OAG specs not yet plug-and-play

OAG specs not yet plug-and-play

The enterprise application market is moving towards plug-and-play compatibility among competing systems, but the specifications currently offered by the Open Applications Group (OAG) provide interoperability for only a limited number of business transactions.

The first OAG specification, released in March, provides an interface for posting information to general ledger applications.

The OAG recently released its second set of specifications, a series of APIs for integrating the budgeting process.

"This is a first step, but it doesn't offer everything users would need to ensure interoperability," said IDC analyst Henry Morris. "This falls short of plug and play."

Most enterprise application vendors have announced support only for the first OAG specification. Compliance with the second set is not expected until mid-1997.

"The plug-and-play concept is a great idea, but can they make it work?" asked John Gornick, an application development manager.

The OAG said it expects to publish 15 more APIs, including specifications for integrating human resources and financial applications, by the end of September.

Dun & Bradstreet Software is expected to be the first client/server vendor with OAG-compliant applications when its SmartStream suite of applications ships soon. Additional vendors, including Oracle, Marcam, Qad, and American Software, plan to ship OAG-compliant applications by the end of the year.

Other OAG members, including PeopleSoft, J.D. Edwards & Co., Texas Instruments, Software 2000, and IBM's Manufacturing Solutions Unit, expect to deliver OAG-compliant applications next year.

SAP America and Baan Co. have not announced a delivery schedule, but they are supporting the OAG specifications.

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