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OASIS Solution Deployment Descriptor (SDD) Technical Committee

Call for Participation: OASIS Solution Deployment Descriptor (SDD) Technical Committee

Date:      Fri, 29 Apr 2005 20:44:48 -0500
From:      James Bryce Clark <>
Subject:   OASIS TC Call for Participation: OASIS Solution Deployment Descriptor (SDD) TC

A new OASIS technical committee is being formed. The OASIS Solution Deployment Descriptor (SDD) Technical Committee has been proposed by the members of OASIS listed below. The proposal (below) meets the requirements of the OASIS TC Process [1]. The TC name, statement of purpose, scope, list of deliverables, audience, and language specified in the proposal will constitute the TC's official charter. Submissions of technology for consideration by the TC, and the beginning of technical discussions, may occur no sooner than the TC's first meeting.

This TC will operate under our 2005 IPR Policy [2]. The eligibility requirements for becoming a participant in the TC at the first meeting are that: (a) you must be an employee of an OASIS member organization or an individual member of OASIS; (b) the OASIS member must sign the OASIS membership agreement [3]; (c) you must notify the TC chair of your intent to participate at least 15 days prior to the first meeting (which members may do by using the "Join this TC" button on the TC's public page at [4]); and (d) you must attend the first meeting of the TC, at the time and date fixed below. Of course, it also will be possible to join the TC at a later time.

Standards always are improved by broad participation. Non-OASIS members who wish to participate may contact us about joining [4] and review our membership information at [5]. Our rules and structure are designed to promote inclusiveness. We look forward to assisting parties interested in joining the community of implementers, technologists, academic and end-users working on OASIS standards. All also are welcome to take advantage of the public resources maintained for each TC: a mail list archive, document repository and public comments facility, all of which will be available on the TC's home page at [4]. Archives of the TC's mail list and public comment lists, as with all OASIS TCs, will be visible at [5].

Further information generally related to this topic may be found on the Cover Pages at:

Please feel free to forward this announcement to any other applicable lists. OASIS is an open standards organization; we encourage your feedback. JBC

James Bryce Clark
Director, Standards Development, OASIS

[2] See
[3] See

Charter of the Technical Committee

Name and Abbreviation

OASIS Solution Deployment Descriptor (SDD) Technical Committee


Deployment and lifecycle management of a set of interrelated software, hereinafter referred to as a solution, is a predominantly manual operation because there is currently no standardized way to express installation packaging for a multi-platform environment. Each hosting platform or operating system has its own format for expressing packaging of a single installable unit but, even on these homogeneous platforms, there is no standardized way to combine packages into a single aggregated unit without significant re-creation of the dependency and installation instructions. The problem is compounded when the solution is to be deployed across multiple, heterogeneous, platforms. A standard for describing the packaging and means to express dependencies and various lifecycle management operations within the package would alleviate these problems and subsequently enable automation of these highly manual and error-prone tasks. The purpose of this Technical Committee is to define XML schema to describe the characteristics of an installable unit (IU) of software that are relevant for core aspects of its deployment, configuration, and maintenance. This document will be referred to as the Solution Deployment Descriptor (SDD). SDDs, previously described as IUDDs, also are described in

SDDs will benefit member companies and the industry in general by providing a consistent model and semantics to address the needs of all aspects of the IT industry dealing with software deployment, configuration, and lifecycle management. The benefits of this work include:

  • ability to describe software solution packages for both single and multi-platform heterogeneous environments
  • ability to describe software solution packages independent of the software installation technology or supplier
  • ability to provide information necessary to permit full lifecycle maintenance of software solutions

Scope of the Technical Committee

The Technical Committee will define XML schema for SDDs, as well as a package format to associate SDDs, resource content, and software artifacts. SDDs are intended to describe the aggregation of installable units at all levels of the software stack. The resulting XML schema shall be partitioned to allow for layered implementations covering the range of applications from the definition of atomic units of software (Smallest Installable Units) to complex, multi-platform, heterogeneous solutions. A solution is any combination of products, components or application artifacts addressing a particular user requirement. This includes what would traditionally be referred to as a product offering (e.g., a database product), as well as a solution offering (e.g., a business integration platform comprising multiple integrated products), or a user application (e.g., a set of application artifacts like J2EE applications and database definitions). All the software constituents of a solution can be represented by a single SDD as a hierarchy of installable unit aggregates. In addition to the installable units that comprise a solution, the SDD also describes the requirements of targets onto which the solution can be deployed. There are a number of aspects of software deployment, configuration, and life-cycle management that are expressly outside of the scope of this technical committee. Specifically this committee will not specify host platform models, host platform management interfaces, or the design or implementations of deployment or life-cycle managers. Other standards efforts in other parts of the industry cover these aspects and other related standards activities may emerge. This technical committee may develop recommendations regarding these aspects but will feed these recommendations through appropriate liaison with the respective standards committees.

