructed a prototype process engineering tool to assist process engineers in creating and tailoring their own particular instance of the OPEN Process Framework. Work is under way with a company in Finland to make that of commercial quality.
With all the international events of last year, conferences were poorly attended and many sessions cancelled. The most relevant pieces of OPEN-related news include the announcement of OPEN/Metis from a company in Spain; the use of OPEN elements in ArcStyler; continued research into how a company should adopt OO technology; fuller support for web development, for component-based development and for agents. In addition, OPEN is a major player in the OOSPICE Consortium which progresses rapidly. The latest OPEN book was published in the few days before Christmas. This aims to answer the question that managers often ask: “Tell me about OPEN briefly, so I can assess its merits for my organization – without me having to read the Process Specification and Toolbox books”. So Don Firesmith and Brian Henderson-Sellers of the OPEN Consortium have created another Addison-Wesley book, this one entitled “The OPEN Process Framework. An Introduction”.
If you are interested in extensions to OPEN for web development, here is some unpublished material describing some appropriate web-focussed OPEN Tasks.
More as a postscript to the January news item, I have made available on this website a significant number of new papers for download. Happy reading.
As we enter the new millennium, the interest in process is increasing as is interest in a process that is underpinned by a metamodel. While that is what OPEN has always been – a flexible framework with a clear metamodel – entities like the Object Management Group are also now turning their attention to this idea in their SPE initiative. While many more industries investigate and adopt OPEN, many of these recent ones are confidential. We can however announce a new consultant support for OPEN, this time in Israel. ECI Telecom Ltd now offer support (see the OPEN webpage on Training and Support). We can also note that there is a new instance of OPEN which we have created to help industries move from a non-OO to an OO mindset (so called “transition”). We are currently trialling this in a publishing company in Sydney and anticipate offering full support for such transition in the near future. Another major new initiative is the funding by the European Community of a project involving UTS/COTAR as a partner to construct a process and a capability assessment methodology on top of OPEN. This is the OOSPICE project which commenced December 2000.
OPEN continues to feature strongly at conferences: we will be at the ICSE (International Conference on Software Engineering) in Canada in May. Other 2001 conferences are still under discussion with conference organizers. New presentations will be announced on the “Upcoming Conference” page as soon as known.
OPEN continues to attract significant attention from industry. An interesting new project management tool (eTrack) will making using OPEN even easier. Consortium members are working with the company to ensure high quality implementation of the OPEN metamodel. The metamodel itself is being revised (to version 2) and the new book currently being written by Firesmith and Henderson-Sellers will reflect these changes.
Last month saw the publication of a new book in the OPEN series with Addison-Wesley. This one, entitled “OPEN Modeling with UML”, shows how to use UML in OPEN’s modelling activities, tasks and techniques. Written for the professional, it describes UML assuming no prior knowledge and then shows how to use the UML to do modelling “OPEN-style”.
OPEN has continued to feature strongly at recent conferences: including TOOLS Europe, TOOLS USA, UML World in New York. For full details see “Upcoming Conference” page.
OPEN is attracting significant attention from industry. Presentations by Consortium members in USA, India and Germany, in particular, have led to several industry adoptions of the OPEN process framework.
Work has commenced on supporting OPEN in the CA/Platinum Process Continuum tool, courtesy of Myriad Solutions in Australia.
We have a new Consortium member, Dr Franck Barbier, of the Universite de Nantes in France who has both an academic background and strong industry ties in Europe.
OPEN featured strongly at recent conferences: OOPSLA in November 1999, TOOLS Asia and TOOLS Pacific and at the Australian Conference on Information Systems. Upcoming presentations (see “Upcoming Conference” page for details) include the Software Developers 2000 conference in New Zealand, TOOLS France, UML World in New York in June and the SMT2000 conference in November.
A new tool is being built to support OPEN in Melbourne, Australia. It is intended that this will be made available on a shareware/freeware basis. More news soon!
We have a new member (the 37th) to the OPEN Consortium this month: Richard Thomas from Queensland University of Technology. Richard will be giving a tutorial on OPEN at OOPSLA99 in Denver in November.
OPEN featured earlier this month at the TOOLS Santa Barbara international conference. There will also be two tutorials at the OOPSLA meeting in Denver in November and one at the TOOLS Asia conference in Nanjing in September.
Several industries have adopted OPEN in recent months, particularly in the USA and India. We also have a new mirror site kindly hosted by the Software Productivity Consortium in the USA.
There have been several successful tutorial presentations on OPEN in recent months including UML World, Application Development, TOOLS USA – for full details see the Upcoming Conferences section on this website.
Several new OPEN books are currently being planned and written. New authors are also welcome to submit proposals for consideration for inclusion in the OPEN series with Addison-Wesley. Sample chapters from two of the OPEN books have now been made available on this website.
We have added two sample chapters from the OPEN book series with Addison-Wesley for download for your perusal before considering purchasing the books. We hope this is useful. Please let us know.
Recent additions to the companies supporting, consulting, mentoring and training in OPEN are:
Interactive Objects Software GmbH based in Freiburg in Germany
CASE digital based in San Francisco with offices in India and Australia
A new industry project involving OPEN will shortly be announced. This will create a commercial tool to assist in intellectual property (IP) issues in which software process IP will be exemplified by supporting the elements of the OPEN process. The project is based in Australia and aims to deliver the tool by the end of 1999.
OPEN is being evaluated by several well-known major companies worldwide (under commercial confidentiality agreements) for adoption across their software development projects. “Watch this space”.
We also have a beautiful new web site (thanks to Stephen Graham for putting it together).