The Cross-Platform Initiative (CPI) Supplier Group met via conference call on 04/17/19 to review the progress of the Workgroup and discussed the proposed approach for advancing the Initiative. The approach for moving forward that the CPI Supplier Group agreed to is a multi-step process. The initial step is to gather additional data requirements from suppliers into a Repository followed by using the Repository as a building block and resource for beginning the work on universal file formats. The Repository would alleviate the current lack of a common knowledge-base of interface definitions for equipment and software within the component manufacturing industry. Contemplated benefits of the Repository are that it:
Will provide software developers access to definitive, vendor-provided interface specifications and upcoming changes which would lead to opportunities to better achieve plug-n-play capabilities.
Will serve as a vehicle for an equipment manufacturer to notify software developers, via the repository, of equipment changes ahead of release permitting a better chance of achieving or maintaining plug-n-play capabilities.
Will allow equipment manufacturers and software developers the ability to research the current status of interface support and adoption.
Will provide opportunities for better coordination between equipment and software developers which will lead to better plug-n-play capabilities.
Will provide a step toward achieving plug-n-play capabilities needed and desired by customers in a short time frame and will provide a stepping stone and resource for developing universal file format(s) which is a longer-term solution for achieving plug-n-play capabilities.
Will make possible a yet to be defined “Seal of Approval” for those that participate in the Repository which would be able to indicate their level of plug-n-play capabilities which would provide confidence to customers regarding their investment into equipment and software.
As a result of the meeting, a new Workgroup was appointed that will be meeting over the next 1 – 2 weeks to further flesh out the Repository concept and a concept for universal file formats. A more defined Repository specification and possible example(s) are targeted to be presented to the larger CPI Supplier group sometime in mid-May.