ISO/IEC 10746 defines the essential concepts necessary to specify open distributed processing systems from five prescribed viewpoints. It provides a well-developed framework for the structuring of specifications for large-scale, distributed systems.
The framework for system specification provided by ISO/IEC 10746 has four fundamental elements:
ISO/IEC 10746-3:2009 specifies the required characteristics that qualify distributed processing as open, i.e. the constraints to which ODP standards must conform. It uses the descriptive techniques from ISO/IEC 10746-2 to define five ISO/IEC 10746 viewpoints. These viewpoints are subdivisions of the specification of a whole system, established to bring together the particular pieces of information relevant to some stakeholder or particular area of concern. ISO/IEC 10746-3:2009 also defines a taxonomy for functions and structures to realize distribution transparencies.