OASIS Symptoms Automation Framework (SAF) Technical Committee

The original Call For Participation for this TC may be found at http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/tc-announce/200909/msg00001.html

The charter for this TC was modified 1 February 2010; this was announced at http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/tc-announce/201002/msg00008.html

  1. Name:

    OASIS Symptoms Automation Framework (SAF) Technical Committee

  2. Statement of Purpose:

    IT and business systems are usually well instrumented to provide operators and managers with a wealth of information about the state of each of these systems. Experts in these domains also possess substantial toolboxes of remedial techniques to bring these systems and processes back online or to their desired state.

    However, there often is a significant challenge in the integration, interpretation, and analysis of this diverse state information followed by the ability to act on that information. Failure to meet this challenge impacts the organization through lost opportunities to develop new and extend existing business, as well as the possible loss of existing business through 'down time' or lower efficiency. The continued drain on business and IT resources also impacts the overall operational and business-related costs of the organization.

    The aim of the Symptoms Automation Framework is to integrate information and processes across the organization and/or cloud-enabled services in a more holistic way by defining, enhancing, and maintaining a standard XML-based framework that will enable the collection, detection, isolation, and remediation/optimization of the operational or business characteristics of complex systems with applicability to both IT and non-IT domains including operational and service management, governance, and security.

  3. Scope of Work:

    The TC is engaged in developing the Symptoms Automation Framework specifications. This effort will deliver on the following high-level goals:

    • Ensure that the specifications can be applied to various sources of event data, enabling a methodology to perform pattern matching, diagnostics, and analysis in order to achieve a timely and accurate resolution of a wide range of IT and non-IT situations.
    • An implementation agnostic architecture to support both online processing and offline operations.

    The focus of the TC specifications will be predicated on further development and refinement of the following contributions:

    It is anticipated that official contributions to the OASIS SAF TC will be made in accordance with the TC Process; documents listed above are unofficial, intended as display copies for informational purposes only.

    The output specifications will uphold the basic principles of specifications in terms of independence and composition. Each of the elements of the symptoms information model will use implementation and language neutral XML formats defined in XML Schema. The TC will not define a mapping of the functions and elements described in the specifications to any programming language, to any particular messaging middleware, nor to specific network transports.

    In general, the goal is the further refinement of key entities and their schema, which are listed below in general form and semantics to provide structure and scope to the work of the TC. Additional entities and their schema may be defined, if required.

    • Symptom as an XML document that represents a dynamic state of the system and possibly corresponds to a Syndrome and is described by the Syndrome, indicating that the condition or situation is present in the system.
    • Syndrome as an XML document that identifies a collection of zero or more related and potentially relevant Symptoms and represents a potential positive or negative condition or situation in the system.
    • Protocol as an XML document used for the generation of appropriate Prescriptions with appropriate target-specific arguments.
    • Prescription as an XML document that may be generated from application of a Protocol. A Prescription may be used to confirm a potential Syndrome diagnosis (match) via the creation of validating Symptoms, for remediating a Syndrome, or Syndrome optimization. A Prescription may include arguments specific to its target.

    Furthermore, the TC will continue to develop and refine the definitions of architectural roles that may be implemented as part of the Symptoms Automation Framework including, but not limited to, those listed below.

    • Syndrome and Protocol Catalog as a container for Syndromes and Protocols associated with the system for which that Catalogue was designed.
    • Symptom Store as a container for Symptoms that have been created in the course of operation of a Symptoms Automation Framework.
    • Diagnostician as the active entity that compares a set of Symptoms with the signatures of various Syndromes to determine if any of the Syndromes match the set of Symptoms.
    • Practitioner as the active entity that administers Prescriptions.
    • Case Manager to act as a general manager because other architectural roles. Conceptually, such an entity might conduct a host of activities such as keeping track of what Symptoms are currently of importance, directing the activities of the other architectural roles, managing queues of Prescriptions.
    • Catalog Source emits entities that may be stored in a Syndrome and Protocol Catalog.
    • Symptom Source emits entities that may be stored in a Symptom Store.

    Out of Scope

    The following items are specifically out of scope of the work of the TC:

    1. Specific implementation and performance tuning details
    2. Domain specific Symptoms or Protocol catalog contents.

    The TC will not attempt to define concepts or renderings for functions that are of wider applicability including but not limited to:

    • Addressing
    • Policy language frameworks and attachment mechanisms
    • Reliable message exchange
    • Transactions and compensation
    • Secure Conversations
    • Metadata Exchange Protocols
    • Resource Transfer protocol

    Where required these functions are achieved by composition with other Web services specifications.

  4. List of Deliverables:

    The TC is targeting the first release for the middle of 2010. The release will include versions of the following specifications:

    • Glossary
    • Message Exchange Patterns (including interfaces)
    • The Symptoms Information Model (including definitions of architectural roles that may be implemented)
    • XML Schema definitions for all normative entities
    • Cloud Computing Profile

    Additional documents, such as a non-normative White Paper and/or a Primer covering the use of the Symptoms Automation Framework including scenarios and examples of message exchange in other domains (e.g. oil and gas industry) may also be produced at the Committee's discretion. The TC's intent is to pursue OASIS Standard status for all SAFTC Draft Specifications.

    These specifications will reflect refinements, corrections or material technological improvements with respect to the input documents and in accordance with this charter.

    Exit Criteria

    The TC shall define concrete exit criteria that include at least two independent offerings that implement and are compliant with all the required normative portions of the specifications and demonstrate interoperability and portability as appropriate.


    Once the TC has completed work on a deliverable and it has become an OASIS standard, the TC will enter "maintenance mode" for that deliverable. The purpose of maintenance mode is to provide minor revisions to previously adopted deliverables to clarify ambiguities, inconsistencies and obvious errors. Maintenance mode is not intended to enhance a deliverable or extend its functionality.

  5. Specification of the IPR Mode under which the TC will operate:

    This TC will operate under the "RF on Limited Terms" IPR mode as defined in the OASIS Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy.

  6. Audience:

    The primary audience for the final output of this TC is architects interested in enterprise management, autonomic computing, cloud computing, as well as Symptoms and protocol catalog implementers. Business analysts interested in the automatic resolution or optimization of business processes and environments may also find the output of this TC to be of interest.

  7. Language of the TC:

    All business of the TC will be conducted in English.