FOCUS FAQs

The FOCUS Project is an open source Linux Foundation Project supported by the FinOps Foundation.

The FOCUS Specification is a technical specification for cloud billing data. This groundbreaking initiative defines clear requirements for cloud vendors to produce consistent cost and usage datasets. With FOCUS, Practitioners can spend more time on FinOps, and less time on data normalization.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of open source Project is FOCUS?

FOCUS is a traditional mode Joint Development Foundation (JDF) Project. JDF is a separate Project, also a part of the Linux Foundation, which handles the setup of open source Projects. Using JDF allows open source Projects like FOCUS to form quickly and collaborate under a standard set of guidelines and legal frameworks. This sped up formation of the Project and allowed participants and Members to concentrate on the Specification.

Is FOCUS part of the FinOps Foundation?

FOCUS is a separate open-source Project supported by the FinOps Foundation (which is itself a Project of the Linux Foundation). The FOCUS Project will own and manage the intellectual property and licensing rights associated with contributions to and use of the FOCUS Specification. FOCUS is led by its own Steering Committee and follows these Operating Procedures.

The FinOps Foundation financially supports FOCUS for its operational needs, and provides program management, contractor, and staff support. Many FOCUS Contributing Members and Steering Committee Members are involved in both Projects.

The FinOps Foundation also develops content such as FOCUS Validators, FOCUS Converters, training courses, certification courses, and other content related to the Specification. These resources benefit the FinOps Foundation community and assist with the adoption of FOCUS by the FinOps Foundation community.

What does it mean to be a FOCUS Member?

Being a Member of the FOCUS Project means you have signed the Contributor License Agreement (CLA) and established a relationship with the Project, its goals, and the Specification. Members of the Project are companies or organizations who allow their employees to participate as Contributors under the terms of the CLA. You do not need to be a FinOps Foundation member in order to be a FOCUS Member, and there is no cost to contribute to FOCUS.

How do I contribute to FOCUS?

Your organization should first sign a Contributor License Agreement (CLA). The CLA is a legal agreement between the Contributor and FOCUS allowing FOCUS to use and license the contribution as part of its work products. If you’re an employee of a company, your company may need to provide you with permission to sign such an agreement, or may need to sign the CLA on your behalf by becoming a Member of FOCUS.

If you need help finding the right contacts inside your organization to get approval, please email the FinOps Foundation at focus@finops.org. We can assist with locating the right parties in your organization that have worked with the Linux Foundation in the past.

If you have existing software, specifications, source data mappings, normalization logic, or other contributions you would like to and are legally allowed to contribute, you may submit them to the Project by following the procedures in the FOCUS Project CONTRIBUTING.md process in GitHub. Each FOCUS Group will have different contribution models, which will be described in their CONTRIBUTING.md file in their home repository in GitHub.

You can follow and discuss FOCUS with other FinOps Practitioners on our Community Slack channel #chat-focus. If you aren’t a part of the FinOps Community yet, please join!

Do I need to sign a license agreement to contribute to FOCUS?

Yes, every contributor to FOCUS outputs must be a Member, and sign the Contributor License Agreement (CLA). This can be done by accessing the FOCUS GitHub repository. Any Member organization that has signed the CLA may contribute issues, content, or pull requests to the Project work products.

Do I need to join the FinOps Foundation to contribute to FOCUS?

No, membership in FOCUS does not require FinOps Foundation membership. Companies and organizations that sign the Contributor License Agreement (CLA) can designate Contributors to the FOCUS Project.

Do I need to be a FinOps Certified Practitioner to contribute to FOCUS?

No, there is no requirement that the representative of a Member Organization be a FinOps Certified Practitioner to contribute to FOCUS, but, in our opinion, it always helps.

Where will FOCUS contributions, resources and Project-related assets be managed?

FOCUS will store and disseminate its work products via GitHub. We are generally planning to use a “hybrid contribution” model, meaning that while changes may be made by contributors’ direction in GitHub, input may also be provided via participation in FOCUS Groups. This input will be entered into GitHub, which will remain the official record of the Specification.

How do I adopt the FOCUS Specification?

The FOCUS Specification will be available for licensed use by those who generate billing data, by those consuming or analyzing cost or usage data, or by organizations who wish to normalize the billing data they receive. The Specification is available for no cost via an open source license.

Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) and other cloud software vendors should review the Specification and develop plans to align their offerings with its requirements.

FinOps Practitioners should visit the FOCUS Column Library and the FinOps Use Case Library to get familiar with the columns in the Specification, their definitions, and the data in the columns.

Read more here about how Vendors and FinOps Practitioners can get started with FOCUS.

How can we make our offering(s) conformant with the FOCUS Specification?

In late 2024, a formal assessment program may be announced, allowing FOCUS adopters to become certifiably FOCUS conformant. Please note that no adopter can become FOCUS compliant. FOCUS conformance will be achievable after the certification program is launched.

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The FOCUS specification is based on https://jointdevelopment.org/