This page describes selected standards of interest to the Energy, Smart Grid, and Building Management spaces. We do not attempt to be comprehensive.

Standard or Specification?

First a note on the word "standard". The word means a consensus specification, broadly accepted and used. This means that there is an approval process—a specification is not a standard just because someone's marketing department or a speaker says it is.

Standards are developed by Standards Developing Organizations [SDOs]. There are de jure standards groups, of which the best known are the international ones based in Geneval Switzerland:

A wide variety of SDOs create standards, some of which are moved when completed into the international de jure SDOs. OASIS directly forwards work to ISO, ITU, and IEC under a Memorandum of Understanding; a dozen or so OASIS Standards have become ISO/ITU/IEC Standards. Other groups, such as the IEEE, have a similar relationship in their respective areas.

In a parallel structure, country groups (such as the American National Standards Insititute in the United States) register and work with SDOs in many areas, and forward work to ISO, ITU, and IEC.

Steps From Specification to Standard

A specification on the way to becoming a standard typically goes through many approval steps. For example, an OASIS specification first comes to life as a working draft within a Technical Committee (TC). At a later point, when greater consensus is reached in the TC it may be voted and accepted as a Committee Draft or a Committee Specification. After one or more public review and modification stages, the specification may be proposed as an OASIS Standard.

An OASIS Standard is voted on by the OASIS institutional membership as a whole. This is the highest level of consensus in the OASIS process. Some specifications do not pass this stage.

After approval as an OASIS Standard, the specification may be forwarded to one of several international standards groups such as ISO, ITU, and IEC. This is the final stage of standardization, indicating broad international support for the specification.

In the OASIS process, a specification is not a standard until it passes the OASIS Standard balloting process. But many specifications never reach that level. Does that mean they're not standards?

Yes. They are not standards, but they may be extremely useful. An OASIS Committee Specification status indicates a stable document that can reasonably be broadly implemented and (if in the appropriate area) tested for interoperability. (Many TCs do interoperability testing as the specification is developed, which is an excellent approach).

OASIS Standards

So what is an OASIS Standard? The complete and current list is on the OASIS web site Standards page (on the top of the left navigation bar). OASIS Standards are freely downloadable, without charge; IPR restrictions are noted in the specifications. We'll list a few of the relevant ones for the interoperable Smart Grid and Collaborative Energy.

Some well-known OASIS Standards and their common abbreviations, all found on the OASIS Standards page are

  • Open Document Format for Office Applications (ODF)

  • Web Services Security (WS-Security)

  • Electronic Business XML (ebXML) set of standards

  • Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML)

  • Universal Business Language (UBL)

  • Web Services Reliable Messaging (WS-RM)

  • Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) and related Emergency Management work

  • Web Services Tranactions, including WS-Coordination, WS-AtomicTransaction, and WS-BusinessActivity (WS-TX)

  • Service-Oriented Architecture Reference Model (SOA-RM)

OASIS Committee Specifications

OASIS Committee Specifications (historically also called Committee Drafts) show stability and acceptance, albeit less than that for an OASIS Standard. One relevant OASIS Committee Specifications is

OASIS Technical Committee Work in Progress

There are many OASIS Technical Committees working today. A selected list that are relevant to the Building Management and Energy Management/Smart Grid spaces are

Other Specifications and Standards

Other specifications (including those headed for standardization) will be annotated in this section in the near future.

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