TC Deliverables

The TC's deliverables are:

  • A set of specifications which include XML schemas for SDDs (Target completion: January 2006) Includes:
    • Core descriptors
    • Extensions for multi-platform solutions
  • A software package format specification for SDDs and associated resources (Target completion: January 2006)
  • A primer with real life examples to aid developers of SDDs and those who develop SDD tooling (Target completion: April 2006)
  • Requirements to be forwarded to DMTF and other appropriate standards bodies (Target completion: April 2006)
  • A document describing best practices in constructing SDDs for solution installation and life-cycle management (Target completion: April 2006)

IPR Mode

This TC will operate under the RF on Limited Terms mode

Audience for the Work

The anticipated audience includes:

  • ISVs and independent developers who wish to create software packages for managed or unmanaged environments
  • Internal corporate software development organizations
  • IT staff who need to manage deployment and lifecycle within their infrastructure
  • Software consumers who want reliable and predictable software installation and lifecycle
  • Other domain specific standards bodies, such as GGF, who need a standardized way to express SDDs within their domain
  • Developers of tooling which is used either for packaging of software for installation or used in the process of software life-cycle management


The TC will conduct its business in English

Additional Information

Non-normative information regarding the startup of the TC

Similar or Applicable Work

  • Global Grid Forum (GGF). It is the hope of the TC that this work will be referenced as the software packaging schema in the GGF Configuration Description, Deployment, and Lifecycle Management (CDDLM) workgroup and the newly formed Application Contents Services (ACS) workgroup in updated versions of their specifications. Currently these workgroups are developing their own schema. Having this single industry wide schema would help ensure interoperability between Grid and non-Grid environments. The SDD TC will form liaison with these two workgroups to gather their requirements to ensure the SDD schema meets the needs of the Grid environment. The schema will incorporate needs that are broadly applicable to other parts of the industry and will provide extensibility to permit Grid specific extensions to be defined by the respective workgroup.

  • OSGi Bundles. There also is an overlap between current work on OSGi Bundles by the OSGi Alliance and the product of this technical committee. Specifically, aggregation of OSGi Bundles would be represented as Installable Units in an SDD representation. An alliance partnership does not exist today, but should exist to provide the broadest level of industry acceptance of a single software installation and life-cycle management schema.

  • Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF). The SDD specification plans to rely on appropriate resource models for artifacts and hosting platforms, which DMTF develops. A strong liaison between the DMTF and the SDD technical committee will be necessary to ensure that the models contain the necessary elements required to achieve the goals of the SDD technical committee. In particular, we envision a strong alliance with the DMTF Application Workgroup as the SDD TC discovers new requirements for the expression of software artifacts and host platform models.

  • OASIS Web Services Distributed Management (WSDM) TC. There is a natural synergy with the WSDM TC as we see future implementations of installers and life-cycle managers moving to a Web services environment. The newly developed WSDM specification will form a solid base from which tools relying on SDD can perform software installation and life-cycle management. This technical committee will work closely with the WSDM TC in developing the requirements for management capabilities that need to be available to support software life-cycle management using SDDs. The product of the synergies between WSDM and SDD, i.e., the interfaces to the deployment engines, is intended to be standardized in a technical committee other than the SDD TC.

  • OASIS Data Center Markup Language (DCML) TCs. A liaison relationship needs to exist with the DCML Applications and Services TC in order to ensure that DCML documents can refer to or include SDD components where appropriate.

First Meeting

The first meeting will be held by phone, June 1, Wednesday, 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM Eastern Time. Call in will be sponsored by IBM.

Ongoing Meeting Schedule

Face to face meetings will be held quarterly or sooner on an as-needed basis. Sponsors for face to face meetings will be solicited from participating members. Target date for first face to face meeting will be determined in the first meeting of the TC.

TC Proposers

TC Convener

Catherine Pleil, IBM,

Proposed TC Chair

Thomas Studwell, IBM,

[Announcement 2005-05-17: "OASIS Forms Committee to Standardize Software Installation Characteristics for Lifecycle Management. Computer Associates, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, NEC, Novell, Sun Microsystems, Zero G, and Others Collaborate on Packaging for Distributed Application Environments."]

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See details in the 2005-04-30 news story "OASIS TC Addresses Software Deployment, Configuration, and Lifecycle Management." General references in "Standards for Automated Resource Management in the Computing Environment."

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