11 February 2005

Proposing the SAMS Open Source Reference Implementation Project

The JSR-212 also known as Server APIs for Mobile Services: Messaging. Briefly, this specification defines a protocol agnostic messaging API for composing, sending and receiving short messages and multimedia messages. The API shall work on the J2SE and J2EE. From the brief description, a few issues must need to be resolved. First issue is, by protocol agnostic, does this mean that SAMS does not care or does not need to consider what protocol the carrier is using? Does it co-exist with SMSC protocols like CIMD2 or EMI/UCP? Is it also agnostic to SMPP or Jabber? This is some issues that must be clarified with the Spec Lead.

But Section 2.3 of the Original Request states "...With a standard Java messaging API developers can implement value-added mobile services and applications independent on the underlying network infrastructure and protocols...", with common sense this has become a little bit clearer.

Legal issues may also arise in the Specification's license, as stated in the Spec docs "...Specification Lead hereby grants You a fully-paid, non-exclusive, non-transferable, worldwide, limited license (without the right to sublicense)...". Does the no-right-to-sub-license extends to the reference implementation or it's limited to the Specification only? If it's for the Specification only, then an open source reference implementation is legally acceptable.

This will be an extensive implementation there 27 common requirements to meet and one of which is the support for single-sign on, so JAAS will come into play. And there are 9 messaging requirements which are common to all SMSCs. There are non-requirements as well, it includes service billing and charging specific solutions(Yehey!!) So SPCCs and CSPs is not replaced. SAMS is starting to smell like Kannel now. :)

Philippines is good testing region for implementing open source SAMS, since over 60% of global SMS messages are handled here. So a Philippine made and tested Reference Implementation can become a universal measuring stick in checking for reliability and stability for any SAMS RI vendor, aside from the compatibility tool kit that Nokia specified. What will be the development requirements in order for this open source SAMS project to succeed? Developers working for the 3 wireless telcos are encouraged to contribute in private or in public depending on how their respective company will look at SAMS, whether it's an opportunity or a threat. An expert group is optional which will consists of technical(highly) representatives from 3 telcos and several content providers who will collectively benefit from the uniform method of integration, the purpose of this group is of course find a win-win course of actions mainly for the consumers. Hopefully, no traditional politics, jealousy of whatever form will get on the way. But the most important requirement is to be obtain a test facility where the implementation will be initially tested, stabilized and deployed.

Business Impact

A telco that can immediately adapt to SAMS has the edge of providing more products and services to the consumers in shorter launch times. Content Providers foreign and domestic can easily integrate and deploy their products to any telcos that implements SAMS this translates to more businesses being generated in shorter time because less negotiations are taking place in order to integrate. Bottomline, the consumer wins and better+cheaper service=better profits is the formula of the competition. Cheaper? Yes, products that conforms to standards and uniformly produced are cheaper than non-standards and tightly-customized.

It is perfectly the right time that this project should start from here.

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