The OASIS open standards consortium is launching a project to optimize service-oriented architecture software for the telecommunications industry.
The new effort will be known as the OASIS Telecommunications Services Member Section or OASIS Telecom. Founding members of the OASIS Telecom group, which will collaborate to optimize SOA for use in the telecommunications sector, include BEA Systems, IBM, Primeton Technologies, Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya, CA, Microsoft, NEC, Nortel Networks, Oracle, Progress Software and VeriSign. OASIS announced the formation of the new group April 28.
"We recognize there are gaps that prevent today's SOA standards from delivering the complete integration and interoperability that telecommunications providers need," said Abbie Barbir, a Nortel representative in the effort who is also co-chair of the OASIS Telecom Steering Committee.
SOA is an approach to delivering IT services in a secure and manageable way that uses loosely connected, reusable and standards-based technology that can be quickly aligned to changing business needs.
OASIS is responsible for several specifications that involve Web services and SOA. OASIS is home not only to the Service Component Architecture, Service Data Objects and SOA Reference Model, but also to related standards such as the Business Process Execution Language, Web Services-Security, Web Services-Federation, Web Services-Transaction, ebXML, Security Assertion Markup Language, Universal Business Language, and Universal Description, Discovery and Integration.
OASIS officials said the goal of OASIS Telecom is to hone the Web services stack specifically for the telecom industry and to develop common data models to enable the seamless exchange of information between networks and between the network and application domains. The officials also said OASIS Telecom members will align work already in place at OASIS and in the telecom community on identity and naming.
The TM Forum, an industry association focused on systems for managing and monetizing online information, communications and entertainment services, has a similar committee in place. The TM Forum is working on its own project, known as the Service Delivery Framework, which will include management of next-generation services. According to one member of the project, who asked not to be identified, "the Service Delivery Framework is basically SOA for telco."
Stephane Maes, Oracle's representative on the OASIS group and co-chair of the OASIS Telecom Steering Committee, said, "By exposing the underlying value of the network to IT applications-while at the same time allowing the network to access IT services-OASIS Telecom can enable communications companies to redefine their role from access providers to service providers."
Meanwhile, Hewlett-Packard announced April 29 new and enhanced quality and management software designed to increase the success of mainstream SOA deployments.
To ensure that services are ready for production deployment, HP introduced new versions of its SOA testing products, HP Service Test and HP Service Test Management.
In addition, HP announced new SOA management capabilities in HP Business Availability Center for SOA, HP Diagnostics for SOA and HP SOA Policy Enforcer that together better monitor services in production, resolve operational issues and deal with changes to services, according to the company.
"Customers who want to scale their SOA-based deployments recognize they must make SOA a seamless part of their quality and management infrastructure to support business requirements," said Tim Hall, director of SOA products for HP's software unit.