Our recent SpecJam gathered together a record number of participants, who made advances across multiple streams of Open API development.
TM Forum members drive progress at SpecJam
TM Forum’s June SpecJam brought together a record number of experts from telcos, software and hardware companies and system integrators. They collaborated across multiple workstreams to develop the Open APIs that will help their businesses to operate with greater agility, efficiency and scale, as well as facilitating new ways to monetize the capabilities of programmable networks.
The hybrid event met in Vienna, Austria, at the offices of NTT Data, which co-hosted it with Beyond Now.
Together the attendees, who represented some of the world’s largest telcos and their suppliers, accelerated progress in several areas including events-driven architecture, the Open Gateway initiative and event specific domains.
“The API SpecJam in Vienna was a huge success as it brought together a broad set of TM Forum members to develop new and existing APIs to ensure their robustness and ability to use them at scale," according to Aaron Boasman-Patel, Vice President, AI, Labs & Innovation at TM Forum.
The newest area of focus was Operate APIs, which is part of TM Forum’s collaboration with the GSMA Open Gateway initiative to drive the universal adoption of APIs designed to expose network capabilities and offer programmable access to operation, administration and management (OAM) capabilities. Examples of the functions covered by Operate APIs include ordering, monitoring, trouble ticketing, accounting, billing and payment.
“After the three intense days of truly interesting discussions we had in the Vienna SpecJam, we really feel it was a very productive week, giving us the basis for the Open Gateway Operate APIs,” said Jesús Iglesias Maqueda , GCTIO IT Architecture, APIfication program leader, Telefonica.
In addition, attendees addressed Context Specific APIs, which are created by taking TM Forum Core Open APIs and adapting their payload to create a simple to use, single domain API such as for 5G slicing or WLAN. Therefore, a single core API can be adapted to support many different use cases simply by adjusting its payload. They also made progress on events-driven architecture (EDA). Typically used in association with applications built based on microservices architecture, EDA enables decoupled services to communicate, so that network operators can process high volumes of complex requests in real-time, without needing point-to-point integration.
The face-to-face meeting gave suppliers the opportunity to advance on addressing specific customer requirements.
“Telcos (our customers) are increasingly asking for conformance and alignment with Open APIs, so for us as a vendor it’s important to keep up with the standards and continue to contribute. Specifically, for the v5 Gen 5 changes, the significance will be the support for Swagger (OAS) v3, which many customers have been asking for,” explained Jonathan Goldberg, Principal Integration Architect, Amdocs
Marand meanwhile was able to work directly with Orange and Amdocs on developing the Product Configuration API (TMF760), according to Boštjan Keber, VP of Product, Marand.
“Product configuration is a challenging task in omni-channel scenarios, especially if we want to avoid unnecessary data and business logic overlapping," explained Keber. "Several TM Forum members identified product configuration as a missing capability of the Product Configurator ODA component. The hands-on nature of the SpecJam event and invaluable physical presence of key people involved in the Open API initiative enabled us to make a significant leap towards [Open API] publication."
Our Open APIs are used by telcos and their partners to transform processes and business models. In May this year alone 447 organizations made 14,200 Open API downloads, and in total members have notched up 678, 715 Open API downloads.
“The standardization initiative for APIs by TM Forum is clearly becoming widely accepted, judging by the number of asset downloads and the questions that are being raised on the community,” said Amdocs' Goldberg. “The SpecJam gave an opportunity for uninterrupted work. Additionally, design dilemmas or problems with tooling could be resolved much more quickly face-to-face.”