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What is a profile? [computer standards]

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1 Author(s)
C. Severance ; Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI, USA

Discusses the value of profiles and how they differ from standards. Profiles address the problem of computer standards not being precisely designed to meet end-user needs. A standard's scope is generally much narrower than an entire computer system. To support user needs, a particular computer system may have to comply with many individual standards. Several factors may limit the scope of each standard. Moreover, no formal standards body requires that standards completely address end-user needs. Finally, a standard's scope is often reduced because an area originally covered by the standard does not have sufficient consensus to be retained in that standard. A consensus-based standard can be produced only in those areas that have sufficient consensus. Profiles are specifications that formally capture an organization's information technology needs. They are becoming a way to map the middle ground between overall user needs and the standards related to those needs. Profiles can be used to inventory an existing computing strategy, support a computing procurement or drive the evolution of an organization's computing strategy. Actually, organizations have been developing profiles for many years. However, they've gone by such names as procurement specifications, bid documents, strategic plans or recommended practices. At a minimum, a profile identifies user requirements and the standards or specifications that meet those requirements. A profile may also include more details on an organization's computing strategy

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:28 ,  Issue: 9 )