This page addresses frequently asked questions about joining and participating in OASIS. (Note: Many Technical Committee also have their own FAQs.)
See questions on:
- What does OASIS do?
- Who are its members?
- Which OASIS Standards are the most widely adopted?
- Where is OASIS located?
- How long has OASIS existed?
- Does OASIS encourage open participation?
- What are the IPR Policies of OASIS?
- What makes OASIS different from other groups?
- Does OASIS coordinate its work with related standards efforts?
- How does OASIS support education and standards adoption?
What does OASIS do?
OASIS is the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards, a not-for-profit, international consortium that drives the development, convergence and adoption of open standards for the global information society. OASIS promotes industry consensus and produces worldwide standards for security, Cloud computing, SOA, Web services, the Smart Grid, content technologies, emergency management, eGovernment, and many other areas. OASIS open standards offer the potential to lower cost, stimulate innovation, grow global markets, and protect the right of free choice of technology. See Take a Tour for details.
Who are its members?
OASIS members broadly represent the marketplace of public and private sector technology leaders, users, and influencers. The consortium has more than 5,000 participants representing over 600 organizations and individual members in 100 countries. Members include
- users seeking to ensure their business requirements are met;
- government agencies wanting to minimize overlap of standards and reduce the risk in recommending new technology;
- software providers expanding their markets and marketshare by standards compliance and interoperability; and
- industry groups striving to coordinate domain efforts with foundational work.
Which OASIS Standards are the most widely adopted?
OASIS members have developed more than 80 standards to date. The most widely adopted ones include BPEL, CAP, DITA, DocBook, ebXML (ISO 15000), EDXL, OpenDocument Format (ISO 26300), SAML, UDDI, WS-Security, and XACML. See the complete list of OASIS Standards.
Where is OASIS located?
OASIS is an international community creating standards for an international marketplace. With headquarters in Boston, OASIS staff are located in cities throughout the world including Amsterdam, Beijing, Geneva, and San Francisco. The consortium has active members on five continents.
How long has OASIS existed?
OASIS is one of the most established IT standards consortia in operation today. Founded in 1993 as 'SGML Open', the original mission was to advance interoperability among products that supported the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), a precursor to the Extensible Markup Language (XML). In 1998, the organization's legal name was changed to 'OASIS Open' to reflect an expanded scope of technical work.
Does OASIS encourage open participation?
OASIS believes widespread adoption can only be achieved when all those affected by a standard participate in its creation. We offer a range of membership levels to support an inclusive, international, and balanced member base. We seek input from non-members as well--achives of OASIS Committee documents and mailing lists are publicly accessible, and regular public reviews of specifications are required by our TC Process.
What are the IPR Policies of OASIS?
Each OASIS Technical Committee operates under one of four IPR modes as defined in the OASIS IPR Policy. The IPR mode, which specifies licensing requirements, is selected by the Committee members themselves. The vast majority of Technical Committees choose to work on a Royalty-Free (RF) basis. The OASIS IPR Policy requires Technical Committee participants to disclose any patent claims they might have. It also requires all contributors to make some specific rights available to the public for the purposes of implementing approved specifications.
What makes OASIS different from other groups?
OASIS is distinguished by its transparent governance and operating procedures. Members themselves set the OASIS technical agenda, using a lightweight process expressly designed to promote industry consensus and unite disparate efforts. Completed work is ratified by open ballot. Governance is accountable and unrestricted. Officers of the OASIS Board of Directors are chosen by democratic election to serve two-year terms. Consortium leadership is based on individual merit and is not tied to financial contribution, corporate standing, or special appointment.
Does OASIS coordinate its work with related standards efforts?
OASIS is committed to liaising with organizations that develop standards or profiles related to our work. OASIS maintains formal liaison relationships with ISO, ISO/IEC JTC1, ITU, UN/ECE and their joint management group for global e-business standards, as well as with ANSI, CalConnect, the European ICTSB, Korean NIPA, NAESB, TM Forum, W3C, and many others. OASIS Standards have been submitted and approved as ISO and JTC1 International Standards and ITU and W3C Recommendations.
How does OASIS support education and standards adoption?
