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AD HOC Service Configuration Tools

Objective

To investigate the influence of end-user service configuration on the design of IBC services and service architectures by:

- Analysing the service configuration tasks undertaken by different users in the projected chain of user/provider relationships for IBC services.
- Making recommendations as to the optimal distribution of such tasks on the basis of maximum usability and technical feasibility.
- Specifying and demonstrating a set of tools for end-user service configuration which will maximise service usability and hence promote usage. This goal can be further refined: To develop auto-analysis tools for both the End User and the 3rd party Service Provider; to develop a tool to instantiate the output of the auto-analysis tools in a realisable service provision environment embedding the configuration requirements; to demonstrate and evaluate these tools.

Objectives for 1995 include:
- To produce a technical book documenting the project's results and to promote the results at standardisation activity meetings.
- To further enhance the toolset to provide graphical control of services, present service management information from the service provider and improve the interface between the toolset and the network and service provider.
The main objective of the research was to investigate the influence of user service and configuration management on the design of integrated broadband communications (IBC) services and service architectures by:
analyzing the service configuration tasks undertaken by different users in the projected chain of user provider relationships for IBC services;
making recommendations on the optimal distribution of such tasks on the basis of maximum usability and technical feasibility;
specifying and demonstrating a set of tools for service configuration management which will maximize usability and hence promote usage.

Key issues in the research include:
the distribution of service configuration management (SCM) tasks in terms of organizational roles and responsibilities;
an assessment of usability in terms of the complexity of enabling tasks, on the basis of various options for distributing SCM tasks among different users in an organization;
assessment of architectural and target platform constraints upon task distribution options and possible tool support;
assessment of the scope for intelligent support tools for different classes of user;
analysis of specific user needs in terms of enabling task presentation and dialogue.
Technical Approach

The project workplan is based on the concept of defining user requirements for service configuration management and conducting a usability analysis of them. The results of these preliminary analyses are then use to produce a functional specification for the ASCOT toolset. This specification was influenced by the service and network architecture work, which ensured that the implementation work was compatible with emerging RACE consensus. Implementation commenced in 1993, and a public demonstration and user evaluation of the toolset were given in 1994. Work has been extended into 1995 to further develop the user interfaces, refining the toolset for wider demonstration and use, including R2114 DRAGON and future ACTS projects. Further work includes extending dissemination through publication and input to standards bodies.

ASCOT builds on the work described in CFS B B310, B311, C110, C210, C220, C230, C300 and D110. A close relationship is maintained with other projects in the project line, particularly R2076 (BOOST), R2092 (LUSI), R2021 (DESSERT), R2049 (CASSIOPEIA), R2114 (DRAGON).

Key Issues

- Distribution of Service Configuration Management (SCM) tasks in terms of organisational roles and responsibilities.
- Assessment of Usability in terms of the complexity of Enabling Tasks, on the basis of various options for distributing SCM Tasks among different users in an organisation.
- Assessment of architectural and target platform constraints upon task distribution options and possible tool support.
- Assessment of the scope for intelligent support tools for different classes of user.
- Analysis of specific user needs in terms of enabling task presentation and dialogue.

Expected Impact

The work will have considerable significance for service providers in that requirements for configurability will have a major impact on service architecture standards.

Coordinator

MARI Group Ltd
Address
Mari House Old Town Hall West Street
NE8 1HE Gateshead
United Kingdom

Participants (5)

Alcatel SEL AG
Germany
Address
Lorenzstraße 10
70435 Stuttgart
Deutsche Bundespost Telekom (DBP)
Germany
Address
Am Kavalleriesand 3
6100 Darmstadt
Octacon Ltd
United Kingdom
Address
York House 102-108 Borough Road
TS1 2HJ Middlesbrough
Sarin Telematica SpA
Italy
Address
Ss 148 Pontina Km 29,100
40 Pomezia
UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON
United Kingdom
Address
26 Bedford Way
WC1H OAP London