The GIF plan also includes a 3 year roadmap that defines the goals for each of the next three years, and the work commitments of consortium members, in particular the GIF implementers.
One of the key features of the GIF is that it promotes a vendor-neutral architecture-based reference framework, created by end users for end users. Although it is important to note that products developed by industry members of the Consortium are critical elements of any integration solution.
Key elements of the Global Integration Framework launched today include:
Resources available from the Integration Consortium members GIF repository
- an integration methodology, Total Business Integration (TBI), contributed by Johnson & Johnson
- an initial GIF repository using an Object Management Group (OMG) MOF-compliant repository based on work done by Adaptive
- a formal data model for integration metadata
Approved resources available for Integration Consortium members
- an enterprise architecture and architecture development methodology, The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF), led by The Open Group
- an integration design framework based on Gregor Hohpe's "Enterprise Integration Patterns"
- a software framework for standardising interfaces available from the Avalanche Consortium
Key elements of a roadmap to define consistent practices and standards, including:
- a training program to spread the knowledge
- a certification program to assess organisational and product compliance with the GIF
Improving the value of integration
"Industry studies have pegged the cost of integration at 35% or more of the total cost of IT projects. In large corporations this can equate to 100 million US Dollars or more annually," said Michael Kuhbock, Chairman of the Integration Consortium. "Given the huge inefficiencies of traditional approaches, it is realistic to project that using the GIF, companies could reduce these costs by up to 50%. Combine that with efficient use of resources who are appropriately trained and accredited, this is very appealing to businesses around the world."
John Schmidt, IS Leader at Best Buy and Chairman of the Methodology Committee for the Integration Consortium, led the effort over the past 12 months to select the initial GIF components and assemble the organisations and team members who will participate in the next phase of the GIF roadmap. "The GIF is a tremendous breakthrough in industry and end-user collaboration," says Mr. Schmidt. "We need to stop the "standards wars" and restore confidence in the business community that the IT Industry can indeed solve the interoperability challenges."
Industry support for the GIF is strong and broad-based. Key industry organisations that have participated in Release 1.0 include Adaptive, Avalanche Consortium, Crowe Chizek, Groundswell Revolution, IBM, Librados, Software AG, Sonic Software, Tier1 Innovation, ThoughtWorks, and The Open Group. A critical aspect of the approach used by the Consortium to ratify the GIF components is that an end user organisation must participate in each team. End user organisations that are actively involved include Best Buy and Guidant, although a number of others will be announced following the Summit.
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