A new manager for the OGC validation tools: lat/lon
The OGC Validation tools, those behind the free OGC web testing facility, have been used thousands of times by developers around the world to improve their software and confirm compliance with OGC standards. The reports from the web validator are used to ‘get organizations certified’ and serve as proof that the software will work seamlessly with external data sources served using OGC standards.
The tools are composed of a test engine (known as TEAM Engine) and test scripts developed for each standard, with about 50 repositories existing on GitHub right now (see: test suites and teamengine versions). OGC, coordinating with various groups around the world, provides monthly beta releases with a production release every 6 months.
I recently took the role to lead the Innovation Program, which provides a collaborative agile process for solving geospatial problems and advancing new technologies (more about that in this post). To fill part of my previous responsibilities as Compliance Executive Director, we decided to advertise the position for Product Manager of the OGC Validation Tools. Although we received good responses, we didn’t have one response that met all three criteria: 1) expertise of OGC standards, 2) expertise in building software, and 3) expertise in working in the ‘open’ world.
In a conversation with Dirk Stenger from lat/lon, an OGC member in Germany, the topic came up and we decided to move forward on the idea of lat/lon taking on the role of managing the OGC validation tools. lat/lon has been working with OGC for more than 10 years, leading the development and maintenance of tests like WMTS 1.0, WMS 1.3, and WFS 1.1. They are also main contributors to deegree, open-source spatial software that is a reference implementation for most OGC standards, including WFS 2.0.
Due to lat/lon’s longtime involvement in collaborative work in the ‘open’ world, lat/lon have gained an extensive knowledge of the procedures, methods, and tools used by the OGC. This high amount of structural and technical experience will enable lat/lon to manage the OGC validation tools with minimum impact on the developers that rely on OGC’s testing tools. Further, it is expected that the tools will be improved and advanced in terms of both their technical and organizational aspects.
We are working hard to improve the reporting so that the errors and tests are easier to understand. (See example report at: https://github.com/opengeospatial/teamengine/issues/81)
We want to make sure that the validation tools can be installed in disconnected and/or secure environments: https://github.com/opengeospatial/teamengine-offline
We want to advance TEAM Engine to work with a monitoring service: https://github.com/opengeospatial/cite/issues/42
We want to make it super easy to be installed and run on the web and the command line https://github.com/opengeospatial/teamengine-docker/
If you have any ideas that you think could help you and others implement OGC standards, let OGC know via our community forum or by submitting an issue in the project trackers.