About the project
Project Name: Open Provisioning Framework (OPF)
Analysis and standardization of user provisioning for email and groupware systems and services.
There are various obstacles in switching to another provider. Besides the possibility to transfer personal data (“data portability”) the creation and configuration of user accounts (“user provisioning”) is a major problem we often see in practice. It is relevant for end users, but also and in particular for organizations, which need to be able to (re-)create complex sets of users/groups/roles etc. when switching their provider.
With the Open Provisioning Framework (OPF) we aim to analyze and standardize user provisioning for email and groupware systems and services and to provide an Open Source reference implementation. Due to the ubiquity of email and groupware, a proposed standard can be beneficial for many similar domains (e.g., CRM, task management, online storage) and for service portability in general.
In contrast to mere data portability, provisioning is also more tightly related to the commercial aspects of service usage (e.g., with respect to “billing per user” or storage quotas). Any standardization in this area can therefore improve market transparency and decision making in the process of choosing alternative service providers.
Data and service portability is still in its early stages and far from being well understood. We believe that there are many aspects that deserve further study in order to shape the future of service portability – provisioning being a core aspect of this.