OMG Internet Platform Special Interest Group

Minutes of Meeting #12

Montreal, Canada
23 June 1997
OMG Document internet/97-06-01

OMG Internet Platform SIG homepage



Background on this meeting

At previous meetings of the Internet SIG, we issued an RFI for Internet Services which resulted in a collection of recommendations made to ORBOS and Common Facilities Task Forces for new RFPs that would help connect OMG technology to the Internet and World Wide Web.  Work on several of those recommendations is now on going in the task forces and has resulted in their issuing several RFPs.  We held back two areas of work within the Internet SIG that appear significant but that need some better understanding to mature the idea bases before taking these forward further: This meeting report covers progress on OTAM, compositional architectures, a report on the US DoD NIMA Services Architecture, and discussion at a joint meeting of the Security and Internet Platform SIGs, as well as the status of coordination work with ORMSC.

Object Transfer and Manipulation (OTAM) Facility, Shel Sutton, MITRE

Shel presented a first draft (skeleton) of the OTAM Facility White Paper. Discussion was on what the idea behind OTAM is and how it is different from Compound Documents, Object-based File Systems, Persistence, . OTAM is partly motivated by an earlier specification called FTAM for File Transfer and Manipulation.

There needs to be some additional motivation up front in the current paper draft and the following were suggested:

There was some confusion over whether OTAM is a service or facility.  From the discussion, OTAM is a  facility in that it seems to cover or make use of Persistence, Trader, Externalization, Registration, Publish and Subscribe, Data Interchange, possibly others.  We need to nail OTAM's architecture down further.


We need a section on prior art and related work.

We need authors to fill in the document - some are assigned. Shel will broadcast the outline to the people who volunteered to fill in sections.

Thought:  the DARPA I*3 Architecture is providing an OTAM-like reference architecture and we should arrange for them to talk about their work at a future OMG meeting. (tech transfer opportunity).

Thought:  OTAM is probably a bad name.  It is a pretty narrow derivative from FTAM which did not make huge waves in industy.

Compositional Architectures, Craig Thompson

Thompson presented on "Compositional Architectures" (no foils) covered the following topics.  These are only sketched here but longer mini-green papers on some of these topics should be available by the next OMG meeting in Dublin and some of this work will be presented again at the ORMSC meeting in Dublin (see below). The presentation covered ideas from

NIMA Services Architecture, Shel Sutton

See presentation (

NIMA is the new DoD National Imagery and Mapping Agency that is the result of an organizational merger of DMA and some other US Federal mapping and imagery agencies.  Its budget is in the $B.  Ron Burns is Chief Architect for NIMA's next generation software architecture. Gary Burns (Booze Allen) and Shel Sutton (MITRE, an FFR&DC Federally Funded R&D Organization) support Ron. NIMA's vision is to lower its costs and produce better service via a shift in business plan from one where they gather and store much data and do most of the processing to deliver a suite of information products (maps, for instance) to diverse customers to one where suppliers do most of this work.  They eventually  want to purchase 80% of their data and software from COTS sources (commercial off-the-shelf) while still retaining the agility for quick reaction responses to an increasing variety of customers.  They believe a services architecture and component assembly holds the key, as well as a public process of engaging with industry in developing such an architecture.

The presentation covered NIMA's business motivation for standardized components. The architecture presented will be the basis for a multi-billion dollar shift. NIMA deals in level one data (in OGC terms), not raw data and sensor analysis but data minimally processed and geo-positioned. A goal is to empower end users to cut-and-paste the functionality they need based on visual development tools where most of the data and software components are commercially supplied.  The architecture is aligned with OMG's and also the Open GIS Consortium's (OGC), which is aligned with OMG via the OMG GIS SIG, which Shel chairs.

Geospatial Information Access and Catalog Services are going to be required on 20 July in future acquisitions. Shel mentioned that it is hard for MITRE or the government to push NIMA specs into OGC since they are not vendors and can't team with vendors or it shows favoritism.

NIMA hope to make this transition in 3-5 years. NIMA is still working on getting a workable transition strategy. The aim is to be component-based by 2003. So NIMA understands that the only way to deliver the next-generation for the reduced $ is to go the components route. Number of NIMA seats is potentially 1/2M minimum (includes division level in field and logistics). But can go down to individual soldier with head mounted displays. Currently there are 3M US forces. 1/6 to 2/3 might use this.

Aside:  Shel mentioned that IBM announced last week a Universal Virtual Machine (UVM) that supports Basic, Java, C++, Smalltalk - available late this fall.

Joint Meeting of Internet Platform SIG and Security Platform SIG

At the last OMG meeting in Stressa, two members of the Security Platform SIG recommended a joint meeting of the Security and Internet PSIGs.  Unfortunately, there was no agenda set up.  So Craig Thompson (co-chair of Internet SIG) started the discussion rolling by relating that Internet SIG had issued an RFI, analyzed responses and found the following overlaps relevant to security.  A basic theme of the discussion was that the Internet world is large and heterogeneous and the OMG world is just now moving from a LAN-centered mindset (40 workstations on a LAN) to a global WAN mindset (millions of users on gatewayed ORBs) as Netscape/Visigenics, Javasoft, and others makes IIOP/CORBA/Java Beans available pervasively.  That means we have to think bigger (massively more scalably) than before sooner  (than we are ready to, give the immaturity of ORB services implementations).  Here are some areas involving security where we have to do some serious work soon: While there was some discussion on each topic, the main idea was to get these areas of intersection between Internet SIG and Security SIG out onto the table so they could find their way onto the appropriate roadmaps, for instance to help move CORBAsec to the next level.  Thompson promised to write some mini-green papers on several of these topics for the Dublin OMG meeting hopefully giving others a document around which a set of relevant ideas can aggregate.  Thompson believes this thread of ideas on Scaling the OMA needs to get rolled in to discussions with the OMA Reference Model Working Group, which is working on OMA-NG (our name for that effort -- to provide OMG direction for the next five years) and has arranged to begin that interaction.  The Internet SIG and Security SIG decided to meet together again at Dublin (2 hour slot).  Bill Herndon ( asked that notes on the joint meeting be forwarded to him.  The above notes are also being forwarded to DARPA (Sami Saydjari), which is working on a Security Reference Architecture, to encourage a technical interchange and coordination meeting with DARPA on these subjects at a future OMG meeting.

Report of ORBOS and Common Facilities and Interactions with ORMSC

Joint meeting of ORBOS Task Force, Common Facilities Task Force, and Internet PSIG.  As co-chairs, Thompson and Sutton gave short briefs to the joint meeting of ORBOS and Common Faciliites on Tuesday morning to keep them in  the loop on Internet SIG work.  Common Facilities is organizationally recharted to include not only its old work but also new work on services or facilities that result from Internet-Web related topics.  So the Firewalls RFP, which was also presented at this joint meeting was voted on and passed and assigned to Common Facilities, which will manage it RFP process though both groups will review its results.

OMA Reference Model Working Group and OMRMSC.  Thompson participated in the OMA RM WG meeting and volunteered to bring them mini-green papers (on OMG architecture) on the topics related to composability to the Dublin meeting.  Both Kevin Tyson, chair of the OMA RM WG, and  Jishnu Mukerji <>, chair of, the parent committee of RMWG, agreed these would be potentially useful for discussion and Jishnu will reserve a 45 minute slot on the ORMSC agenda for discussions on compositional architectures at the Dublin OMG meeting.