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Product Inventory vs Product Ordering APIs

  • 1.  Product Inventory vs Product Ordering APIs

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Aug 12, 2020 08:27
    We have a Policy Control and Charging application that needs to communicate with Northbound applications like CRM. We want to use Open APIs to subscribe and unsubscribe Product Offers.
    We are confused whether to implement Product Inventory or Product Ordering API for CRM to consume.

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    sumit sati
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  • 2.  RE: Product Inventory vs Product Ordering APIs

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Aug 12, 2020 08:53
    Hi Sumit

    While it is true that Product Inventory has CRUD operations, in general you would not update a product directly from an external source, because updating the product inventory is simply a technical update in a persistent store.

    I'm assuming that your system wants to be target for the change, i.e. you want to be called as part of order execution

    CRM or Order Capture would create a Product Order (TMF622) would to send whatever changes you need to be provisioned. The Order execution flow would do things such as the following:
    • Validate the product order
    • Submit the product order for delivery
    • Possibly decompose the product order into services and submit a service order for provisioning
    • Possibly update the billing and charging systems with the relevant pricing and financial aspects - this would be a call into your system
    There has been some discussion in the Open API team about which API should be exposed by Billing/Charging - but currently I don't think we have any alternative to TMF622 so I guess that's what you would have to expose. Perhaps @Ludovic Robert has additional insights.

    Hope it helps​

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    Jonathan Goldberg
    Amdocs Management Limited
    Any opinions and statements made by me on this forum are purely personal, and do not necessarily reflect the position of the TM Forum or my employer.
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  • 3.  RE: Product Inventory vs Product Ordering APIs

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Aug 18, 2020 11:22
    Hello Jonathan,

    Just to add to Sumit's query and the Use case :

    As a Application PCC (Policy and Charging), This Application has Predefined Product Offer (with Package / Bungles of Data, Voice and SMS Services with attributes like no. of GB, Min and SMS with certain validity) already available (pushed from PLM) in this application.

    Now, Need for the API (Product Order or Product Inventory) is to Subscribe and/or UnSubscribe such Product Offer with Subscriber (MSISDN) from CRM (front-end channels).

    based on Subscriber's Subscription , this  PCC application will have buckets associated which can be consumed/used by this MSISDN using network components.

    So, requirement is to finalize the API structure either Product Ordering or Product Inventory Management.

    Next question is about list of such Subscriptions : Once this is Subscribed for above scenario, which API shall be used to list all such Subscriptions Subscribed on PCC.

    I hope my requirement is clear.

    Thanks
    Vishal Shah
    Sterlite Technologies.

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    Vishal Shah
    Sterlite Technologies Limited
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  • 4.  RE: Product Inventory vs Product Ordering APIs

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Aug 21, 2020 17:48
    Hi Jonathon,
    Just to add to Sumit's query :

    our PCC(Policy and Charging) application contains Product Offers containing Packages of Data, Voice and SMS Service with certain amount of quota as in GB, Mins and Events.
    Requirement here is to Subscriber or unSubscribe such product Offer through   CRM(Frontend channels) via WOM(Work oder Mangement ) module towards PCC application.

    On PCC, Such Product Offers are predefined and will have parameters like buckets, validity, priority of consumption, Price, and other offer related parameters. Such offers are to be subscribed by above front-end channels through WOM.

    SO, first query which API to be used between CRM(WOM) -> PCC : Either Product Order Management or Product Inventory Management APIs.

    Second Query : if such Product Offer configurations including Package (data, voice, sms) and other parameters are to be pushed towards PCC from PLM / Unified Product Cataloge, then which API should be used ?? Product Inventory Management is right candidate for this requirement??

    Third Query : Now, once these Product Offers Subscribed by MSISDN, which set of APIs to be used to fetch the subscriptions of such Product Offers.

    Forth Query : To fetch the balance against each Subscriptions of subscribed Product Offers shall we use "TMF677_Usage_Consumption_API".

    Kindly give your views.

    I hope above information is clear.

    Thanks
    Vishal Shah
    Sterlite Technologies

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    Vishal Shah
    Sterlite Technologies Limited
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  • 5.  RE: Product Inventory vs Product Ordering APIs

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Aug 13, 2020 01:00
    You may be interested to look at the Business Operating System (BOS) Catalyst (part 2) where we describe integrating SigScale OCS with other BSS components.  The CDS presentation is still available here (registration required).

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    Vance Shipley
    SigScale
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  • 6.  RE: Product Inventory vs Product Ordering APIs

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Aug 13, 2020 15:22
    Edited by Sri Jagadish Baddukonda Aug 13, 2020 15:22
    Hi Sumit,

    For your purpose, it should be the Product Ordering APIs.
    Product Inventory is for  PLM / Product catalog management where offer and Spec creation, Offer and Spec updation can happen from external sources especially in case of 3rd party offerings.

