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John Mertic

The ODPi Low Down—Participation and Governance

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In our last blog, we took a high-level look at the Guiding Principles of ODPi. Now, we will take a deeper look at how to participate and ODPi governance. Over the last several months there has been a significant amount of involvement from the entire community—from all different types of entities of all different sizes to create our governance rules. Working together to create the non-profit entity, bylaws, operating procedures, community roles, processes, ODPi specification, planned certifications, and overall governance has been an extremely collaborative effort, and today we are proud to announce that the entity itself is now formed. ODPi is made of up three groups working together to deliver the open ecosystem of big data:

  • The ODPi Development Community
  • The ODPi Member Companies
  • The ODPi Board of Directors

The role of developers in the ODPi Developers play a crucial part in the ODPi, producing the ODPi Core that helps the industry leverage the full power of open source innovation for Big Data in the enterprise. Governed following Apache Software Foundation practices, the ODPi Developer Community consists of a team of cross-industry technical experts including individual and member company developers. Anyone can participate in this open community, with all working toward the common goal to build and release the ODPi Core and related artifacts such as its roadmap and planned certification programs and processes. Members of the ODPi Developer Community can play several roles.

  • Contributors participate in ODPi work via mailing lists and pull requests. Anyone can become a contributor, with no selection process or expectation of ongoing involvement. This is a great way for community members of all skill levels to participate in concrete ways.
  • ODPi Maintainers are committers on ODPi projects. Added by consensus of existing ODPi Maintainers, similar to the process of becoming a committer in ASF.
  • The Technical Steering Council (TSC) are the elected leaders of the development community. The seven members of this highly technical group manage the creation of the OPDi core using an open and transparent process to make decisions .
  • The Release Team is responsible for helping define ODPi Release content. Elected from the TSC, membership community and board of directors, the Release Team helps determine project release content and drafts the release recommendation.

The ODPi Developer Community is a vibrant hub of open source expertise and innovation driving real business value throughout the industry. Join in our work and participate in the development efforts at the heart of Big Data in the enterprise. To learn more, please visit the ODPi Core section of the website. The role of the board of directors in the ODPi The ODPi is financed by its members. It is essentially a bootstrapped startup. Gold and Platinum members contribute higher amounts of capital for the benefit of a board seat. However we were extremely careful to ensure that board power and decisions were limited to spending that capital. The board is responsible for operations and legal aspects of running the non-profit company. They do not dictate ODPi Core, software versions, development models, certification rules, or technical decisions. Instead, the Board defines the foundation’s bylaws, structure and mechanics; selects its CEO and other key business leaders; oversees its budget resources; and builds and protects its brand. By providing an essential layer of business management and ensuring the unity of the community, the Board creates a productive context for the technical work done by the ODPi. To learn more, please visit the Governance section of the website. The role of members in the ODPi ODPi Member Companies provide diverse representation from the broad Big Data ecosystem. Acting on behalf of end users, ISVs, SIs, distribution vendors, hardware vendors and others throughout the community, our diversity helps ensure the greatest possible base of enterprise requirements and real-world experience to guide and inform the development of the ODPi Core. Drawing on this knowledge, Member Companies join in an open forum to define Big Data requirements, participate directly in the identification ODPi core projects, and provide crucial insight on what can truly be considered enterprise-grade. All members have an equal vote on ODPi Core decisions, regardless of investment level, ensuring equality among all participants and an industry-wide consolidation of enterprise requirements. Any organization is welcome to join the ODPi, with company memberships starting at $1,000 we invite you to join us to enable the industry to focus on the business value promised by Big Data through common standards. For more information, please visit the membership section of the website.

Governance Principles and Structure for the ODP

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Want to know more about what is going on with the Open Data Platform (ODP)? This post is the first in a series to offer that information. In it, we recap the ODP’s benefits, update on the collaboration with the Apache Software Foundation®, cover the information that is coming soon, and explain the overarching guiding principles.

ODP continues to make great strides since its introduction last February. Formed to simplify engineering and adoption as well as promote and advance the state of Apache Hadoop® and big data technologies for the enterprise, the ODP has grown to include dozens of member companies from throughout the industry. We have been laying the foundation for open governance, and this is the first in a series of blogs that will recap the progress and share the ODP’s guiding principles. Further blogs in the series will explore the governance of the ODP, the types of member companies and their roles, the processes for developer interactions and releases, and the work done by our board of directors. Summing up the Key Benefits—Why Become an ODP Member? The ODP is an initiative started by corporations, but decidedly for the broader Apache Hadoop community. While others have explained the benefits and goals in other articles, it can be simple summarized in five simple statements.

  1. Build a better end user experience. With the number of Hadoop ecosystem projects growing almost daily, the community needs to explicitly work on reducing friction, inefficiencies, and confusion as enterprises adopt Apache Hadoop platforms.
  2. Its open to all. With a very low hurdle for ANY developer or company to participate, it is feasible for any person or organization to get involved and have an impact.
  3. Eliminate R&D efficiencies for suppliers. With a shared qualification and testing toolset, it is easier for suppliers to integrate with a broader set of Hadoop projects.
  4. More value-added functionality and services, delivered more quickly. With streamlined R&D, developers can focus more effort on improving the Hadoop ecosystem with new capabilities, better scalability, tighter security, and greater manageability.
  5. Organized support for the ASF. This entire effort works in a supporting role to the ASF and promotes innovation and development of upstream projects  Industry collaboration will help “a 1000 flowers to bloom” within the Apache Software Foundation.

Progress—What is Already Here and What is Coming Soon? Building an organization like the ODP doesn’t happen overnight. We started with a set of guiding principles to inform the bylaws and operations. Specifically we stated our goals were to deliver:

  • Industrialization of Big Data – The structure and processes of the ODP are intended to optimally support our efforts to provide a stable, predictable and enterprise-ready ODP Core.
  • One member, one vote in ODP core content decisions – In keeping with the spirit of the open source movement that spawned Hadoop, ODP Core content decisions are made by all Members.
  • Complementary to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF)  – The ODP relies on the ASF to innovate and deliver the Apache project technologies included in the ODP core. As such, all ODP Apache-related planning and development will be done in the ASF.
  • Transparent technical processes – As part of our commitment to open source, the technical work of the ODP will be done through open collaboration across the industry.
  • Equal opportunity to participate in development efforts – We welcome ideas from every part of the industry. Anyone, regardless of ODP membership, is invited to participate in our development work.
  • No surprises – The spirit of openness also extends to our planning processes and project status, which are open to all.

Soon, much more detailed information will be available across all ODP-related elements—the business entity, board of directors, bylaws, operating procedures, membership levels, community roles, processes, testing, certifications, governance, and the ODP core release definition itself, determined and managed by the community members.   Learn More:

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