Microsoft and OGC
In the article "Microsoft joins consortium" [FCW Feb. 3] I was quoted as saying that Microsoft's membership in the Open GIS Consortium may have come too late to determine the direction that OGC will take to set those standards. In fact Microsoft plays a significant role in establishing OGC's geoproc-essing interface standards. The quote referred only to that portion of the Open GIS Abstract Specification which was completed prior to Microsoft's joining. It is unlikely that that document would have been written differently if Microsoft had been involved because it is written entirely above the level of platform issues.
The more critical issue is the development of Open GIS implementation specifications for the various distributed computing platforms including Microsoft's OLE/COM. Microsoft has been collaborating very actively with other OGC members to develop proposals which will result in an Open GIS Specification for interfaces that will provide optimal access to geodata and geoprocessing resources between Open GIS-compliant applications running on Microsoft's distributed computing software. Like all of OGC's members Microsoft is interested primarily in getting good specs out the door so real-time geodata access becomes possible between applications. They see a big market and they see important benefits for their users.
Consistency among the Open GIS implementation specifications will enable geodata access across different distributed computing platforms such as OLE/COM and CORBA to the extent that bridges between these platforms will enable general data access.Lance McKeeVice PresidentCorporate CommunicationsOpen GIS Consortium Inc.