The Open Group Cloud Interaction Ecosystem Language (CIEL)
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This project has not been active recently. If you are interested in contributing to its objectives, please contact the chair.


This is a project of the Cloud Computing Work Group, now part of the Open Platform 3.0™ Forum. It aims to develop cloud computing notation for describing the interaction of Cloud in a simple language for use by business users and IT vendors or in-house IT departments to explain and visualize cloud concepts and services easily. This notation is the Cloud Interaction Ecosystem Language (CIEL).

The Project team will focus on the visualization, metadata, and notation framework.

The notation will cover conceptual, logical and physical views of a cloud service and ecosystem.

The project team will engage in dialogue with selected customers in the cloud marketplace to test modeling their business with the notation, and will seek to collaborate with vendors and customers to test and grow the use of the notation.

The project team will submit the notation as a standard to The Open Group and potentially to formal standards bodies. It will determine whether part or all of the CIEL methodology should be recommended as optional or mandatory by the Cloud Computing Work Group and The Open Group. This will be a formal step on the CIEL project to review and validate with the Cloud Computing Work Group and its steering committee. This would be a logical step in deciding if CIEL should be submitted to ISO as a formal standard. CIEL should be seen as an optional notation until such a review and assessment method has been done.

CIEL is not intended to replace existing notations and methodologies such as UML and BPEL. Rather it is designed to complement and extend notation and visualization of cloud computing ecosystems. Part of the deliverables of the CIEL project is to show how CIEL can link and work with other notations and methodologies.

Some example draft symbols and a draft framework have already been developed in the early exploration of this notation concept. They will be provided as input to help start the project. They are not intended to be the solution but as a seed example for project team members to take forward with their own ideas and develop the project view and notation. (See the presentation of CIEL at the February 2011 San Diego Open Group Conference.

The existing Business Metadata Model from the Cloud Business Artefacts Project and the Business Decision Tree work by this project will be used as inputs to the definition of the notation. The Cloud Business Use Cases Project use cases are expected to be used as test examples for developing the notation.

The project team will examine existing classical notations e.g. BPMN, UML , XML others before proceeding with the definition of CIEL.

The CIEL project will create a language, whereas other architecture projects focus on what might be said using such a language.

CIEL can be used to support visualization of other current Architecture projects inside the Cloud Computing Work Group and other Open Group forums and work groups. The CIEL project team plans to test existing reference models in the Cloud Computing Architecture, Service-Oriented Cloud Computing Infrastructure, Security for the Cloud and SOA, Cloud Business Use Cases and Cloud Computing Explained projects with the notation to see how this can be used to illustrate these projects. Links to activities in other Industry Forums of significance to establish a meaningful dialogue on the notation ideas to test thinking and use on their reference models e.g. NIST cloud Model, notably the NIST and the Simulation work on the Cloud.

CIEL is a new scope for the Cloud Computing Work Group covering a Notation and Cloud Ecosystems (Social/Business Networks) not covered by any other project in the Work Group.

There is a gap in current notations that visualize and express cloud in a ecosystem manner.

Part of the notation has already need used successfully in the first Open Group book on cloud computing, and initial very positive verbal feedback has been supportive in this new notation concept.


The project will deliver:

  • A Notation Catalog;
  • A White Paper that illustrates the use of the notation with current social media, social and business networks, cloud computing provision and ideas including crowd sourcing, online marketplaces, digital business trading; and
  • A White Paper describing connections between CIEL and other notations such as UML, XML, and BPMN.

Latest Accomplishments

The project was formed in June 2011.

Next Steps

The project team will proceed to work on the deliverables.

Standards and Drafts

None yet.


Mark Skilton, Synthetic Spheres.

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