AgGateway Global Network Standards-Development Process


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James A. Wilson, AgGateway Global Network,

Please refer to the errata1 for this document, which may include some normative corrections.


The AgGateway Global Network (AGN) Standards-Development Process (SDP) governs the process of producing agriculture-industry standards in AgGateway Global Network

Status of This Document

This is the   version of the AGN Patent Policy.

This document has been approved by the AGN Board of Directors and has been endorsed by the AGN President as the AGN SDP. It is a stable document and may be used as reference material or cited as a normative reference from another document. This policy was produced by the AGN staff.

Please report errors in this document to The list of known errors is public.

The English version of this policy is the only normative version.

Table of Contents

1. Overview

2. Definitions

The following terms and definitions apply to this document and to the AGN Patent Policy [PATENT].

  • AGN Member: Any individual or organization that has joined AGN, as well as any employee or designated representative (e.g., contractor) of such organizations.
  • Call for Participation: A communication to AGN members that invites them to participate in a Working Group.
  • Collaborating Standards Body: A standards body with which AgGateway Global Network has formal agreement. The form of the agreement could be reciprocal membership, letter-of-intent, memorandum of understanding, etc.
  • Draft Revised Standard: A digital resource that was initially produced by the Standards Committee by copying a Standard for the purposes of updating it.
  • Member Submission: See section 7.
  • Proposed New Standard: Any digital resource produced by a Working Group that the Working Group delivers to the Standards Committee with the intent that the Standards Committee will approve and publish it as a Standard.
  • Proposers: One or more AGN Members who develop a Working Group charter and submit it to the AGN Standards Director.
  • Standard: Refers to any published digital resource developed with the intent of assisting companies with implementing electronic connectivity between systems and devices within their own company, and between their company and other companies. Standard includes standards, guidelines, communications tools, project-management tools, implementation tools, and requirements or proposals passed on to a Collaborating Standards Body.
  • Submitter: See section 7.
  • Working Group: An AGN organizational unit chartered to complete work, which may include one or more Standards. Working Groups include all organizational units with the working group or project in their name, as well as the Standards Committee.

3. Main Success Scenarios for High-Level Process Definitions

By main success scenario we mean a primary and exception-free process scenario. Greater detail is provided in the process diagrams (BPMN) in sections 4, 5, and 6.

3.1 AGN Creates New Standards

  1. Proposers develop a Working Group charter and submit it to the AGN Standards Director.
  2. The AGN Standards Director recommends charter approval and submits it to the AGN President.
  3. The AGN President approves the charter and communicates approval to the AGN Standards Director.
  4. The AGN Standards Director communications approval to the Proposers.
  5. The AGN Standards Director issues a Call for Participation.
  6. Interested AGN Members respond to the Call for Participation by affirmatively joining the Working Group.
  7. The AGN Standards Director convenes the first meeting of the Working Group during which a Working Group Chair, Vice Chair, and other charter-specified roles are selected.
  8. The Working Group conducts its work in accordance with the charter.
  9. At any point the Working Group has produced a deliverable that it determines is ready to be delivered to the Standards Committee, it does so. At this point the Standards Committee has a Proposed New Standard.
  10. The Standards Committee reviews the Proposed New Standard.
  11. The Standards Committee determines whether or not a public review period is in the best interest of its membership, and if so, conducts one.
  12. The Standards Committee publishes the Proposed New Standard as a Standard.

3.2. AGN Updates Existing Standard

  1. One or more AGN Members (Proposers) delivers a written proposal to change an existing standard to the Standards Committee.
  2. The Standards Committee reviews the proposal.
  3. The Standards Committee approves the proposal in a meeting in which the AGN Standards Director participates.
  4. The Standards Committee updates the applicable Draft Revised Standard.
  5. The Standards Committee publishes the Draft Revised Standard as a Standard.

3.3. AGN Produces and Delivers Digital Resources to Collaborating Standards Bodies

  1. AGN follows either process 3.1 or 3.2 as appropriate.
  2. AGN Standards Director delivers one or more Standards to a Collaborating Standards Body. (The AGN Standards Director may accomplish this task through a liaison to the Collaborating Standards Body designated by the AGN Standards Director.)
  3. AGN Standards Director, in consultation with the Standards Committee, monitors the progress of the delivered Standard through the collaborating standards body and updates the Standard's online publication description. (For example, if the Standard has been incorporated in a published content by the collaborating standards body, then that should be noted online and perhaps the Standard in the context of an AGN resource perhaps should be deprecated in favor of the published content by the collaborating standards body.