OASIS provides several web sites and e-newsletters that serve as informational resources for the community. Cover Pages is the oldest and most comprehensive online reference site devoted to interoperable markup language standards. XML.org is a collection of community-driven web sites devoted to specific OASIS Standards and related specifications. Members and non-members are invited to subscribe to OASIS News and XML Daily Newslink to stay current on events, opportunities, and accomplishments in the consortium and the industry.
- Do you have to qualify to be an OASIS member?
- Who needs to sign the Membership Agreement?
- Which membership level is right for me?
- Is there a special category of membership for small government agencies?
- How are associations and trade groups represented in OASIS?
- When does my membership begin?
- What payment options does OASIS offer for dues?
- When will my renewal payment be due?
- What are the official contact roles members may hold within OASIS?
Who needs to sign the Membership Agreement?
A person with signature authority for your organization should sign the Membership Agreement, indicating acceptance of the OASIS IPR Policy and Bylaws. Self-employed or unemployed members may sign on their own behalf, provided they have not assigned ownership of their intellectual property to another party.
Which membership level is right for me?
OASIS lets you choose the membership level that best meets your needs. Annual dues are based on the benefit level you select and the size of your organization (number of employees). See Categories and Dues for details.
Is there a special category of membership for small government agencies?
Yes. OASIS offers discounted Contributor dues for national government agencies from countries that are not OECD members and for all local government agencies. National government agencies from OECD member countries are invited to join OASIS at any level in the dues category that matches their size. See annual dues and the datasheet, OASIS in the Public Sector, for more information.
How are associations and trade groups represented in OASIS?
Organizations are encouraged to involve as many employees as they choose in OASIS. If an association or trade group joins OASIS but does not employ staff suitable for participation, it may request permission to designate a limit of two representatives from its membership. These representatives must participate in OASIS on behalf of the association and not their employers. Companies are expressly prohibited from seeking corporate access to OASIS benefits through membership in another organization.
When does my membership begin?
As soon as OASIS processes your application (usually within 48 hours of receiving your signed Membership Agreement), your membership will be activated, and you may start participating in Committees. You will be issued an invoice for your dues; the invoice is payable within 30 days of receipt.
What payment options does OASIS offer for dues?
OASIS accepts dues payments by credit card, check, or wire transfer. After submitting your Membership Agreement, you will receive an invoice with full details on payment options. If you would like a purchase order or other reference number to appear on your invoice, please indicate this on your Membership Agreement.
When will my renewal payment be due?
Your membership extends for one year from the time you join OASIS, thus your renewal date will coincide with the anniversary of your joining. Two months before your membership is scheduled for renewal, your Primary Representative or Billing Contact will receive an invoice from OASIS. You may change your renewal date to accommodate your corporate budget cycle by contacting Member Services.
What are the official contact roles members may hold within OASIS?
Primary Representative—This person is responsible for overall participation, e.g. joining and renewing, Committee representation, etc., and for evangelizing the work of OASIS within your organization to ensure your participation meets your strategic needs.
Voting Contact—This person is authorized to cast ballots on behalf of your organization on consortium-level matters, e.g., ratification of OASIS Standards, Board of Directors elections. Your Primary Representative will automatically be designated as your Voting Contact unless otherwise requested.
Admin Contact—This person is authorized to manage your employee participation (add/edit/delete staff participants). Your Primary Representative will automatically be designated as your Admin Contact unless otherwise requested.
Billing Contact—This person is authorized to receive your dues invoices. Your Primary Representative will automatically be designated as your Billing Contact unless otherwise requested.
Official Notice Contact—This person will be notified of changes to OASIS Policies (Bylaws, IPR, etc). Many organizations designate their legal counsel in this role. Your Primary Representative will receive official notices whether or not you also have an Official Notice Contact.
Employee—This general designation will apply to all participants from your organization who do not hold one of the roles above.
- Do I have to commit a specified amount of time or resources to Committee work?
- Are face-to-face meetings mandatory?
- How many staff from my organization may participate?
- Is there a limit to the number of Committees I may join?
- What if my time is limited? May I just observe a Committee's work?
- Do I have to join an OASIS Committee in order to attend its meetings?
