Principles of TINA
TINA is intended to be applied to all parts of
telecommunications and information systems: for example, terminals (personal computers,
etc.), transport servers (switching systems, routers, etc.), service servers (VoD, web,
etc.) and management servers (authentication, billing, etc.).
Reference Points are defined to specify conformance requirements for TINA products.
The architecture is based on four principles.
1) Object-oriented analysis and design,
3) decoupling of software components,
4) separation of concern.
The purpose of these principles is to insure interoperability, portability and reusability
of software components and independence from specific technologies, and to share the
burden of creating and managing a complex system among different business stakeholders,
such as consumers, service providers, and connectivity providers.
Object-oriented analysis captures the complexity of a system from different angles and
breaks it down into a set of models. (Refer to the Model and Reference Point Section).
Distribution of service software components over different parts of the network
accommodates traffic characteristics, network load or survivability, and specific customer
demand. The distribution is supported by the Distributed Processing Environment (DPE).
Software components are decoupled from each other so that a change in one component
due to a change in underlying technology (standards, languages, programs, materials,
networks, etc.) would not affect other components.
TINA provides for two major separations of concern
The first separation is between applications and the environment (i.e., DPE) on which they
run. The second is separation of applications into the service-specific part and the
generic management and control part.
The latter interacts with transport and other elements.
According to the separation principles, TINA is divided into the following three
(sub-)architectures: Computing Architecture defines modeling concepts and the DPE. The
DPE resides in heterogeneous pieces of equipment, and, by hiding their distribution, makes
them function as a single system for applications. The TINA DPE is based on OMG's CORBA
with adaptation for telecommunications requirements.
Service Architecture defines a set of principles for providing
It uses a notion of session to offer a coherent view of the various events and
relationships taking place during the provision of services.
Network Architecture describes a generic, technology-independent model
for setting up connections and managing telecommunication networks.
TINA defines a set of reference points, derived from the
TINA Business Model. Conformance to these reference points insures interoperability
between TINA products. TINA captures the complexity of a system using a number of models,
similar to ODP viewpoints.
- The Business Model describes the different parties
involved in service provisioning and their relationship to each other. A small number of
roles are defined, which reflect the major business separations of a complex
telecommunications and information market: consumer, retailer, broker, third party service
provider, content provider, and connectivity provider. The Reference Points
comprises a set of interfaces describing the interactions taking place between these
roles. For example, the Reference Point "Retailer" describes the relation
between the consumer and the retailer.
- The Information Model describes information-bearing
entities, their relations to each other, and the constraints and rules governing their
behavior. These are described using the OMT modeling techniques.
- The Computational Model describes computational
objects and their relations. The Object Definition Language (ODL) has been developed to
help define computational objects. It is an extension of OMG's IDL.
Computing Architecture defines modeling concepts and the
The DPE is the environment that supports realization of applications described in the
computational model (Fig. 2).
The DPE assures a certain number of distribution transparencies (e.g., location, access).
Thus, computational objects for applications interact with each other via the DPE without
the need to consider details of the native computing and communications environment
The DPE services and facilities can be distributed over multiple nodes connected by the
Kernel Transport Network (kTN). Both DPE nodes and kTNs are logical entities and can be
implemented in a variety of ways.
The TINA DPE is based on OMG technology such as CORBA. It extends OMG technology to
provide for functions specific to telecommunications, such as stream ( i.e., continuous
information flows) communications, the composition of multiple interface objects (e.g.,
one interface object for usage and another for management) and notification service. Some
of these ideas are being introduced to OMG's Telecommunication Domain Task Force, which is
in the process of adopting it. TINA-C aims at maximum alignment of its DPE specifications
with those of OMG.
The Service Architecture defines a set of principles for
providing services. It is based on the following principles:
- The notion of session is used. It is an important
original concept of TINA. A session represents the information used by all processes
involved in the provision of a service for a certain duration. For example, in a
multipoint conference, the information about connections, charging and user profiles may
change during the conference as participants join and leave. The session helps keep such
information coherent throughout the conference. A session can also be very simple (e.g., a
web search). The notion of session is further refined to allow for separation of access,
service usage, and communications.
- Objects are separated into generic objects (common to all
services) and service-specific objects (representing service logic, data, management,
Several sessions are defined, corresponding to different
types of activities (Fig. 3):
- The access session corresponds to the establishment
of the terms and conditions of the session (e.g., authentication, selection of service
profile) during the connection of a user to a system. It allows the user to start service
sessions, combine sessions, and participate in several services.
- The service session corresponds to the provision of
the service itself (e.g., moderated multi-party conference with information retrieval
capabilities) and insures overall coherence of control and management. It is divided into:
- the user service session that manages the state of
each user's activity (local view) and resource attributes (e.g., charging context, current
- the provider service session that contains the
service logic and offers the functions allowing the user to join a session, to be invited
in a session, etc. (global view).
- The communication session provides an abstract view
of the actual transport network connections. This is described in the Network Architecture
The Network Architecture defines a generic
technology-independent model for setting up connections and managing telecommunications
networks. It inherits concepts used in ITU-T and other standards bodies. It extends these
concepts to integrate network control and management software for different network
The Network Architecture has the following three layers:
- The Communication Session layer provides
service-independent interfaces for the service components to manage end-to-end
communication at an abstract level. Therefore, this layer concerns both network and
terminal parts of the communication.
- The Connectivity Session layer abstracts all the
different network technologies and provides technology-independent interfaces for the
communication session layer to interconnect network-level termination points. It also
handles interworking between different network technologies.
- A Layer Network is an abstract generalization of each
specific network technology. It deals with the setup and management of connection within a
specific network technology.
For more information, look at Specifications.