The open system strategy is an effective business and technical approach for maintaining the superiority of the U.S. within growing constraints and an unprecedented rate of technological change. By following an open system strategy in the acquisition of systems, the government can better position itself to leverage private sector investments made in commercial products, practices, and technologies to field superior capability more quickly and affordably. This paper elaborates on distinctions between closed and open systems and will discuss strategies for implementing open systems. The paper also reviews and discusses the test and evaluation challenges associated with open systems and proposes a number of critical developmental issues as a checklist to supplement the information gathered by testers. The paper also emphasizes that the test of openness for the interfaces within a system must only be done when operational and developmental requirements either directly or indirectly require open system implementation and the use of open standards for selected interfaces within a system. The paper also underscores that the test of openness must only be initiated after careful review of testing issues an
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