The AllSeen Alliance is merging with its erstwhile rival the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF). The two efforts will now operate under the Open Connectivity Foundation as a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project.
The AllSeen Alliance was first announced back in 2013. The core of AllSeen is the open-source AllJoyn Framework, which was developed and contributed by Qualcomm.
The Open Connectivity Foundation was originally formed in 2016 and managed the open-source IoTivity framework, a reference platform for IoT standards.
"With this merger, both software projects will collaborate to support future versions of the OCF specifications to combine the best of both technologies into a unified IoTovity roadmap, while providing support and interoperability enhancements for current implementations," Danny Lousberg, chairman of the AllSeen Alliance, told Enterprise Networking Planet.
Lousberg said OCF members who were AllSeen members, as well as non-members, will are able to certify AllJoyn devices under the same testing regime, ISC license and AllSeen patent pledge that exists today.
"These will be administered by a new AllSeen Work Group within OCF," Lousberg said. "Non-members will continue to pay the same fee to OCF as they would pay today to the AllSeen Alliance."
As to why the newly merged organization will be taking the Open Connectivity Foundation name, Mike Richmond, executive director of OCF, explained that there were really only two choices - pick one of the existing legal structures and names, or create a new structure and new name.
"It was more expeditious to pick one of the existing structures/names, and that’s what the boards of both groups did," Richmond said. "It is less important for the developer community, and both open source projects will continue under the existing names."
As to why the two organization are merging now, Richmond said it has become apparent that there is the need for a single ecosystem in IoT. Richmond said discussions on the merger started at last spring's Open IoT Summit. At the time, there were public statements and presentations at that conference that indicated that technical differences could be bridged, and that a best-of-both solution was possible.
"Since that conference, more work has been done to insure that both frameworks can be supported, and that backward compatibility will be maintained in a best-of-both code base," Richmond said. "Even short term, the industry will benefit from having two interoperable ecosystems versus two isolated ecosystems."
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist