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 ?
Identify and analyze capabilities and strategies that could most effectively be pursued by open systems design solutions
It will serve as a procurement guideline for end users and a development guideline for vendors and integrators developing open systems solutions.
We think this is a major win for end users, solutions suppliers and the systems vendors and will serve to expand the overall market for Open Systems.
Phil Hester, vice president of Systems and Technology for IBM's RISC System/6000 Division, said, "Today's announcement is the exciting culmination of a one-year joint project that represents a significant investment by Cerner Corporation in open systems and by IBM Corporation to bring world class clinical applications to market on the RISC System/6000.
The ability to exchange data between mainframe and open systems platforms today is somewhat limited.
This agreement ensures that any Pick developer, GA VAR or end user can migrate to open systems products with minimal effort.
Over time, Apple intends to provide a wide range of Apple modular technologies, services and APIs by working with leading open systems vendors and standards organizations to create superior client/server solutions for customers.
EDS will team with Pyramid to provide services that will assist Pyramid customers who are re-engineering their proprietary data centers to take advantage of the effectiveness and lower costs of client-server and open systems.
They have pioneered the distribution model for supplying open system products to the general market, currently offering over 2500 products manufactured by more than 60 manufacturers.
Given the criteria, only a LonWorks based open system would do.
The alliance combines Pyramid's expertise in high-availability open system servers, Comdisco's extensive asset management knowledge and IBM mainframe market presence, and Integris' integration expertise in "SmartSizing" (re-engineering and downsizing) and specialized software smartsizing tools for the IBM application transition market.
Since a competing facility in town has an open system, we needed to have this capability and respond to patient demand," said Curt Snyder, M.

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