OASIS SOA for Telecom (SOA-TEL) Technical Committee

The original Call For Participation for this TC may be found at http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/tc-announce/200811/msg00003.html

  1. Name

    OASIS SOA for Telecom (SOA-TEL) Technical Committee

  2. Statement of Purpose

    This TC plans to identify gaps in standards coverage for using Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) techniques in a telecom environment; particularly for Telecom operators/providers. The combined term "provider/operator" means a company that utilizes a telecoms network to provide service to the subscriber community, and they may or may not own the network assets or services they are providing.

    Applicability of IT-based SOA techniques is much more complex in the Telecom world, where services and network features are often tightly coupled and vertically integrated.

    • Tight coupling tends to limit the ability of Telecom operators to develop new composite services that span heterogeneous telecommunications networks. These limitations include the use of Operations Support Systems (OSS) and Business Support Systems (BSS) services in particular when used to support information services, (and associated content types) of which IT services are a subset.
    • Vertical integration reduces visibility and access to services management functions making difficult the automation of operations and business processes across stacks or organizations. Furthermore there are difficulties to integrate or support process automation across the OSS, BSS, services and network domain and the related challenges with customizing these processes.

    As Telecom operators transform into broader-based service oriented providers, the task of service management becomes more complicated, involving:

    • Legacy and next-generation telecommunications services,
    • Information services,
    • Associated in-house and third-party content,
    • Diverse internal and external networks,
    • A multitude of end-user device types, and
    • Associated partner and supplier organizations.

    This complexity hinders the ability of Telecom operators/providers to offer their clients converged, identity based services that are available at any time and secure across any access network and that are operating system, device and location independent.

    Telecom providers/operators want to rapidly create and deploy new services that leverage their infrastructure and give them the ability to generate new revenue streams. Telecom providers/operators need to leverage their infrastructure to better compete in a Web 2.0 environment and service-oriented IT world. Current SOA technologies were designed mostly for IT use cases, and it is feared that they may not be able to support the requirements of Telecom use cases.

    This work focuses on identifying gaps and generates requirements to identify how existing standards can help Telecom providers/operators better compete in this new environment.

    In Web 2.0 and SOA environments, there are mismatches between the requirements of new kinds of experiences (whether enterprise/business or social/personal) and those of the Telecom world. The mismatches include questions such as

    • What is a service?
    • How is a service defined?
    • What is real-time service composition?
    • What is security?
    • What is raw performance? and
    • What is service availability?

    Answers are needed to the above questions in order not to impede the adoption and use of conventional SOA technologies in Telecoms. At a minimum there is a need to harmonize the "vocabulary" of telecoms (notably around raw performance requirements) with a more generic framework of service description that leverages current SOA technologies.

    The adoption of service orientation also places a burden on Telecom providers/operators to analyze the suitability of adopting such an IT born approach within Telecom providers. In general there may be mismatches between information services developers and IT technology requirements and capabilities and the Telecomm world as it relates to important characteristic of Telecom services; such as Service Level Agreements (SLAs) where the Telecom service provider guarantees the customer a certain level of service in return for a specified payment.

    Limitations exist in other areas also, for example in area such as:

    • SOA across administrative domains,
    • Multiple interfaces for a service, and
    • Traceability of service and components dependencies.

    The TC will focus on generating use cases that covers these topics as well.

    It is important for the Telecom industry to identify where and why SOA can be applied in telecommunication, and the potential gaps and limitations of using Web 2.0, SOA, Web Services and/or REST in supporting the unique requirements of integrating telecommunication services within business applications.

    There is a need to understand and identify what SOA specifications can meet the many Telecom requirements. For example, for the Telecom service layer:

    • SOA is a possible way to develop many new IT/Web / web 2.0 applications.
    • ITU-T has produced Recommendation Y.2234, "Open Service Environment Capabilities for Next-Generation Networks", which describes open service environment capabilities for NGN with the aim "to enable enhanced, flexible service creation and provisioning".
    • The Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) has standardized the service layer with a SOA blueprint (OMA Service Enablers (OSE)), for the service layer
      • SOA and Policies become key service layer aspects (3rd party exposure, policy enforcement and management, even in network or edge of network policies)
      • Parlay (which started WS interest for Telecom's with Parlay X) and the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) have now consolidated their interest on SOA for Telecom's in OMA.
    • Some industry products are evolving the Telecom programming model closer to SOA and Service Component Architecture (SCA).
    • SOA for OSS/BSS/SDP integration:
      • Telemanagement Forum (TM Forum) Service Delivery Framework (SDF) work in collaboration with OMA, OASIS and other bodies to standardize an end to end OSS/BSS/SDP integration based on SOA.
    • SOA Telecom solutions on authoring, deployment, execution and management as these are considered by Telecom providers/operators as new possible business opportunities and business models:
      • IEEE NGSON focus on such SOA aspects
      • TM Forum SDF targets among other things management of the resulting services
      • SOA and Web 2.0 are the underlying approaches.
  3. Scope