4. Detailed "AGN Creates New Standards" Process Diagrams (BPMN)

BPMN Diagrams (PDF)

5. Updating an Existing Standard

  1. A request to update an existing standard shall be submitted to the Standards Director in writing.
  2. The Standards Director shall post the request in a location accessible to all members.
  3. The Standards Director shall determine whether the request represents the amount or type of work that would justify a working group, or if the request does not (e.g., correct typos, add values to code lists, make a required element optional, clarify ambiguous documentation).
    1. Requires working group: Follow the same process as "AGN Creates New Standards" except that the current version will be input to that process.
    2. Does not require working group: Make updates and deliver to the Standards Committee as input to the "AGN process Proposed Standard" process (see BPMN Diagram in section 4).

6. Delivering Digital Resources to Collaborating Standards Bodies

Follow the "AGN Creates New Standards" with the understanding that "Proposed Standard" may not be for publication, but for delivery to a collaborating standards body (see the last activity "Publish Proposed Standard as a Standard"), or both.

7. Member Submission Process

The Member Submission process allows AGN Members to propose technology or other ideas to the AGN Standards Director for consideration by a Working Group. After an AGN Standards Director review, he/she MAY post the material in the associated Working Group's wiki space. The formal process affords AGN Members a record of their contribution and gives them a mechanism for disclosing the details of the transaction with the Working Group (including IPR claims).

A Member Submission consists of:

  • One or more documents developed outside of the AGN Standards-Development Process, and
  • Information about the documents, provided by the Submitter.

One or more AGN Members (called the "Submitter(s)") MAY participate in a Member Submission. Only AGN Members MAY be listed as Submitter(s).

The Submission process consists of the following steps:

  1. One of the Submitter(s) sends a request to the AGN Standards Director to acknowledge the Submission request. The AGN Standards Director and Submitter(s) communicate to ensure that the Member Submission is complete.
  2. After AGN Standards Director review, the AGN Standards Director MUST either acknowledge or reject the Submission request.
    • If acknowledged, the Working Group MUST publish the Member Submission in the Working Group wiki space.
    • If rejected, the Submitter(s) MAY appeal to either the AGN President or the AGN Board of Directors.

Note: To avoid confusion about the Member Submission process, please note that:

  • The Submission process is not a means by which AGN Members ask for "ratification" of these documents as Standards.
  • There is no requirement or guarantee that technology which is part of an acknowledged Submission request will receive further consideration by AGN (e.g., by a Working Group).

Posting of a Member Submission to a Working Group wiki space does not imply endorsement by AGN staff, AGN Members, or Working Group. The acknowledgment of a Submission request does not imply that any action will be taken by AGN. It merely records publicly that the Submission request has been made by the Submitter. A Member Submission MUST NOT be referred to as "work in progress" of AGN.

7.1 Submitter Rights and Obligations

When more than one Member jointly participates in a Submission request, only one Member formally sends in the request. That Member MUST copy each of the Primary Contacts of the other participating AGN Members, and each of those Primary Contacts MUST confirm (by email to the AGN Standards Director) their participation in the Submission request.

At any time prior to acknowledgment, any Submitter MAY withdraw support for a Submission request (described in "How to send a Submission request"). A Submission request is "withdrawn" when no Submitter(s) support it. The AGN Standards Director MUST NOT make statements about withdrawn Submission requests.

Prior to acknowledgment, the Submitter(s) MUST NOT, under any circumstances, refer to a document as "submitted to AgGateway Global Network" or "under consideration by AgGateway Global Network" or any similar phrase either in public or AGN Member communication. The Submitter(s) MUST NOT imply in public or AGN Member communication that AGN is working (with the Submitter(s)) on the material in the Member Submission. The Submitter(s) MAY publish the documents in the Member Submission prior to acknowledgment (without reference to the Submission request).

After acknowledgment, the Submitter(s) MUST NOT, under any circumstances, imply AGN investment in the Member Submission until, and unless, the material has been adopted as a deliverable of an AGN Working Group

7.1.1 Scope of Member Submissions

When a technology overlaps in scope with the work of a chartered Working Group, AGN Members should participate in the Working Group and contribute the technology to the group's process. The Working Group MAY incorporate the contributed technology into its deliverables.

On the other hand, while AGN Members are in the early stages of developing a charter, AGN Members should use the Submission process to build consensus around concrete proposals for new work.

Members should not submit materials covering topics well outside the scope of AGN's mission.

