is this Project about?
Background and rationale
Along with the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), one of the most recently talked about topics within the Telecom/IT industry community is the subject of Service Delivery Platforms (SDPs). These platforms aim to enable Telecom operators provide a complete environment for creation, deployment, execution, management and billing for a wide range of value added content and services. Services deployed using these platforms will be agnostic to the underlying network technology. In addition, SDPs aim to open up the operators network in a secure robust manner such that 3rd party application developers can provide a potentially vast array of content and services to the operators subscribers.
Many of the capabilities needed to build these new services are scattered among different Service Delivery Platforms (SDPs): real-time charging, location, presence, buddy list management, streaming, etc. The challenge we face is how to expose these capabilities of the different platforms, and access them in a uniform way to compose new services.
From the perspective of a developer (internal or 3rd party), the problem can be viewed as the need to integrate the different architectures that govern enterprise and communication environments, an important consideration, given the convergence of content and the traditional telco environment. This requires a new, more flexible, architecture and a common communication framework that will support interoperability between these two diverse worlds. A leading approach is to use a Service Oriented Architecture (SoA), with XML/WSDL as the underlying communication framework.
SoA is a software architecture involving loosely coupled, location independent services generally using the so-called "find-bind-execute" paradigm for the communication between SoA service providers, SoA service users and a SoA service registry. Any given service may assume a client or a server role with respect to another service, depending on situation. An essential characteristic of an SoA is that it provides published contract-based, platform and technology neutral service interfaces. This means that the interface of a service is independent of its implementation. In practice, interfaces are defined using ubiquitous IT standards such as XML, HTTP, SOAP, and WDSL.
Major goals of an SoA in comparison with other software architectures used in the past are to enable faster adaptation of software to changing business needs, cost reduction in the integration of new services, as well as in the maintenance of existing services. SDPs are a perfect match for applying an SoA architecture, dealing with a collection of services that collaborate with each other to provide new composite applications.
A major study output is to evaluate how a Service Oriented Architecture (SoA) can change the way new services are created and managed, both from the technical and business perspectives, and see how loosely coupled integration approaches can reduce the complexity and hence the cost of integrating and managing distributed service platforms.
What are the main objectives of this Project?
The main objectives of this study are: