ERDAS expends a large effort to support Open Standards and in the end, interoperability with other software implementations that as well support open standards. We invest in the development and implementation of Open Standards because as an organization, we believe in our software products working seamlessly with any other geospatial package that exists on the market and providing our customers with a large variety of deployment and design options for geospatial solutions. We support open standards to additionally be a compelling and viable option in ANY geospatial system under design irregardless of an organizations existing systems "vendor". We also measure each component and feature we develop with any pertinent existing IT and Geospatial standard to ensure that we maintain a high degree of interoperability.
So "how" does ERDAS support Open Standards then?
We support the entire array of IT and Spatial Standards. On the IT side of the house, we support a variety of Operating Systems, credentials stores (LDAP, Active Directory, DB, etc), Application Servers, Databases, chip-sets and virtualization environments (both hardware and OS) and of course, industry web service standards of WSDL/SOAP/UDDI.
On the GeoSpatial side of things, we support the web mapping standard WMS, the gridded data delivery service of WCS, vector feature delivery service of WFS, open catalog service of CSW, map context WMC, WRS, URN, OWS common, Filter, on and on an on....
We also participate in the development of standards within the OGC standards body. There is a "cost" to participating in these standards development bodies of which ERDAS is more than willing to participate to ensure the standard meets our customers use cases and to bring to the table the wealth of industry proven "knowledge" to ensure the standards meet in the end, market needs.
Why support Open Standards?
We do this because it's important to our exiting customers and a market driving initiative in the geo-market space. We do it because the standards are becoming "mature" and capable to meet customer use cases (not just a prototype, actually used in a production environment). We also do it to proliferate the standards within the industry and prove the capabilities of the standards within extremely high volume, rapidly changing production environments.
Why point these facts out?
There's been quite a bit of "noise" superimposing Open Standards with "Open Source" that can be confusing to non-IT decision makers and a propensity of some open source pundits to raise an argument that "commercial"="proprietary"="vendor lockin"=an advantage to open source. This is definitely not the case in the market today, whereas ERDAS is not the only vendor ensuring a high degree of open standard support and interoperability.
This "noise" rises from the organization and productization of the disperate open source projects in the geo-space and to create competitive marketing against the existing commercial products. It is now officially a "vendor" option to customers. ERDAS stands firm in out position in the market and our capabilities to provide highly interoperable, entire end-to-end geospatial processing and analysis chains with market proven maturity and market leading segment to PROVE it.