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Table of Contents
The above is a panorama taken by the MARS Curiosity Rover
Middleware and Related Services (MARS) Platform Task Force (PTF)
To solicit, evaluate, and select specifications for recommendation to the Platform Technology Committee for adoption by the OMG (http://www.omg.org/) in the areas of:
- Request Broker Technology - including but not limited to Object Request Brokers (CORBA), Message-Oriented Brokers and other technologies that are the target implementation contexts for Platform Independent Services and their Mappings.
- General purpose Pervasive Services that are either:
Mappings for such Pervasive Services to specific middleware platforms, and reference mappings from generic PIM constructs to platform-specific constructs and protocol rules.Supporting Technologies for Application Integration, Information Integration, and Collaboration
- Fundamental for developing useful distributed applications
- Provide a universal basis for Application Integration and Information Integration, or
- Support higher-level facilities and frameworks
Working Groups (WGs)
To paraphrase the MARS home page, MARS hosts a number of WGs, serving as MARS' technology incubators. The members of a WG meet to explore specific technologies, e.g., prepare and review responses to RFIs, present their findings to the TF or as a published green papers, and prepare Draft RFPs. There are 5 active working groups at this time:
- Software Defined Networks (SDN) Working Group (Chartered March 2013)
High Performance Embedded Computing (HPEC) Working Group (Chartered March 2012)
- Wiki: http://www.omgwiki.org/sdn/doku.php; Maillist: email@example.com
- This WG nominally holds meetings every month. When the meeting month does not co-incide with the OMG TC's quarterly meeting, the meeting location is communicated using their maillist.
Information Exchange Framework (Information Exchange Framework (IEF) Working Group) Working Group (Chartered December 2005)
- Wiki: http://www.omgwiki.org/hpec/; Maillist: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Two RFCs – for VSIPL and VSIPL++ successfully issued, adopted, and released as formal OMG specs; other specifications based on these adopted specs are being considered.
- This WG meets quarterly, co-located with the OMG TC quarterly meeting once or twice a year.
Rich Internet Application (RIA) Working Group (Chartered December 2009)
- Wiki: http://www.omgwiki.org/mars/doku.php?id=ief; maillist: email@example.com
- Working from a roadmap for specifications to be developed (not just in MARS) to address the areas of policy based information exchange. Per this roadmap, two RFPs of three were issued. Of these two - one has since been withdrawn in deference to a new RFP issued in March 2014 to establish an IEF Reference Architecture (http://www.omg.org/cgi-bin/doc.cgi?mars/2014-3-17). In any case, the IEF Policy Based Packaging Vocabulary (IEPPV) specification was adopted in December 2013 and formalized in May 2015 http://www.omg.org/spec/IEPPV/.
IDL Profiles Working Group (Chartered March 2009, disbanded June 2015)
- RIA Dynamic Component Model RFP issued in March 2013. Initial Submission rescheduled and expected in September 2015. Refer to http://www.omg.org/members/cgi-bin/doc?mars/15-03-10.pdf for a foretaste of what the submission will contain.
- Maillist: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Vision Statement: mars/09-06-04 (http://www.omg.org/members/cgi-bin/doc?mars/09-06-04.pdf)
- IDL 3.5 successfully issued as an RFC and is now a formal specification (;
- IDL 4.0 was issued as an RFC in March 2015 and, as of June 2015, is an adopted specification and scheduled to be finalized by December 2015.
- Based on the adoption of IDL 4.0, the work of the IDL WG is done.
MARS has two other working groups that are currently on hiatus.
- Dynamic Deployment Configuration (DDC) Working Group (chartered September 2010)
- The Object Database Technologies (Object Database Technology (ODBT) Working Group) Working Group (chartered September 2003; suspended since March 2009)
As needed, these WGs can be re-activated as is or re-purposed. Also as needed, new WGs can be created.
