open system


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open system

[′ō·pən ′sis·təm]
(computer science)
A computer system whose key software interfaces are specified, documented, and made publicly available.
(hydrology)
A condition of freezing of the ground in which additional groundwater is available either through free percolation or through capillary movement.
(thermodynamics)
A system across whose boundaries both matter and energy may pass.

open system

A fluid piping system in which the circulating fluid is connected to an open-vented elevated tank, to a cooling tower, or the like; the tank serves as a reservoir to accommodate the expansion and contraction of the fluid, and as a convenient location for inspecting the condition of the fluid.

open system

A system that allows third parties to make products that plug into or interoperate with it. For example, the PC is an open system. Although the fundamental standards are controlled by Microsoft, Intel and AMD, thousands of hardware devices and software applications are created and sold by other vendors for the PC.

For years, the term "open systems" (plural) referred to the Unix world because Unix ran in more types of computer hardware than any other operating system (combined with Linux, it still does). Contrast with closed system.

Open Systems vs. Open Source
Open systems refers to open platforms, whereas open source refers to the software's source code and rights regarding its redistribution. Open systems may employ open source software or proprietary software. See open source.

Open Systems vs. Open Standards
Open systems may or may not employ open standards, the Windows PC being the prime example of an open system that is "not" an open standard (governed by a standards organization).

On the other hand, open standards do imply open systems, and the two terms are often used synonymously. However, there is absolutely no reason why an open standard could not be employed within a closed system that cannot be extended or enhanced by a third party. See open standards.
References in periodicals archive ?
The essential elements and the supportive technical and business practices needed to develop affordable and adaptable open systems are depicted graphically above.
System, software, and hardware vendors have been touting the ability to integrate mainframe and open systems technologies for many years, but the fact is there is a long way to go.
By transitioning to open systems disk-based storage, operational efficiencies are significantly improved as companies will start reducing tape library costs, in terms of floor space, racks, equipment, cartridges, and personnel.
A Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) is a means to assess and implement, when feasible, widely supported commercial interface standards in developing systems using modular design concepts.
Why is storage management so much more of a problem on Open Systems than mainframes?

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