OMG's Technology Adoption Process
Who should read this description?
Object Management Group (OMG) members write and adopt their
specifications according to a very strict process, set out in
the group's Policies and Procedures Manual,
affectionately known as the P&P. Even though we'll
describe the entire process here, keep in mind that Only the P&P description is official. If
there's a discrepancy between it and this page, the P&P
wins, every time.
There are at least two reasons why you might be interested in
the OMG process: If you're a member, or thinking about becoming
a member, you want to know all about the process (including its
various nuances) so you can participate in it to influence
specifications that you're interested in. This is the version
for you, right here on this page. If you're about to
participate in the process, or are already participating and
need help understanding a step or two, you should read all of
these pages and then follow up by reading The
Hitchhiker's Guide to the OMG Technology Adoption Process
. You'll find that these pages
and Guide are complementary, looking at the same process
from two different points of view. To observe and understand the
sequence of steps, these pages suffice; but to run the process
and come to each step with your i's dotted and t's crossed
requires the additional information in the Guide (unless you've
done it several times before).
On the other hand, if
you're not a member but are interested in the specifications
anyhow (because, for example, your company produces or uses
products based on them), you're not concerned with the nuances
but you do need to know about the various stages that a
submission passes through on its way to becoming a
specification, and on the maintenance process that keeps it
evergreen. Our Download Instructions page tells you most
of what you need to know so check out that page first. If you need more information, come
Who does what, as the process evolves?
Participants play one of two primary roles during the
- A large group of OMG members participate in writing the RFP,
evaluating the submissions that arrive in response, and
voting on the results. We'll call this group the voters. The
makeup of this group changes as the votes move from the TF,
through the AB, TC, and finally the BOD.
- A smaller group write and edit the submissions. We'll call
this group the Submitters. The members of this
group are identified on OMG's web page for each standards
effort, which you can access from our Work in Progress page.
Once the LOI deadline passes, members of this group can drop
out, but not join (or re-join). All submitters are
automatically also voters, but not all voters are
The two roles are complementary. A shallow look suggests
that they might be antagonistic at times, but this is not
so: The culture of consensus at OMG creates an environment where
these two groups cooperate as they work towards the goal of
The submitters' special role derives primarily from the
responsibilities they assume by signing the Letter of Intent
what are the process stages?
On this introductory page, we've put only a thumbnail sketch
of each stage of the technology adoption process. Each stage has
a full-page description of its own - click on its header in the
outline below to go there. If your company is interested in
contributing to the OMG technology standards, you'll be most
interested in the RFP stage.
Click on a header for details:
- The TF writes an RFI and votes to recommend issuance by its
- The TC votes to issue the RFI.
- The TF accepts, reads, and analyzes responses to the RFI.
- Possibly using information received via the RFI, the TF
writes and votes to recommend issuance of an RFP by its parent
- The AB approves the RFP.
- The TF's parent TC votes to issue the RFP.
- On or before the LOI deadline, one or more OMG member
companies submit LOIs.
- On or before the Initial Submission deadline, which
typically falls three weeks before an OMG technical meeting
week, all or most of these companies submit initial
- Interested OMG members read the submissions, and comment on
them during the meeting (especially if they find things they
don't like, of course).
- During the interim between this meeting and the revised
submission deadline, interesting things may happen.
- The revised submission deadline may be extended. There may
be multiple deadlines for revised submissions.
- On or before the revised submission deadline, one or more revised submissions
may be submitted.
- OMG members read and evaluate the revised submission (most
likely) or submissions (less likely). If most members consider
the submission worthy, a series of votes begins.
- If the votes are to begin at the meeting that immediately
follows the revised submission deadline, a procedural hurdle
known as the "vote to vote" is encountered.
- The TF votes to recommend adoption to its parent TC.
- The AB votes approval.
- The parent TC votes to recommend to OMG's BOD.
- The BOD Business Subcommittee (BSC)
reports to the BOD on Business
Committee Questionnaire responses from the submitters.
- If at least one satisfactory response was received, the BOD
votes to adopt the specification. At this point, the
submission becomes an official OMG Adopted Specification,
but does not receive a release number.
- The TC charters a Finalization Task Force (FTF).
- The FTF performs the first maintenance revision on the
specification, resolving issues submitted to OMG, while simultaneously producing implementations
back in their companies.
- The FTF-revised version of the specificaiton is adopted as
official OMG technology, through the same series of votes as
the original submission (TF, AB, TC, and BOD). This time it
receives a release number, and is designated an available
- The document is edited into a formal OMG
- Typically, products reach the market around this time
- A recurring maintenance cycle starts here. The TC charters
an RTF and sets deadlines for its report and specification
- The RTF collects and acts on issues submitted to OMG,
producing a revised specification.
- The revised specification is adopted through the series of
- A new RTF is chartered, and the process repeats.
- Obsolete (not superseded) specifications may be
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