OMG Internet SIG

Minutes of Meeting #24

August 23, 1999
San Jose, CA

document Internet/99-08-01
Internet SIG homepage:
co-chairs:  Shel Sutton and Craig Thompson



Craig Thompson took minutes.


Introduction and WOIA and OTAM Next Steps

Craig Thompson (co-chair of Internet SIG) introduced this meeting, briefly describing Internet SIG history (informational era, RFI and Internet Services Architecture era, and now work groups era), and that it has evolved into four working groups, two of which are active at this meeting, CSCW WG and Agent WG.  He requested anyone interested in the other two area (OTAM = information access architectures and WOIA = Web Object Integration Architectures) to let him know as the current convenors currently do not have funding to drive the efforts further.

Talk:  MITRE's Mobile Code Architecture, John McKim, MITRE, internet/99-08-02

Abstract.  By applying Sun's Jini technology to solve our customer's problems, MITRE's Mobile Code Architecture research project aspires to make device/software connectivity and interoperability simple, reliable, and standard.  While providing cost savings in administration and development, Jini also provides the tools to build more reliable, configurable, and self-healing systems to meet our customers unique needs.  Jini's approach to network integration is to group devices and software components into a single, dynamic distributed system.  The resulting federation provides simple network access and ease of administration, together with shared common services.  Using this technology, systems can be built that have the capability for their components to dynamically configure and discover themselves in the field. The architecture is targeted at federations ranging from 2 to 3 users in small groups to larger clusters of 1000 or more.  Federation members share access to services, which can be composed to perform a particular task.  To support this concept, Jini provides a programming model, which includes distributed events, transactions, and a leasing model. This talk will detail how Mobile Object technology can be used by the OMG to expand CORBA's infrastructure to include dynamic discovery and join of CORBA clients and servers within a federation.  It will also provide the basis for a discussion to investigate discovery and join mechanisms within the framework of CORBA services.

Notes.  The research focuses on how Jini can be a basis for mobile code in agent systems.  Also how CORBA and JINI can fit together.  Jini lets a service download a stub to a client so the client can use the stub to communicate with the service.  Jini is aimed at the change in computing toward embedded devices in your cell phone, microwave, car, VCR, camera,   seamless connectivity.  OS are huge due to containing all sorts of drivers, e.g. NT knows about all drivers, but does not download drivers from network.  Problem to be solved:  networking is too complex, partial failures in a network, find services based on behavior, versioning supported too for versions.  Service discovery to find new services or later versions.

Jini supports federation of JVMs.  Talked about Javaspaces, Transaction Manager, Leases, Distributed Events, Security, RMI - see  Jini is small and fits on 1.44k floppy disk.  Jini and Java are everywhere.  (Using version 1.0 from 1/99.)  Describes Jini Lookup Service where client uses lookup service to locate service stubs and allow client and service to communicate (in several ways).  Jini is so far targeted at workgroups.  Relies on Java 2 fine-grained security.  Allows for multiplicity of lookup services and services.

Showed mobile code taxonomy.  Java vs non-Java.  Demoed code mobility and dynamic composition.  Not one big MS Word but download spell checker at run time.  Trying to do this with CVW.  DARPA LEIF Light Weight Extensible Information Management.  JCAFE Jini Agent Framework. Combines Aglet and JATLITE  function on JINI.  Benefits:  protocol independence using RMI, IIOP, or sockets; client unaware and could be executed locally.  Download many services and their management.
Comment:  Jini has simple view of world and wont scale to Enterprise, step backward.  Counter:  Jini scales in several ways, jury is still out.

How Jini helps:  lease automatically cleans up, takes advantage of backup services, self-healing.

Jini contains JATlite and Aglet infrastructure already.  Agents specialize composition, mobility and other classes.  These are mobile objects w itinerary.  Why mobility:  move service to client, incrementally download.  Mobile code that is intelligent is this defn of agent.  The code contains an itinerary and sends self to another site.  This is weak mobility (not moving program counter and whole stack) but in weak mobility you know you will move and you do cleanup.  Agents run in an Agent Place which is context where agents run and provides security, runs at some place that itself is downloaded.  Their agent system defines agent places and agents and transport and unique id for agents.  Dynamism of agents and places at run time.

What needs to happen at OMG - lots of suggestions:  CORBA clients and services cannot participate in Jini discovery/join.  Jini has serialize.  Jini fits on floppy.  CORBA 2.3 provides POA and could stick IIOP stubs into Jini lookup.  Need to expand Java to IDL mapings to pass JRP stubs over IIOP.  Extend trader to store.  Add leases and tuple spaces.

Q:  MS plug and play vs. Jini:  transmit XML vs RMI Java objects.

Q:  is there work on consolidating Jini with Blue Tooth?   Blue Tooth does wireless.  JavaOne has robots wireless not using Blue Tooth but in that area.

Joint Meeting of Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) Working Group and Electronic Commerce Domain Task Force

Status Report on CSCW, Jeff Kurtz, MITRE (standing in for Henry Rothkopf)

At the March CSCW meeting Jay Carlson presented Joint Collaboration Services (JCS), which is a virtual room environments with services.  Early version of JCS in CD-ROM.  The CSCW green paper is in progress, tells how CSCW services relate to existing OMG technology.   JCS code is out there and free - see  Lockheed Martin is working on this code base.  Draft green paper planned by October, editing session at Nov and spin off task force or start RFPs.  At next meeting, edit green paper, what are good rfps, and see Lockheed Martin demo.

EC Domain Specifications Overview, Steve McConnell, ec/<get-number-from-McConnell>

Parts of spec are Session, Community, and Collaboration.  Session framework adds active objects to Task and Session (bom/98-07-05) notion of People, Places, and Things.  Community adds notions of role hierarchies and implicit roles for modeling organizations.  Also membership.  Also legal entity for credentials for EC.  Encounter has roles and rules, promises and obligations and consequences, might lead to new encounters.  Can build workflow up from this.  Three models, bilateral, multilateral negotiation (like votes, many people agreeing to one agreement) and promises.  Adding negotiation.  Specs will be completed in Dec99.  Session:  People defined by user interface, has task and message queues, having a desktop.  Places are defined by workspace.  Things are abstract resources (most anything) that contains and produces and can expand.  Lots of CORBA services work on resources.  This is relevant to security - NSA wants commercial contracts for suing for breach of promise in a security model.

Agent Working Group

See separate Agent Working Group minutes.