- How do I subscribe to a Committee mailing list?
- If my employer is an OASIS member, what do I need to do to join a Committee?
Are face-to-face meetings mandatory?
No. The majority of OASIS Committee work is accomplished via email and teleconference. Each Committee determines the best mode and schedule for its meetings, accommodating the limitations of members from around the globe to the greatest extent possible. Face-to-face meetings are not frequent and never required.
How many staff from my organization may participate?
OASIS does not impose any limit on the number of employees that may participate from a member organization, nor are there any extra fees for participation. Your Primary Representative approves each of your employees' requests to join a Committee. This ensures that your organization is aware of all Committees in which it is represented and that your management agrees to the IPR requirements. See details on Committee Voting below.
Is there a limit to the number of Committees I may join?
You are free to join any or all Committees, provided your Primary Representative approves. There are no extra fees for participating in multiple Committees.
What if my time is limited? May I just observe a Committee's work?
Absolutely. Each person chooses to join each Committee as either a Committee Member or Committee Observer--and may change roles at any time. This allows you to monitor work before committing to it, participate fully when your schedule permits, and stay involved without affecting quorum when your time is limited. You may be a Voting Member of one Committee, for example, and an Observer in another.
Do I have to join an OASIS Committee in order to attend its meetings?
Yes, to comply with the OASIS IPR Policy and TC Process, you must be on the roster as a Committee Member or Observer before being eligible to attend an official Committee meeting. Committees do, on occasion, hold workshops, seminars, birds-of-a-feather sessions, webinars, etc. that are open to the public. OASIS staff and Committee chairs are also available to answer your questions about technical work prior to joining.
How do I subscribe to an OASIS Committee mailing list?
To subscribe you must join the Committee. If you do not wish to participate actively in the Committee, you may join as an Observer. Non-members may view Committee mailing list archives.
If my employer is an OASIS member, may I participate in Committee work?
Yes. As an employee of an OASIS member organization, you may take advantage of all the benefits of participation without any additional cost—even if you work in a different department or location than your organization's Primary Representative. See Participation Instructions for more information.
- What are OASIS Member Sections?
An OASIS Member Section is an established group of consortium members who share a common interest in an industry or technology. OASIS Member Sections are governed by their own Steering Committees, which report to the OASIS Board of Directors. Current OASIS Member Sections include OASIS AMQP, CGM Open, eGov, Emergency, IDtrust, LegalXML, Open CSA, OSLC, and WS-I.
Do I need to join a Member Section?
Affiliation with a Member Section is completely optional. Keep in mind, you do not need to join a Member Section in order to participate in Committees affiliated with the Member Section. You should consider joining a Member Section if you would find benefit from 1) being identified as an supporter of the work, 2) voting on Member Section ballots, e.g., Steering Committee elections, and 3) assuming a significant role in advancing the work of the Member Section. Organizations may fund the work of some Member Sections (but not all) by allocating of a portion of their usual OASIS dues to advance the work. You may indicate affiliation with a Member Section on your Membership Agreement or by sending an email request to Member Services at any time. See the Member Section Overview for more details.
- Who votes on Committee ballots?
- Who votes on OASIS Standards and elections for Board of Directors?
- Who votes on Member Section ballots?
- Who votes on specific Committee ballots?
Each person who is a Voting Member of a Committee casts his/her own ballot on issues related to that Committee (including approving Committee Drafts and Committee Specifications). This 'one-person-one-vote' rule applies regardless of how many people from the same organization are represented on a Committee. A Committee Member automatically gains or loses voting rights based on meeting attendance. See Comparison of Committee Roles for details.
- Who votes on ballots for ratifying OASIS Standards and electing the Board of Directors?
Only OASIS organizational members (those at the Foundational, Sponsor, and Contributor levels) are eligible to vote on consortium business. Each organization casts one vote. To find your organization's Voting Contact, send an email to Member Services.
- Who votes on Member Section ballots?
Only organizational members (those at the Foundational, Sponsor, and Contributor levels) that have joined the Member Section are eligible to vote on its business (e.g. electing Steering Committee Representatives). Each organization casts one vote.
Contact Member Services for more information.