NRF and Object Management Group form partnership on retail technology

"This arrangement will allow NRF to focus on ARTS' core mission."

NRF VP Tom Litchford

WASHINGTON – The National Retail Federation and international technology standards consortium Object Management Group today announced that they have formed a new partnership to manage a portion of the functions previously performed by NRF’s Association for Retail Technology Standards division.

“This arrangement will allow NRF to focus on ARTS’ core mission of collaboration, education and research while ensuring that standards developed over the past two decades are maintained and continue to evolve along with the retail industry,” NRF Vice President for Retail Technology Tom Litchford said. “Retail is a highly innovative industry that uses the latest technology to continually serve its customers, and NRF remains committed to keeping merchants on the cutting edge.”

“NRF and OMG share a passion for delivering real value to our communities, and look forward to a continued partnership to guarantee portability and interoperability in the retail space,” OMG Chairman and CEO Richard Soley said. “The ARTS standards are and will continue to be the key to increasing quality, decreasing cost and increasing choice in retail systems as they continue under the auspices of OMG.”

Under the partnership, OMG will assume responsibility for the following standards:

  • Retail Data Model including an operational data model and a data warehouse model. ARTS’ operational data model offers a transaction-oriented view of retail enterprise data supporting the day-to-day management of a retail enterprise while the data warehouse model supports business reporting and analysis.
  • Unified POS standards for communication between retail point-of-sale equipment such as cash registers, card readers, barcode scanners and receipt printers whether physically attached or web-based.
  • A2A Messaging – Application-to-application messaging “schemas” that allow software applications to communicate and share data.
  • BPM – Retail business process models that map how retailers manage their business.

NRF will continue to handle standard request-for-proposal templates that help retailers research and evaluate technology and software they seek to purchase, and publication of white papers on technology issues ranging from cloud computing to cybersecurity. Members of various ARTS committees will be invited to participate in comparable leadership positions at OMG. The community will continue to meet, network and exchange best practices as part of NRF’s technology leadership councils.

ARTS was founded more than 20 years ago and is best known for making technology less expensive for retailers. Its standards offer reference designs to help retailers build or acquire integrated business applications, help developers and analysts understand basic retail business principles, and offer a suite of data management tools to allow different data formats to communicate.

About OMG
The Object Management Group is an international, open membership, not-for-profit technology standards consortium with representation from government, industry and academia. OMG task forces develop enterprise integration standards for a wide range of technologies and an even wider range of industries. OMG's modeling standards enable powerful visual design, execution and maintenance of software and other processes. Visit for more information. #OMGTech

About NRF
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.