OVF work in progress published

The DMTF has recently released a draft of the OVF specification. The organization’s newsletter says it’s “available (…) for a limited period as a Work In Progress” and the document itself says that it “expires September 30, 2008”. I am not sure what either means exactly, but I guess if my printed copy bursts into flames on October 1st then I’ll know.

From a very quick scan, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of changes. Implementers of the original specification are sitting pretty. The language seems to have been tightened. The original document made many of its points by example only, while the new one tries to more rigorously define rules, e.g. by using some version of the BNF metasyntax. Also, there is now an internationalization section, one of the typical signs that a specification is growing up.

The old and new documents occupy a similar number of pages, but that’s a bit misleading because the old one inlined the XSD and MOF files, while the new one omits them. Correcting for this, the specification has grown significantly but it seems that most of the added bulk comes from more precise descriptions of existing features rather than new features.

For what it’s worth, I reviewed the original OVF specification from an IT management perspective when it was first released.

For now, I’ll use the DMTF-advertised temporary nature of this document as a justification for not investing the time in doing a better review. If you know of one, please let me know and I’ll link to it.

[UPDATED 2008/10/14: It’s now a preliminary standard, and here is a longer review.]


Filed under Everything, OVF, Specs, Standards, Virtualization, VMware, Xen, XenSource

4 Responses to OVF work in progress published

  1. fermin

    What’s funny with this 1.0 work in progress publication is that the OVF XSD referred in the document are not available as told in Annex C (“A normative copy of the XML schemas for this specification may be retrieved resolving the XML namespace URIs for this specification. Note that .xsd has to be appended to the URIs.”).

    That is, http://schemas.dmtf.org/ovf/envelope/1.xsd, http://schemas.dmtf.org/ovf/environment/1.xsd, http://schemas.dmtf.org/wbem/wscim/1/schema/2/CIM_VirtualSystemSettingData.xsd and http://schemas.dmtf.org/wbem/wscim/1/schema/2/CIM_ResourceAllocationSettingData.xsd all point to a “404 Not Found” :/

    Maybe the XSD are still on progress so they are not available, but anybody knows if they are publicly available (in other URL), please? A throughout analysis of the specification would need to consider the XSDs too…

  2. Fermin: Yes, this is a problem. The original spec has the XSD in appendix in the PDF file, but it’s a real pain to copy/paste that into a document that can be processed by an XML parser (copying out of PDF is always hell). I complained about that in my initial review. You’re right that the updated version doesn’t give you (that I can see) any access to the updated XSD docs.

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