How to (and how not to) refer to the OAI in meetups, interviews, casual conversations, the settling of bar bets, and conference presentations.


A Short History of the Open API Initiative and the OpenAPI Specification

On Nov. 5, 2015, SmartBear in conjunction with 3Scale, Apigee, Capital One, Google, IBM, Intuit, Microsoft, PayPal, and Restlet announced the formation of the Open API Initiative, an open source project under the Linux Foundation. As part of the formation of the OAI, SmartBear donated the Swagger specification to the Linux Foundation, meaning that the OpenAPI Specification is semantically identical to the specification formerly known as the Swagger 2.0 specification. It is widely recognized as the most popular open source framework for defining and creating RESTful APIs, and today tens of thousands of developers are building thousands of open source repos of tools leveraging the OpenAPI Specification. In 2010, the Swagger specification was created by Wordnik, who published it under an open source license one year later. In March of 2015, SmartBear acquired Wordnik’s interests in the Swagger projects from its parent company, Reverb Technologies.

What is the relationship between Swagger Specification and OpenAPI Spec (OAS)?

SmartBear donated the Swagger Specification in 2015 as part of the formation of the Open API Initiative. Following the announcement of the OAI, the Swagger specification was renamed the OpenAPI Specification and is semantically identical to the specification formerly known as the Swagger 2.0 specification. OAS – and the Swagger Specification before it – is widely recognized as the most popular open source framework for defining and creating RESTful APIs, and today tens of thousands of developers are building thousands of open source repos of tools leveraging the OpenAPI Specification.


References to Teams in the Project

As per the charter, the Open API Initiative (OAI) provides an open source, technical community, within which industry participants may contribute to building a vendor-neutral, portable, and open specification for providing technical metadata for REST APIs — the Open API Specification (OAS). The following named groups may be properly referred to as:

  • Business Governance Board (“BGB”, second reference)
    Comprised of official corporate entities (companies, schools, non-profits, etc.) who have signed the official project membership agreement to be members of the Open API Initiative and are bound by the laws governed by the project’s charter. [Read more here]
  • Technical Developer Community (“TDC”, second reference)
    The Technical Developer Community (TDC) is open to any developer, end user or subject matter expert that chooses to participate in the activities of OAI, regardless of whether the participant is employed by an OAI Member company. Influence on the evolution of the OAS comes by engaging with the TDC in technical discussions and by contributing to the project. [Read more here]
  • Technical Oversight Board (“TOB”, second reference)
    The Technical Oversight Board (TOB) is responsible for managing conflicts, violations of procedures or guidelines and any cross-project or high-level issues that cannot be resolved in the TDC for the OADF. The TOB shall also be responsible for adding, removing or re-organizing OAI Projects. The TOB shall not dictate or interfere with the day-to-day work of individual OAI Projects or their decisions. [Read more here]

Linux Foundation
The Open API Initiative is one of the Linux Foundation’s Collaborative Projects, which are independently funded software projects that harness the power of collaborative development to fuel innovation across industries and ecosystems.

  • What is a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project?
    Collaborative Projects are independently funded software projects that harness the power of collaborative development to fuel innovation across industries and ecosystems. By spreading the collaborative DNA of the largest collaborative software development project in history, The Linux Foundation provides the essential collaborative and organizational framework so project hosts can focus on innovation and results. Linux Foundation Collaborative Projects span the enterprise, mobile, embedded and life sciences markets and are backed by many of the largest names in technology. For more information about Linux Foundation Collaborative Projects, please visit: here.
  • What is the Linux Foundation?
    The Linux Foundation is a nonprofit consortium dedicated to fostering the growth of Linux and collaborative software development. Founded in 2000, the organization sponsors the work of Linux creator Linus Torvalds and promotes, protects and advances the Linux operating system and collaborative software development by marshaling the resources of its members and the open source community. The Linux Foundation provides a neutral forum for collaboration and education by hosting Collaborative Projects, Linux conferences including LinuxCon, and generating original research and content that advances the understanding of Linux and collaborative software development. More information can be found here.

Graphics
Read the Open API Initiative Style Guide. Find the only approved versions of the OAI logo here.