From Charlie Gifford: Hello All, I agree with Dan and Jim. However, I see the entire automation and Mfg IT space in a UTIAIA condition and MESA and ISA as benchmarks. In working with MESA and ISA BODs and on their technical committees, I have found that their business models are very self serving and only customer focused if self serving. Not focused at on the prioritized customer's or evolutionary needs of their respective technology markets. Example is both BODs put out only unfunded and unresourced mandates and call it "thought leadership". Both talk about end user participation but neither BOD brings decision makers from their individual end users' client base so as not to expose their end user to their fellow BOD competitor. End users only participate if they want to differing vendor opinion or know how to defend against the shark attacks. Neither has followed the SEMITECH or Supply Chain Council or OAG format of forming real industry consortiums where end users and vendors dedicate real resources to standards or technology development councils to accelerate and solidify the open standards and methodology base towards a real interoperability framework to establish the SOA pipe dream in manufacturing operations. IP is always the excuse. Someone or group or analyst needs to step up and be a strong leader rather than simply doing the status quo of predicting the self serving free market as a coffee shop philosopher. At this point in history, we need to organize our manufacturing ops initiatives to develop a real competitive advantage and age of open systems. Rockwell is probably the best example of a company not waiting for these industry groups or analyst to actually lead. Strategically, They chair or actively participate with dedicated resource on all the disruptive technology standards such as 88, 95, 99, 100, SCOR and others and are accelerating their development (and driving the standard form to theirs in some cases). The needed role of ISA, MESA, the analysts and the like is to further technology development, dissemination and organization for efficient global competitiveness. This requires building the business case for SOA unified plant model for device to NPV and presenting it to end-user and vendor executives for the dedicated resources for the standards work. Otherwise, vendors will continue to build and defend their own kingdoms and marginally support common open architectures while end user just remain simply confused and generally ripe off. As China develops their own mfg standards which is their major initiative and deploy them in 10-15 years, the productivity gap will accelerate as smart flexible mfg ops systems are fielded. To generalize, China and Japan have technology councils that are driving the need for open models. However, China's new standards base may change the vendor approach so that they can play in their market. Lead or get out of the way. Ramblings Charlie.