For more information go to their respective wiki pages. To subscribe to the maillists for each WG, send an email to email@example.com or refer to this site http://www.omg.org/members/mailinglists.html
News From Recent TC Meetings (and looking ahead)
- Continuing and new Technology Processes
Refer to the OMG Technical Meeting Resource Hub for the MARS report which provides more details on the work done in Berlin and our plans for the meeting in Cambridge, MA (September 2015): http://www.omg.org/cgi-bin/doc?mars/2015-06-10 (OMG member only access).
- A significant milestone for MARS! As cited above, the IDL 4.0 RFC has been adopted http://www.omg.org/cgi-bin/doc?mars/15-03-01. IDL 4.0 is the culmination of an idea proposed in 2008: how to make it easier to apply IDL to more domains than just CORBA. The first step was to copy IDL from the CORBA spec and make it stand-alone: IDL 3.5 (http://www.omg.org/spec/IDL35/). The next step was to define a way to create Profiles of IDL (CORBA, DDS, etc). IDL 4.0 establishes a set of building blocks and annotations and defines how to use them to construct IDL profiles.
- Four new RFPs are now on the MARS Roadmmap. One to define a gateway between DDS and the OPC UA (https://opcfoundation.org/about/opc-technologies/opc-ua/), one to extend the existing DDS Interoperability protocol to operate in Extremely Constrained Resource Environments (XRCE), and two to expand OMG's arsenal of IDL to language mappings (IDL to Java and IDL to C#).
When available, the agenda for the Cambridge meeting will be posted here: http://www.omg.org/news/meetings/tc/agendas/ma-15/MARS.pdf.
- Our meeting in Cambridge will include reviews of the four new RFPs as well as three submissions: RIA Dynamic Component Model (RDCM) [initial], IEF Reference Architecture [revised], and the Unified Component Model for Distributed Realtime Systems (UCM for DRE)[revised]. MARS will also be hosting an IEF Information Day.
MARS Technology Roadmap
The latest MARS Roadmap can be found at the MARS home page http://mars.omg.org. Two versions are posted:
- A public version that requires no password to open. It provides links to issued RFPs, RFCs, and RFIs and adopted submissions (adopted during the current and previous year); all material available to the public. Published as a PDF file only.
- A member's only version that needs a userid and password to access. Published in two formats: an editable Excel file and a nominally non-editable PDF file.
Reproduced below is the OMG technology process as captured in the MARS Roadmap.
As of December 2014, both include a Statistics tab, which contains graphical depictions of the Cumulative Technology Process State and MARS Technology Process State by Year. Both work with data recorded since November 2002 and are updated after each TC meeting.
MARS collaborates with a number of other Task Forces (C4I, Robotics, Systems Assurance, Government) and SIGs (DDS, Telecoms, Ontology). For example:
- The IEF WG represents a collaboration between MARS and C4I with as needed involvement of Gov DTF and Ontology PSIG. IEF WG maintains an active dialog with Gov DTF's Info Sharing WG. As needed, the two WGs also meet jointly during the TC meeting week.
- DDS PSIG serves as the incubator for the many DDS related technology processes handled by MARS and active in the IDL Profiles WG.
- Any technology processes relating to security (e.g., DDS Security) are developed with input from and in collaboration with the Systems Assurance PTF.
Links to the respective home pages for these TFs and SIGs are provided below:
- C4I (Consultation, Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence) DTF: http://c4i.omg.org/
- Robotics DTF: http://robotics.omg.org/
- Systems Assurance PTF: http://sysa.omg.org/
- Government DTF: http://gov.omg.org/
- Data Distribution Services (DDS) PSIG: http://portals.omg.org/dds/
- Ontology PSIG: http://ontology.omg.org/
- Telecoms PSIG: http://telecom.omg.org/
- MARS TF home page: http://mars.omg.org
- Available OMG Specifications: http://www.omg.org/spec/
- OMG Technical Meeting Resource Hub, an excellent resource for all Technical Committee (TC) reports and any special event presentations from previous and all past meetings (back to September 2003): http://www.omg.org/members/TMResourceHub/
Note that all these sites, except for the Meeting Resource hub, are public sites .. no password required to access.