January 14, 2022

Open Source Means Best Results for IDS

If one had to explain the basic idea behind International Data Spaces (IDS) very briefly and in simple words, it could be: smart people and organizations with great expertise joining forces to develop a global standard for secure and trustworthy cross-organizational data exchange. Based on this open-source approach, any organization or individual is free to come up with ideas on new tools and solutions, thus contributing to the worldwide establishment of data ecosystems based on the IDS standard.
Anil Turkmayali

The incredible success story of the World Wide Web would not be conceivable without the initial developers making the underlying source code freely accessible to anybody at some point in time. Since then, the idea of “open source“ has become a success story itself. It is this approach of allowing source codes to be viewed, used, and modified by anybody that is deemed most promising and effective for IDS to become an internationally accepted standard for cross-organizational data sharing and exchange – and turn into a global success story too.

Speaking of “the IDS standard”, it should be noted that – from a developers‘ perspective – IDS is still on its way toward a clearly defined standard. This means that various research organizations are currently working on the design, development, and implementation of data spaces based on fundamental IDS guidelines. IDSA organizes and supports this process by making these guidelines available to the public. Any technical components under development (e.g. an IDS Connector) can be submitted to IDSA for evaluation, and – if found to be IDS-compliant – for certification.

IDS open-source projects

Through the projects available on IDS Open Source Landscape, the IDS standard is continuously being evolved. Each project can be listed in a central portfolio of building blocks, documenting that the component (being) developed is in line with IDS guidelines. The portfolio also serves as an overview for developers to see what building blocks are currently in development. This allows them to use the portfolio as a basis for their own development activities.

For being included in the portfolio, making the source code of the fully developed component publicly accessible is an important precondition. Then, all projects are warmly invited to check the Graduation Scheme, which is the set of rules and processes describing how a project can be part of the IDS Open Source Landscape. To become a Sandbox project in IDSA Open Source, the next step would be to apply via the form available on IDSA website, as described in the image below.

The idea of “open source“ is the main driver of innovation and variety in IDS, both on the developer side and the user side. Developers can excel with their know-how and expertise and come up with great technical components and solutions. Users get the chance to employ a toolbox allowing them to create a data space that is tailored to their specific needs (e.g. industry requirements). As the portfolio of building blocks keeps growing, so is the number of options data space creators may choose from.

How can you be part of IDS open source?

In this scenario of different actors on the field, IDSA sees itself as a guide offering a “minimum viable data space“. It works as a basic solution facilitating secure and trustworthy data sharing and exchange between partners. In the near future, IDSA will make available more data space deployment examples for specific use cases.

Are you interested in contributing to or commenting on a specific project? Check out the existing projects on GitHub and contact the appropriate project teams.

Author: Anil Turkmayali
Anil Turkmayali is Senior Project Manager at IDSA

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