Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and are now back to being focused on work and keeping your resolutions for the new year. The new year provides a good feeling of being able to set the past behind and starting fresh. One of the many resolutions I made beyond all the good health ones is to be more faithful with this blog.
In this first blog post of 2010, I thought we could deal wth the general topic of standards. There are many different types of standards which makes the whole idea of standards quite confusing.
The two types of standards that we will deal with in this post are - de jure and de facto. De jure standards are standards developed within an accredited standards development organization or through a standards setting organization. The development is specified through a detailed set of procedures that are strictly adhered to. In the de jure standards process, concepts like consensus and due process are considered the hallmarks of the process. De jure standards are typically produced by organizations working with ISO, ANSI, ITU and others like them.
The other type of standards, de facto standards, are market driven standards that receive wide acceptance from many organizations in the industry. These standards may be developed following a process that may be as rigorous as the de jure process but may be lead by a few organizations representing the industry rather than a diverse group representing numerous interest groups inhe industry. De facto standards become a standard primarily because they are widely adopted and readily available.
Some examples of these standard may be:
- PDF, ISO 32000-1, is now a de jure standard as it was developed based on the ISO procedures. Prior to ISO 32000-1, PDF was also a de facto standard as it was a specification that was owned and maintained by Adobe Systems.
- PDF/A, ISO 19005-1, is also a de jure standard that was also developed based on the ISO procedures and adopted as an ANSI standard (ANSI/AIIM/CGATS/ISO 19005-1) using the AIIM's standards development procedures which were approved by ANSI.
- TIFF is an example of a de facto standard. It is a specification that is owned by Adobe Systems. The specification is freely available on the Adobe Systems web site but the specification is controlled by Adobe Systems.
In the next post, we will take a look at some of the factors you should consider when determining which type of standard to use in your organization.
I hope this information is helpful to you. Let me hear from you.