The OpenCard Framework is a set of guidelines announced by IBM, Netscape, NCI, and Sun Microsystems, Inc., for integrating smart cards with network computers. The guidelines are based on open standards and provide an architecture and a set of application program interfaces (APIs) that enable application developers and service providers to build and deploy smart card solutions on any OpenCard-compliant network computer.
Through the use of a smart card, an OpenCard-compliant system will enable access to personalized data and services from any network computer and dynamically download from the Internet all device drivers that are necessary to communicate with the smart card. By providing a high-level interface, which can support multiple smart card types, the OpenCard Framework is intended to enable vendor-independent card interoperability. The system incorporates Public Key Cryptography Standard (PKCS)-11 and is expandable to include other public key mechanisms.