[Requests] GeoServices REST API - Market Consequenses

ekeighan ekeighan at cubewerx.com
Fri Aug 17 18:11:06 EDT 2012


1.      Evaluator:  Jim Supple, Edric Keighan -- CubeWerx Inc.

2.      Submission: GeoServices REST API


1.      Requirement: All

2.      Implementation Specification Section Number: All

3.      Criticality: Major

4.      Comments/justification for changes: Market Consequenses

Proceeding with the adoption of the "GeoServices REST API" would harm 
everyone who has invested in OGC standards or products based on those 
standards, and _inhibit industry adoption of OGC standards_. If OGC 
members were to sanction this privately-developed service interface as a 
standard, one vendor would be handed a dominant lead, discouraging 
competition, and enabling the dominant vendor to arbitrarily control and 
extend the standard.

Furthermore, ESRI CTO Andrew Turner in an official response to the RFC 
suggested "to adopt a phased approach to the proposal, feedback, 
development and acceptance of these parts."  This may take _years 
_before acceptable standards are approved.   During these years of 
uncertainty, risk-averse customers will avoid moving to standard-based 
products.  During these years of uncertainty, few firms or sponsors 
would invest in the development of OGC standards or products until the 
proposed standards are actually approved, prolonging a monopolistic 
situation for the proponent.

Alternatively, if the GeoServices REST API is accepted in the current 
multi-part form, customers will be confused as to the "old" and "new" 
OGC standards (which are incompatible at all levels).  Confusing the 
market this way induces customers to defer purchasing of products based 
on so-called "old" standards (the only ones actually already approved by 
OGC). In the meantime the proponent may market their product as meeting 
a proposed "new" OGC standard, displacing products based on "old" OGC 
standards.  It reduces the revenues of firms who contributed toward open 
OGC standards, invested in building compliant products, and have now 
started expensive marketing of those products to customers only now 
becoming aware of the advantages of OGC standards.  Vendors of products 
that meet actual OGC standards would suffer, lose faith in OGC and may 
be forced to exit.

Proceeding with this proposed incompatible standard repudiates OGC 
principles calling for interoperable web service interface standards 
that give a fair chance to all software vendors (including open source 
vendors) to reach customers with innovations that plug-in with other 
existing products, and that give customers greater choice of quality 
products from a healthy competitive ecosystem.   Those who trusted that 
adopting OGC standards would protect their investment and give them 
access to an ecosystem of innovators will feel betrayed.

In summary, allowing "GeoServices REST API" to proceed will chill the 
OGC web services market, and deter customers and developers from 
investing in products based on the excellent, already approved OGC 

Jim Supple, Edric Keighan
CubeWerx Inc.

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