About the SunSpec Specifications Process
SunSpec Alliance specifications are developed by SunSpec member companies seeking to establish industry standards for mutual benefit. Any SunSpec Alliance member can propose a technical work item. Given sufficient interest and time to participate, and barring significant objections, a workgroup is formed. Workgroups meet regularly to advance the agenda of the initiative.
The typical output of a workgroup is a SunSpec interoperability specification. SunSpec interoperability specifications are considered to be normative, meaning that there is a matter of conformance required to support interoperability. The revision and associated process of managing these documents is tightly controlled. Other SunSpec documents developed by workgroups are informative, and provide recommendations regarding best practices, but are not a matter of conformance. Informative documents can be revised more freely and frequently to improve the quality and quantity of information provided.
SunSpec interoperability specifications follow this lifecycle pattern of DRAFT, TEST, APPROVED, and SUPERSEDED. DRAFT specifications are early works in process and are purely informative. TEST specifications are advanced works in process that are subject to modification pending feedback from implementors. APPROVED specifications are normative and represent the state of the art. SUPERCEDED specifications are also normative but are not state of the art. APPROVED specifications are backward compatible with SUPERCEDED specifications.