OneRoster from IMS… is it a spec or is it a standard? oh, and what’s the difference?

  • 4
  • March 15, 2016

Every now and again I hear people use the terms ‘technical specification’ and ‘technical standard’ interchangeably when it comes to IMS Global‘s OneRoster. At first I too used to flip-flop between those terms and then I decided to research it a bit through conversations with the folks at IMS and some good ole’ online searching… here’s what I found.

Turns out there are some similarities between ‘specs’ and ‘standards’… and a few meaningful differences. Below is a quick review of the key differences.

Standard Specification
Developed by consensus among many parties according to a specified set of rules and procedures Developed by one entity
Published by a neutral party Published by a neutral or non-neutral party
Purpose is to establish a generally accepted design standard Purpose may be for a particular project which may include customization to a generally accepted design standard


So there it is. OneRoster, and most anything produced by IMS Global, because of their consensus approach to life, should be thought of as a standard and not a spec.

Thank you to Sandra DeCastro at IMS Global and BICSI for their clear insights on this.



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