The Telecommunications Information Networking Architecture Consortium

Jan Forslöw

11th March 1996

The Telecommunications Information Networking Architecture Consortium (TINA-C) is a consortium which consists of 40 telecommunications and information technology companies from all over the world. The consortium started in 1993 and has a duration of five years. The goal of the TINA consortium is to define and validate a software architecture that will enable the efficient introduction and management of communications services in an era where telecommunications, computing and entertainment are merging.

The TINA architecture is based on object-oriented technology and distributed computing. OMG CORBA is used as a base for the DPE development. The TINA-DPE Object Definition Language (ODL) is defined as a strict superset of OMG CORBA IDL with additional concepts for grouping, stream interfaces and service attributes to support real-time, QoS traffic characteristics in large scale networks. TINA-C has also contributed to OMG Telecommunication Domain Task Force in several other areas such as multiple interface objects for object management and notification services to make event histories available.

The communication and management services within TINA are considered as software applications that operate in a distributed environment. During the first 2 years of the TINA Consortium, emphasis were given to work on real-time conference applications (similar to work in IETF MMUSIC working group). This has resulted in three distinct sessions: an access session, a service session and a communication session.

The access session is largely based on a user agent-provider agent relationship, possibilities to download an initial provider agent to a client, service selection mechanisms using service brokers and on-line subscription management.

The service session uses a session graph to represent the relationship between parties and resources involved in a session. DPE traders are used to locate resources and users in the session. The different participants may have different visibility (different session graphs) of the total session.

Objects in the communication session represent an abstract and service-independent view of communications resources (i.e. stream bindings that are end-to-end connectivity). Several underlying technologies are explored including RSVP/IP networks and direct ATM connectivity.

During 1995, TINA has begun more extensive work on information resource management and how to utilize the DPE support for this purpose. It is from this background that TINA-C would like to be represented/presented at the W3C/OMG Workshop on Distributed Objects and Mobile Code.

Last Modified: 01:19am , April 17, 1996