The area of Open Systems has been developing standards and reference models. Architectural and application specific frameworks have been defined with some influence from the requirements of the user. These frameworks will be extended to the Information Infrastructure. The two major poles in the Information Society are, on the one hand users and, on the other, providers. BOISI is an accompanying measure that endeavours to bridge and to reconcile these poles by establishing a general reference model for User Requirements for Open Systems as an input to the implementation of the Information Infrastructure. Several Applications areas have been selected in order to bring together the general model which will be further validated against the experience and technology awareness of X/Open prior to undertaking measures for the building of consensus. Workshops are planned to influence the players in the Information Society. A final report will document the results and indicate areas of further action. BOISI is undertaken by the key European Open Systems groupings.
BOISI considers how to approach bridging Open Systems to the Information Infrastructure, using experience available from individual groups who can represent user reference models from vertical industry sectors and from the horizontal viewpoint. Some of these groups (Partners/Core Group) are already familiar with the concept of Open Systems Infrastructures within their own sector, and have participated in initiatives in this area supported by the European Commission in ESPRIT and other programmes, particularly the Open Systems Working Group set up by DGIII. The work of this group has, within a short time, established a clear initial consensus about User Requirements in outline structural terms. The implications of this have significant potential benefit in terms of horizontal synergy, market stimulus and value creation.
BOISI seeks to establish the reality of this potential; to assess how the links can be realised within a general reference model, the implications for the implementation strategy of the Fourth Framework Programme, to secure input/validation from other related groups and vertical sectors and to provide conclusions and recommendations for the future. It builds on existing work that has been undertaken within current Framework Programmes to establish the reality of a common approach to the linking of information systems and the infrastructure needed to support them. The aim is that quantifiable synergy benefits can be obtained from focusing on horizontal excellence supporting the interoperability of high value, low overhead application components.
BOISI falls into two main phases: first, establishment of a basic paradigm via the Core Group along with the production and agreement of a scoping study and interim report. Second, the exposure of the basic paradigm to inputs and comments from other groups resulting in a publishable document and a set of policy and actions recommendations. These will become the base for disseminating and communicating the results and conclusions across the wide spectrum of the two poles; users and providers.
During the period to February 95, the Core Group secured consultative feedback from the vertical and horizontal sectors with which they have direct contact as input to an Interim Report. During the period from September 95 to February 96 a number of workshops were organised to cover the involvement and input from other groups based on the Interim Report, in terms of exposure to a wider audience (EC, politicians, industry, vertical sector agencies, Eurogroups) at both the macro-environment level and in a more general public situation. This will result in a final study report, a set of recommendations and a formal presentation of the results.