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Specification of APIs

The Application Programme Interfaces (APIs) at the terminal of the MEMO system enable applications to be developed to access broadcast and interactive services transmitted over DAB networks. The results include a high level API that enables the MEMO requirements to be met and that supports services from other networks (specifically internet and DVB), together with a low level API that makes DAB services via standard BSD sockets; hiding the complexity of DAB.

In overview, the DAB terminal is divided into three functional layers. The bottom layer consists of transport services and associated name services and is accessed via the low level API. The top layer consists of applications that are using the DAB services, via the high level API. These applications may or may not be MEMO aware and include Internet and DVB (DSM-CC) applications. In between the two API layers there is a service and session management layer. This layer contains functionality that would otherwise have been contained in the applications themselves, thus allowing applications to be less complex and more easily developed. Applications can access the low level API directly and this is the case for legacy Internet applications.

Where appropriate, existing/standard APIs have been incorporated as follows:
-Winsock 2 for windows platforms (BSD sockets with extensions for non-windows).
-GSS for security and identity management.
-DSM-CC User-User Library (from MPEG 2).
-Profile management from the ACTS On-The-Move project.

This means that some existing applications and services can be supported directly. It also presents application programmers with familiar interfaces, thus speeding application development.

It has been necessary to introduce some new ideas. In particular, a DAB address family is defined, enabling applications to access broadcast services via sockets. These addresses represent the locations of a service or object within a DAB ensemble and sockets may be connected’ to these addresses in order to access these services.

The Specification of APIs document is structured in seven sections. The first section provides an introduction and the second section gives a summary of requirements for the MEMO system and services. The subsequent section gives an overview of the MEMO terminal architecture and identifies functional entities and protocols within the terminal. Following this, the remaining four sections define the APIs and give scenarios for their use; the high-level API and associated scenarios being presented first.

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