7.1.2 Information Required in a Submission Request

The Submitter(s) and any other authors of the submitted material MUST agree that, if the request is acknowledged, the documents in the Member Submission will be subject to the AGN Document License [PUB18] (warning) and will include a reference to it. The Submitter(s) MAY hold the copyright for the documents in a Member Submission.

The request MUST satisfy the Member Submission licensing commitments of section 3.3 of the AGN Patent Policy [PATENT].

The Submitter(s) MUST include the following information:

  • The list of all submitting Members.
  • Position statements from all submitting Members (gathered by the Submitter). All position statements MUST appear in a separate document.
  • Complete electronic copies of any documents submitted for consideration (e.g., a technical specification, a position paper, etc.) If the Submission request is acknowledged, these documents will be posted by the AGN Standards Director to the associated Working Group's wiki page. Submitters MAY hold the copyright for the material contained in these documents, but when posted by AGN, these documents MUST be subject to the provisions of the AGN Document License [LICENSE].

The request MUST also answer the following questions.

  • What proprietary technology is required to implement the areas addressed by the request, and what terms are associated with its use? Again, many answers are possible, but the specific answer will affect the AGN Standards Director's decision.
  • What resources, if any, does the Submitter intend to make available if the AGN Standards Director acknowledges the Submission request and takes action on it?
  • What action would the Submitter like AGN to take if the Submission request is acknowledged?
  • What mechanisms are there to make changes to the specification being submitted? This includes, but is not limited to, stating where change control will reside if the request is acknowledged.

7.2 Team Rights and Obligations

The documents in a Member Submission MUST fulfill the requirements specified by the AGN Standards Director (as of this writing requirements are not specified).

The AGN Standards Director sends a validation notice to the Submitter(s) once the he/she has reviewed a Submission request and judged it complete and correct.

Prior to a decision to acknowledge or reject the request, the request is AGN staff-only, and the AGN staff MUST hold it in the strictest confidentiality. In particular, the AGN staff MUST NOT comment to the media about the Submission request.

7.3 Acknowledgment of a Submission Request

The AGN Standards Director acknowledges a Submission request by sending an announcement to the AGN Board of Directors. Though the announcement MAY be made at any time, the Submitter(s) can expect an announcement within 14 days after the validation notice. The AGN Standards Director MUST keep the Submitter(s) informed of when an announcement is likely to be made.

Once a Submission request has been acknowledged, the AGN Standards Director MUST:

  • Publish the Member Submission.
  • Publish AGN Standards Director comments about the Submission request.

If the Submitter(s) wishes to modify a document published as the result of acknowledgment, the Submitter(s) MUST start the Submission process from the beginning, even just to correct editorial changes.

7.4 Rejection of a Submission Request

The AGN Standards Director MAY reject a Submission request for a variety of reasons, including any of the following:

  • The ideas expressed in the request overlap in scope with the work of a chartered Working Group, and acknowledgment might jeopardize the progress of the group.
  • The IPR statement made by the Submitter(s) is inconsistent with the AGN's Patent Policy [PATENT], Document License [LICENSE], or other IPR policies.
  • The ideas expressed in the request are poor or run counter to AGN's mission.
  • The ideas expressed in the request lie well outside the scope of AGN's mission.

In case of a rejection, the AGN Standards Director MUST inform the AGN Board of Directors, the Submitter(s), and Primary Contacts of the Submitter(s). The AGN Standards Director MUST provide rationale about the rejection. Other than to the aforementioned parties, the AGN Standards Director MUST NOT make statements about why a Submission request was rejected.

The Primary Contacts associated with the Submitters(s) MAY appeal the rejection to the AGN Board of Directors. At the time an appeal is made, the AGN President will establish a process for such appeals that ensures the appropriate level of confidentiality.

8. Definition of Normative, Optional and Informative

For purposes of this definition, the normative portions of the Standard shall be deemed to include only architectural and interoperability requirements. Optional features in the RFC 2119 [KEYWORDS] sense are considered normative unless they are specifically identified as informative. Implementation examples or any other material that merely illustrate the requirements of the Standard are informative, rather than normative.



Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels, S. Bradner. The Internet Society, March 1997. This RFC is available by FTP at


AgGateway Global Network Patent Policy, J. Wilson, Editor. AgGateway Global Network, . The latest version of this document is


AgGateway Global Network Document License, J. Wilson, Editor. AgGateway Global Network, . The latest version of this document is


Significant portions of this document is derived from the World Wide Web Consortium Process Document available at Various license requirements apply, which are met by including the following statement, with associated links, from the AGN: CHECK

W3C liabilitytrademarkdocument use and software licensing rules apply.