OMG and the Retail Sector

Making Technology Less Expensive for Retailers


Technology standards make technology less expensive for retailers. With average profit margins of only 3% and an average IT spend of less than 2% as a percentage of revenue, retailers need standards to reduce the cost and time-to-market for new technology and services to enhance the customer experience. Before standards, retailers found it difficult, expensive and risky to change or update the simplest technology. With standards, retailers can select best-of-breed technology without the hassle and risk.

OMG has been developing standards for nearly 30 years and has an international suite of standards to manage and share data in the retail enterprise. These standards, which are developed by retailer and vendors around the world, reduce the risk of new technology, preserve the value of legacy systems, reduce time to market and integration costs, are an important source of information about how retail works.

Over the years, we developed the model for retail and a standard data warehouse with over 40 KPIs; over 20 standard xml message sets to support point-to-point, application to application integration; UnifiedPOS, the standard for POS peripheral connectivity; and a variety of template RFPs and business process models to help retailers understand, select, and implement new technology strategies.


Retail Domain Task Force (RDTF)

The Retail Domain Task Force (RDTF) is a community dedicated to helping retailers and solution providers identify, adopt and integrate current and emerging information technology. The RDTF was originally founded in 1991 as a share group for retail CIOs, and then incorporated in 1993 as the Association for Retail Technology Standards (ARTS). ARTS was subsequently acquired by the National Retail Federation (NRF) in 1998; the Object Management Group® (OMG®) and NRF entered into a long-term agreement to manage and develop the retail standards in 2017.


UnifiedPOS is an architectural specification for application interfaces to point-of-service devices used in a retail environment. It defines the structure of application interfaces to retail devices such as scanners, printers and scales, and describes the range of functionality in these devices that would typically be needed in a range of POS software solutions, whether physically attached or accessed over networks using web services.

Operational Data Model™ (ODM™)

The Operational Data Model (ODM) incorporates transactional information used daily in retail stores - everything from inventory management and price management to sales reporting and workforce management.

Data Warehouse Model (DWM)

The Data Warehouse Model (DWM) complements the ODM and helps retailers identify and track the key performance indicators that inform better decision making and analysis.

XML Schemas

XML Schemas build on the operational data model and provide defined structure that helps different applications speak the same language. When software conforms to the schema, retailers can add new applications to existing infrastructure. That makes it easier to implement new services for customers - like loyalty programs, inventory searching, price checking - just to name a few.

Retail Business Process Models

Retail Business Process Models help a retailer make decisions about how to do business, and the models are a tool that can help them identify strengths and weaknesses in how to manage business and strategy. The Business Process Models subcommittee developed business process maps to describe the business processes commonly used to operate in retail.

Template RFPs for Retail Technology Procurement

Template RFPs help retailers select software applications to fit their business needs. Our templates significantly shorten the time retailers spend researching new applications, allowing them to focus their efforts on finding the best software for their requirements.

Business Process Model & Notation™ (BPMN™)

The Business Process Model & Notation™ (BPMN™) is a precise, complete and graphical notation for documenting well-defined business processes. BPMN resolves many ambiguities found in textual process specifications by assigning activities to specific actors. Analyzing resulting models can be used to drive process improvement initiatives, regardless of whether processes are automated or manual. Because the graphical model is readily understandable by non-technical people, it serves as a bridge that allows collaboration between business stakeholders and IT personnel. OMG BPMN 2.0.1 specification has been published as International Standard ISO/IEC 19510:2013, through the ISO Fast Track process. The US Veterans Administration is utilizing BPMN to modernize its medical records management and business processes.

Unified Modeling Language™ (UML®)

Modeling is the designing of software applications before coding. Modeling is an essential part of large software projects, and helpful to medium and even small projects as well. A model plays the analogous role in software development that blueprints and other plans (site maps, elevations, physical models) play in the building of a skyscraper. Models help us by letting us work at a higher level of abstraction. A model may do this by hiding or masking details, bringing out the big picture, or by focusing on different aspects of the prototype. The OMG Unified Modeling Language™ (UML®) helps you specify, visualize, and document models of software systems, including their structure and design, in a way that meets all of these requirements. Using any one of the large number of UML-based tools on the market, you can analyze your future application's requirements and design a solution that meets them, representing the results using thirteen standard diagram types in UML 2.0.

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

With the rise of interconnected devices and machines and smart analytics, we are experiencing a technological shift not seen since the Internet Revolution of the 1980s-90s. With the rise of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), professionals from all industries will see improved productivity, major cost savings, and streamlined processes. OMG has been active in IIoT standardization efforts long before "IIoT" became an industry buzzword. OMG standards help businesses take advantage of the IIoT.


OMG Cybersecurity standards help protect software assets from unauthorized access and penetrations, outages, data corruption, and other operational problems. OMG modeling language standards also ensure that security is designed upfront as part of a principled design process. Cyber threats facing a nation's critical infrastructure, mission-critical systems, or any Internet of Things (IoT) system, demand a cyber infrastructure that matches their combined enormity and complexity.