The UDEF is based on the concepts of International Standard 11179, and is integrated with the World-Wide Web Consortium’s Resource Description Framework (RDF). But it is less complicated than these standards. It is designed for use by the people that understand an enterprise’s business operations, rather than specialists in semantic technology.
Using a simple process, you can assign an index to any piece of data, based on the core UDEF vocabulary and imported vocabularies. This index will be the same as that assigned by other UDEF practitioners in your enterprise and in other enterprises. This makes it easy to relate new information to information that you already have stored, which can significantly reduce the cost of configuring and programming interface software.
This page gives an overview of the UDEF. More information can be found on the UDEF web pages. Also, there are recordings of two webinars run by The Open Group that provide a tutorial on the UDEF. These webinars are recorded in WebEx's .arf format. To view them you will need to install the WebEx arf player. You can download it for Windows or Mac OS X, Intel and then click to download the recordings of part 1 and part 2 of the tutorial.
The UDEF has a core vocabulary, plus the ability to import other vocabularies, including standard vocabularies for particular knowledge domains, and enterprise-specific vocabularies used by particular enterprises. The master version of the core vocabulary is developed and maintained by The Open Group. Other bodies may keep copies for convenience. The master versions of the imported vocabularies are developed and maintained by the bodies responsible for them. The Open Group and other bodies may keep copies for convenience.
The core UDEF vocabulary covers the kinds of information most commonly used by enterprises. It has been in existence for several years and consists of parallel English, Dutch and French language components. It is continually being extended to cover new concepts and additional languages, in an ongoing process.
The standards and mechanisms for importing other vocabularies, and supporting them once they have been imported, are now defined in principle. These definitions are now being completed, based on the import of the first additional vocabularies.
Enterprises today store huge amounts of information of many different kinds. But the more information you have, the harder it is to find what you need. This drives up software costs, as developers spend time locating the right sources of information in the corporate stores. The latest trends in software architecture, particularly SOA, are reducing other cost factors but not this one. It is becoming the most important cost element of software development.
Enterprises can use the UDEF to index their information. Developers can then find information sources more easily, bringing down software costs. Because it is a standard, costs are reduced for interfaces to other enterprises that use the UDEF, as well as within the enterprise itself.
A large enterprise has many different information stores and applications, which organize and categorize data in different ways. The UDEF enables it to categorize data in a standard and consistent way, greatly reducing the cost of programming.
A small enterprise needs to exchange data with large customers, and can realize cost savings if the applications involved have been UDEF-enabled. This means that, with a relatively low investment, an enterprise can index its information and cut its cost of software development.
The system is easy to understand and operate. Only a small amount of training is needed to become a UDEF practitioner, and to able to index data consistently with other UDEF practitioners.
The UDEF is developed by the UDEF Interested Parties Group and the UDEF Project.
The UDEF Interested Parties Group is for people interested in the UDEF. It is managed by The Open Group to enable those people to obtain and exchange information about the UDEF. Membership is free.
The UDEF Project controls the development of the UDEF. It is a project of the Semantic Interoperability Work Group of The Open Group, and its members are organizations that are Open Group Members. Membership will enable you to have a voice in the development of the UDEF, and to contribute to the overall objectives of The Open Group.
Being a member of The Open Group gives you early access to the latest information and developments regarding open standards and best practices. You also have the opportunity to participate in The Open Group’s Forums and Work Groups, including the UDEF Project in the Semantic Interoperability Work Group. The Open Group fosters a collaborative, vendor-neutral environment where you can network with a community of peers and industry leaders, gain knowledge, grow professionally, and help to lead the development of IT standards and certifications.