    Regards,

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    Sri Jagadish Baddukonda
    Hansen Technologies
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  • 7.  RE: Product Inventory vs Product Ordering APIs

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Aug 14, 2020 09:25
    Hi Sumit,

    Considering the use case that you have mentioned here (and If I am getting it correct) - you want to fetch product details and their specifications. And then later on use the details for something. If this is the case they you need to you Product Catalogue.

    If that is not true then please do describe the use case.


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    Jignes karnik
    Prodapt North America, Inc
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  • 8.  RE: Product Inventory vs Product Ordering APIs

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Aug 17, 2020 03:09
    hi
    i want to implement APIs that can subscribe and unsubscribe offers from charging or pcrf system. And i m divided between Inventory & Ordering

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    sumit sati
    Sterlite Technologies Limited
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  • 9.  RE: Product Inventory vs Product Ordering APIs

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Aug 19, 2020 01:16
    Thanks all for this very interesting discussion.

    Just floating a balloon here, but we can see that the Open API makes a clear distinction, in Service and Resource domains, between the inventory (which can be viewed as a simple persistence store, with no external impact), as against the operational system (network service and resource). Thus:
    • for Service we have TMF640 Service Activation, which updates the network, as against TMF638, which updates the inventory - both use the same REST entity model Service
    • for Resource we have TMF702 Resource Activation and TMF664 Resource Function Activation, which update network or software resources, as against TMF639, which updates the inventory - both use the same REST entity model Resource
    An additional distinction between these two classes of API is that the inventory APIs are essentially synchronous, like any database update, while the network updates could be synchronous or asynchronous, and you need to set up a Monitor to receive notification of completion. But you don't need the full apparatus and baggage of an order.

    So maybe we need a new API, Product Activation, which would do the trick for product-level updates in billing, charging, and PCRF systems, and any other product-level system that is more than a simple inventory.

    Thoughts? Or am I fantasizing?

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    Jonathan Goldberg
    Amdocs Management Limited
    Any opinions and statements made by me on this forum are purely personal, and do not necessarily reflect the position of the TM Forum or my employer.
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  • 10.  RE: Product Inventory vs Product Ordering APIs

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Aug 19, 2020 01:49
    Hi Jonathan,
    Just to add more details on this and giving my nod to this "Product Activation" approach:

    I agree with the approach for adding new API "Product Activation" as at PCC system this is kind of Product (Preconfigured with buckets) offers is available and its instance is to be activated with certain Subscriber / MSISDN in Mobile or Fix Line network.
    So, yes, Product Activation shall be new approach on such systems which can be thought of as its available for Resource and Services in network activation.

    Along with Only Activation against Subscriber, Below are the use cases :
    - Activation with Product Offer
    - Update the Product Offer (Change of status, expiry date, priority for consumption, etc.. )
    - Remove of this Activated Product Offer
    - List of activated Product Offers against MSISDN or along with certain filters like status, Product Offer, activation start, end dates..

    More thoughts.. ?

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    Vishal Shah
    Sterlite Technologies Limited
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  • 11.  RE: Product Inventory vs Product Ordering APIs

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Aug 20, 2020 01:36
    Yes @Jonathan Goldberg that makes a good deal of sense. We have Activation APIs for Service and Resource ​why wouldn't we have one for Product? SigScale would adopt this where we now use TMF637 to provision Products (subscriptions) into OCS tables (i.e. in our web components user interface).

    However federation with external Product, Service and Resource Catalog/Inventory remains the ideal solution.

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    Vance Shipley
    SigScale
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  • 12.  RE: Product Inventory vs Product Ordering APIs

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Aug 21, 2020 05:59
    Hi everybody,

    I appreciate that very interesting discussion. I would like to bring the focus to an other aspect: Products can be seen as the commercial part of the telco business. Signing an offering has the sense of setting up a "product". Consequently the product contains relations to offerings, prices, start dates and end dates and further commercial aspects. From this point of view, a product is in place if the 2 parties accepted it, even if it's not yet fulfilled. (Of course, products have as well relations to resources and services which can be seen as "this product is realized by…". And the existence of these relations are part of the fulfillment state.)

    Fulfillment can be seen as equivalent to provide the needed resources (logical & physical) and to activate the services for the given customer.

    In this way I would think, that there might be lightweight implementations of TMF622 Product Ordering with an OrderItemActionType like "activate" or resp. "modify.activate" or "modify.<<change a product state according the business needs>>" Such a change would be conformant to the extension rules of APIs.

    In general, I would keep the use of "activation" to services (resources) and not to products since the character of products is (more or less) that of an contract and "activation" might have a more technical meaning.






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    Dr. Lucius Gruber
    Deutsche Telekom AG

    Please take this as my personal opinion.
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