FORCES Project Workshop
February 1999


The second FORCES workshop took place at the Angel Centre, 403 St. John Street, London EC1V4 4PL - thanks to BT as host. A workshop report is available online.

Thu. 4th February 1999

The following was only for members of the Project Management Committee.
19.00Project Management CommitteeKen Turner, StirlingMuffy Calder, Glasgow

Fri. 5th February 1999

The following topics were open to all project members and invited parties.
09.00Service MigrationDave Marples, CITELJohn Bates, Cambridge
Services are increasingly migrating to the edge of the network. With increased competition, companies are using technology to differentiate themselves from the competition, so the requirements of electronic systems are increasingly bespoke. Nowhere is this more apparent that in communications systems as vendors move functionality away from highly available, resilient, fault tolerant but difficult to modify environments of switching systems proper to devices on the periphery which are both more accessible and easier to configure. One inevitable consequence of this migration of functionality is the possibility of conflict between the requirements of the switching system proper and the edge devices connected to it. The topic will discuss this migration, the requirements it generates and the implications it has for today's and tomorrow's switching systems. The intended outputs are suitable questions for research teams to make the distributed communications systems of tomorrow possible.
10.45BillingRob Booth, BTMuffy Calder, Glasgow
Deregulation may require a network provider to bill a separate service provider, or indeed another network provider. It is important that this can be performed in near real-time. This topic will explore the issues involved.

What's in a Service? A service can be divided into two components. The core service provides users with the ability to communicate using media which meets their requirements. The service surround provides the operator and user with the capability to manage the service and ultimately exchange payment. The telecommunications market is now developing so that basic communications services are becoming ubiquitous with operators differentiating their services through innovative features in the service surround.

What are the implications of these trends for the service engineering discipline? Should we consider a service to be everything needed to manage and bill for the capability to communicate? Should service creation now focus more on the areas where rapid innovation is required such as billing and tailoring services for specific markets?

13.30Middleware and CORBAGordon Blair and Geoff Coulson, LancasterKen Turner, Stirling
This will take the form of a debate, with Gordon Blair and Geoff Coulson leading the arguments for and against.
15.15TINAJohn Evans, Marconi CommunicationsEvan Magill, Strathclyde
The TINA consortium has reinvented itself during 1998. With the wind-down of the TINA-C core team of researchers, TINA-C now has a new modus operandi. The consortium is increasingly exploitation-oriented. However the methodology of the new consortium gives academics greater opportunities for involvement. With the TINA-C results seeping through to standards bodies, commercial organisations are starting to commercially exploit the early versions of the TINA-C architectures. Will TINA conformance testing be required in the future?
16.45Concluding RemarksEvan Magill, Strathclyde

Attendance List

John Bates, University of Cambridge (5th Feb only)
Gordon Blair, University of Lancaster (5th Feb only)
Rob Booth, BT
Muffy Calder, University of Glasgow
Graham Clark, Marconi Communications (5th Feb only)
Bernie Cohen, City University (5th Feb only)
Geoff Coulson, University of Lancaster (5th Feb only)
John Derrick, Kent
John Evans, Marconi Communications
Richard Kett, BT
Mario Kolberg, University of Strathclyde (5th Feb only)
Evan Magill, University of Strathclyde
Dave Marples, CITEL
Neil Mason, Marconi Communications (5th Feb only)
Deborah Miller, EPSRC (5th Feb only)
Ken Turner, University of Stirling

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