Fixed connection networks, by design, provide an effective platform for file and resource sharing or group interaction within (relatively limited) local areas. The architecture of these networks is optimized for this environment–assuming the presence of a dedicated, high-bandwidth, highly reliable network connection which incurs no incremental usage charge. When applications developed for these networks are deployed to large numbers of users who are not continuously connected by a high-bandwidth, highly reliable network connection, they exhibit inherent limitations that become increasingly evident as the number of users increases.
The architecture of fixed connection network systems does not provide a complete range of capabilities required for effective enterprise-scale wireless and mobile computing solutions. They lack the economy of operation, transparency of underlying management during a connection employing unused bandwidth, ease-of-use, and administrative flexibility required to automate core commercial business processes successfully for large numbers of wireless and mobile users.
One characteristic that all network connections have, but that becomes more evident and pressing in an occasionally connected model, is the need for session management.
During the research many interviewees identified the session management layer as a key component of wireless data interoperability in the enterprise environment. The Open Group believes that if a standardized approach to session management can be established, significant progress can be made to accelerate the deployment of mobile data into the enterprise environment.
The Open Group’s newly created Mobile Management Forum (MMF) should leverage its membership of wireless suppliers and enterprise buyers to work with the vendors of existing management products serving enterprise use of wireless and mobile computing in order to agree to a Common Session Management Layer (CSML) which would define interoperability and compatibility of architectures.
Specifically, the functional requirements of session management should be abstracted to form a general, open architectural layer to support the wide range of other management services such as data synchronization, file and software distribution, accounting, security, content distribution/transformation, and so on. It is critical that the session management standard as implemented ensures interoperability by having open external interfaces for the support of multiple applications and is supported by the major players in the wireless and mobile market.
To deliver this result, the Mobile Management Forum
should seek to develop a standard reference model for session management. The
standard reference model should make it possible for solutions providers to
automate and manage the exchange of information between applications and
databases that reside on host systems with wireless or mobile users, regardless
of their location, or the wireless device type they are using.
This would need, among other things, to include several
· A complete architecture must be independent of the transport layer and accommodate common transport protocols.
· It should offer consistent reporting of failures and allow for automated restart of a session in case of any failure.
· Remote control of wireless devices without a direct connection is required for remote device support.
· The protocol should provide a set of implementation rules that support and bridge the range and levels of application development protocols employed to build a solution.
The protocol should also offer open integration for most existing computing and communication environments in order to leverage existing customer and third-party investments in these technologies, while providing interoperability between various disparate members of a trading community.