Interview with Patrick Gannon, OASIS President and CEO
Interview with CEO of OASIS on Framework for Web Services Implementation Technical Committee
October 8, 2003
In Profile - OASIS
From IDA Singapore (Infocomm Development Authority)
Patrick Gannon, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Organisation for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), was recently in Singapore for the launch of the OASIS Framework for Web Services Implementation (FWSI) Technical Committee.
OASIS is an international not-for-profit non-governmental organisation (NGO) whose mission is to drive the development, convergence and adoption of e-business standards. The OASIS FWSI Technical Committee, co-chaired by IDA and SIMTech, is the first Asian-led Technical Committee in OASIS.
"We are very pleased that the OASIS FWSI Technical Committee is being launched in Singapore," said Mr Gannon. "We value IDA's foresight and initiative in identifying critical business application issues. The work of the OASIS FWSI Technical Committee will help to enable Web Services and Service Oriented Architectures to be more rapidly implemented in e-commerce applications around the world."
An industry veteran of 35 years who has held senior e-commerce positions at BEA Systems, Netfish Technologies and the CommerceNet Consortium, Mr Gannon sees this initiative to develop Web Services standards as an excellent example of public-private sector collaboration, which brings together government funding and private sector contributions to offer greater benefits to the broader local business community and, ultimately, the worldwide e-business community.
Mr Gannon sees the FWSI Technical Committee as an example of government-sponsored research paying off for the industry. He notes, "The OASIS FWSI Technical Committee came about as a result of the Web Services Reference Architecture (WSRA) that the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology, a research institute, had developed under funding from IDA and A*STAR. OASIS saw value in the WSRA and suggested that IDA help to form an OASIS Technical Committee based on it."
"Web Services and e-business are evolutionary in nature," says Mr Gannon. "I was involved in writing remote procedure calls (RPCs) 25 years ago! Such e-business components are not new in themselves. The problem then was that applications had to be written on a specific platform. Today, with open standards, we can write applications on any hardware platform or operating environment."
That's why the role of standards organisations such as OASIS is critical, if businesses are to benefit from what Web Services can provide. "Infrastructure issues must be resolved at the standards platform; otherwise, if organisations merely provide the specifications, we'll face the same problem I faced 25 years ago," he says.
Adopting standards, says Mr Gannon, helps protect an organisation's investment in technology assets. "The value comes not only in terms of ROI, but also the overall payback in terms of the reusability and portability of the applications and data. Standards developed in an open process allow you to maximise your manpower and other resources, besides bringing service expansion benefits." Adopting open standards helps organisations to bring new services and competitive advantage to market - faster and at a lower cost.
Both end-user companies and technology providers participating in an OASIS Technical Committee stand to benefit from such an early involvement in developing Web Services standards. The end-users gain technology education through the interaction with the technology companies, the early drafts of the standards, and the Q&A sessions. Also, it is critical that the user requirements are provided to the technologists early in the specification development process.
Says Mr Gannon: "The end-user companies also have the benefit of having the opportunity to pilot or demonstrate the technologies at the business draft stage of the Technical Committee, putting them in a better position to deploy or adopt the Web Services standards in their products and solutions earlier. This is particularly helpful in the planning cycle; by the time the specs are in the final stage, you've already been able to evaluate the various technologies and functionalities."
Mr Gannon has provided consultation and guidance to government leaders on adoption of e-business strategies to facilitate economic growth. In addition to being on the OASIS Board of Directors, Mr Gannon served from 2000 to 2002 with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) as Chairman of the team of specialists for Internet Enterprise Development, which advises governments in transitional economies on best practices for electronic business. He was a driving force in the development of ebXML (electronic business using eXtensible Markup Language), an initiative co-sponsored by OASIS and UN/CEFACT.
Beginning in 1995 he was involved in catalog interoperability activities and directed research and development efforts in new Internet commerce standards such as XML. While at CommerceNet, he became the first Project Leader for RosettaNet and served as Executive Director for the Open Buying on the Internet (OBI) initiative. Mr. Gannon is also co-author of the book, "Building Database-Driven Web Catalogs," and is an international speaker on e-business and Web Services standards.
Cache version prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See other details in the news story "OASIS Announces Framework for Web Services Implementation (FWSI) TC."