The Parts of ISO15926

[Note : The opinions expressed represent those of the author, and cannot be attributed to ISO-TC184/SC4/WG3/T25 or any of the participating organizations in ISO15926 . Last updated Jan 24th, 2012]

General – The following is simply an informative summary of the parts of ISO15926 and their status / maturity for use. Anyone intending to start using ISO15926 is not recommended to read through all the parts in the sequence they evolved. Individual parts of ISO15926 should be consulted when specific modelling or implementation or compliance questions arise. To make practical and compliant use of ISO15926 it is recommended to start with the “Industrial Usage Methodology” which leads through mapping of business data according to usage patterns and reference data, and thence to compliant representation and implementation, and finally to testing and validation of all aspects of compliance.

ISO 15926 – 1: Overview and fundamental principles.
IS ed. 1 was published in June 04 and is therefore much out of date with respect to many parts published since that date, their existence, their relevance and current status. An update is due and required to resolve any potential confusion. (This document is in part a commentary on that status in planning the update required. Outline targetted for next TC184 / SC4 meeting June 2012.)

ISO 15926 – 2: Data model.
IS ed. 1 was published in December 03. The core model is always open to different refinements by different modelling experts, and there are a number of known issues and anomalies subject to ambiguous or conflicting mis-use. However, since most practical use of ISO15926 is through patterns of use in reference data (See Parts 4, 7 & 11), standardization of the use of Part 2 is manageable and Part 2 is considered sufficiently stable, mature and robust for use as is. (An update is possible to consolidate and resolve issues, but is not considered urgent or critical).

ISO 15926 – 3: Ontology for geometry and topology.
TS ed. 1 published in April 09. This is relatively new, but much content is based on ISO10303 (STEP) Part 42 extended to fit Part 2 and ISO15926 generally. It has issues and is not yet really stable or mature as a whole. One issue subject to a development project is establishing how Part 3 Geometry is represented in Part 7 Templates, so that geometry can be included under the normal mapping / usage methodology. However, like Part 2 its use is manageable through Parts 4, 7 & 11, so issues do not call for any critical update to Part 3 itself.

ISO 15926 – 4: Initial reference data.
TS ed. 1 published in October 07. Reference data is the most important element in the use of ISO15926, (See why.) BUT Part 4 represents only an “initial set”. There are debatable aspects about its future, as reference data becomes managed under ISO as a reference data base under the ISO TC184/SC4: “Procedure for development and maintenance of reference data in database format.”(*1) As well as management of content being mastered at the individual RD-Item level within the database(s) – according to this procedure, an ISO15926-specific annex, and Part 6 – there is general consensus that versioned snapshots of the ISO standardized content should be published periodically as files with minimal implementation dependency – equivalent to the early spread-sheets used to define the initial set, but evolved with the rest of the standard.

[ISO 15926-5 has been replaced by ISO TC184/SC4: “Procedure for development and maintenance of reference data in database format.” and an ISO15926-specific annex to that. (See Part 4 above.)]

ISO 15926 – 6: Scope and methodology for reference data.
CD/TS proposal sent for ballot late 2011. This is an interim version of what Part 6 ultimately needs to be. As practices for management of reference database content and use are evolving, so specific meta-data needs evolve too. The current version is technically acceptable and does not constrain intended use, but significant update is foreseeable, as the ISO RD Procedure (See Parts 4 and 5) matures in practical use.

ISO 15926 – 7: Template Methodology.
TS published. Part 7 was foreseen very early in the life of ISO15926, as long ago as 1998, but its development evolved through several stages as technology-specific considerations overtook some of its original aims, but were then taken out as separate parts. In its published form it is ready for use. It adopts limitations of first-order-logic which has great potential value, but does leave issues to resolve around industry standard use of semantic-web technologies – which are themselves evolving. At the “proto-template” level Part 7 and Part 7 Signatures can be considered normative and usable. Other core templates should be treated like any other “initial set” of reference content (See Parts 4 and 11). The technology intents of Part 7 now appear in Parts 8 & 9. Most importantly, the industrial methodology aspects of Part 7 are now part of the proposal for a Part 11.

ISO 15926 – 8: OWL Representation. TS published.
ISO 15926 – 9: SPARQL Façade implementation. TS planned complete 2012.
These are immature and the technology standards around them continue to evolve. All parts of ISO15926 from 1 to 7 and 11 are technology-neutral, so whilst Part 8 & 9 are considered normative – defining a standardized representation and implementation – they will change and additional normative representations remain possible and necessary. (There are already initiatives to establish newer, better OWL / semantic-web formats for ISO15926. In the interim, JORD-Enhanced RDS publishing exploits the generic capability of OWL triples and SPARQL querying, without imposing this implementation architecture on external implementations.)

ISO 15926 – 10: Abstract Test Methods.
TS planned complete 2013. This is a work in progress, with dependency on both technology-specific and technology-neutral content aspects of usage and compliance. (A primary focus of the JORD project is to establish needs and workable practices for this aspect of compliance testing, before any draft can be substantially complete. The JORD Project itself, and inherited from earlier initiatives, has established a compliance checklist within its usage methodology See Part 11.)

ISO 15926 – 11: Simplified Industrial Usage Methodology.
TS planned complete 2012 – Ballot deadline end-Jan-2012. Draft exists, subject to working reviews and enhancements, bringing in industrial best practices from Gellish, PCA, iRING & JORD communities. Methodological contribution from JORD is here. (Working sessions are happening very late in the Part 11 draft development cycle, which means that the first version, whilst useful and potentially acceptable technically, will probably have issues for a future update. In practice, if the first version is correct, much of the evolution of Part 11 should be in reference data. See Part 4 above.)

ISO 15926 – 12: Native RDF/OWL implementation with named graphs.
This is a proposed NWI to be split out of the current Part 11 scope, probably after the first ballot cycle of Part 11. As with Part 8, Part 9 and the initiative for a standard Part 2 OWL representation, this technology-specific implementation aspect will be the subject of further work.

(*1) See The JORD Project for open, sustainable arrangements for enhanced PCA RDS services in partnership with FIATECH.
(*2) See “For the Love of Spreadsheets”.

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