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The Open Data Contract Standard

·2 mins

I get asked a lot if there is, or should be, a standard for a data contract. My answer has always been that a successful standard could be valuable and potentially unlock a lot of innovation.

I wrote the other day about how powerful it is to build a contract-based data platform, and a big part of that is the tooling and automation you can build on top of a data contract. But imagine if it wasn’t just you doing it to solve your immediate problems, but an open ecosystem with solutions for all kind of problems.

After all, our data might be different, but our problems are much the same.

A great example of a successful standard in this vein is OpenAPI, which is a widely adopted standard for describing APIs. On top of that standard we have great libraries to help build, expose and consume APIs, powerful tools such as Postman to help us develop APIs, and robust integrations with many third party services such as Retool and Zapier.

Wouldn’t it be great to have the same for our data, with many solutions for generating, managing and consuming data? Solutions that take care of the governance, privacy and security requirements that we all have?

Clearly it would be! But I’d always end the answer with “it would be very difficult to achieve”…

That shouldn’t stop us from trying though, and it didn’t stop JGP! He took the idea forward, brought together a number of great people, and got backing from the Linux Foundation.

I’m proud to have been invited onto the technical steering committee of the Open Data Contract Standard (ODCS). I’ll be representing myself (rather than my employer), and can’t wait to help guide the development of the standard!

For more information see the announcement from the Linux Foundation.

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    Andrew Jones
    Andrew Jones