    The purpose of this TC is to identify the standards consistent with Web 2.0 and SOA principles that may be more useful to Telecom providers/operators as a means of leveraging Telecom Services in business applications, and to assess whether there are inherent limitations in such use.

    The work will generate requirements that help to address any identified limitations or gaps in current existing standards that the TC identifies as possible candidates in support of Telecom operators in terms of testability, scalability, Service Level Agreements (SLA), reliability, support for session interactions, event based interactions, service ontologies, service failure modes, and the marrying of Web 2.0 and SOA technologies. Doing so, it will take inspiration from the work done in other telecom oriented organizations (for example OMA and the TM Forum) to derive requirements that are generic and essential to the Telecom industry.

    The TC output will focus on the development of a use case document that illustrates possible gaps of Web 2.0 and SOA technologies in support of Telecom needs. The TC will develop a requirements document for extending the current core SOA enabling stack (Web Services and/or REST) in support of Telecom needs.

    Scope of the work

    1. Analysis, Use Cases Gathering and Gap Document
    1. Collect use cases to pin point limitations and current mismatches between Telecom services technologies (including Parlay-X) and Web 2.0/SOA implementation technologies. Example of uses cases include:
      1. Investigate needed enhancements that session oriented capabilities to be made available to business level services, using industry accepted interfaces and techniques.
      2. Investigate the use and alignment with TM Forum specification regarding service management of composite services in order to incorporate abstractions of composite services management models, covering such aspects as configuration, event collection, and performance monitoring. Basically provide Telecom the ability to create new services based on business decisions.
      3. Illustrate needed information and behavior models that should be expressed in WSDL to enable the formal expression of semantic information relating to a service. Investigate the mapping of semantic information into syntax using languages such as the Web Ontology Language (OWL).
      4. Investigate the need for extensions to WSDL to allow the testing of composite services.
      5. Investigate the need of a common modeling scheme to express service failure modes. The approach should also allow individual bodies (OASIS in the case of WSDL) the responsibility to map those in their domain specific languages.
      6. Investigate the need for extensions to BPEL to address specific synchronous requirements for telecommunications.
      7. Investigate the need for extensions to UDDI to allow the discovery of services based on their semantics such as failure mode, testability, reliability and composability.
      8. Investigate performance requirements, high availability, predictable and low latencies, and optimization schema domains.
      9. Investigate the need to extend standards for service contracts with consideration of the NGOSS contracts work in TM Forum.
      10. Investigate the needed enhancements and extensions to existing identity management systems to interface Web 2.0 / SOA to Telecom services and networks including mobile networks and their SUM/USIM systems. Such extensions need to encompass security and privacy concerns, and exchange of user profile data.
      11. Identification of gaps - use cases whose full implementation is not covered by existing standards or models.
    2. Develop a requirement document for recommended Web Services (and REST) extensions to address the Gaps that have been identified in the use case and Gap analysis document. The TC will also collect requirements through liaisons with other SDO such as OMA, TM Forum, 3GPP and ITU-T in addition to the possible requirements that will emerge from item 1.
    3. Perform an analysis of existing solutions with respect to the Gaps identified in the previous steps. Identify what level of requirements is needed, and create a road map of needed requirements and extensions including the best SDO for specifying these requirements and the potential extensions to address them.
    4. Security, threats and Risk analysis
      • Perform Security Risk analysis and determine needed profiles for best practice. Identify technology Gaps in this area.
    5. Out of Scope

      Development of specific solutions to identified Gaps in this TC.

  4. Deliverables
    1. Use Cases and Gap Analysis Document- July 2009
    2. Analysis document for addressing identified issues - November 2009
    3. Requirements document that addresses the issues that are identified in item 1 - November 2009
  5. IPR Mode

    The TC shall operate under the RAND IPR mode.

  6. Anticipated Audience

    The output of this work will have direct benefits for the use of the Web 2.0 and SOA in Telecom. Users of such output include, but are not limited to, telecom application and service providers, middleware vendors and IT application developers.

  7. Language

    This TC will use English as the language for conducting its operations.