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Integration COM - SOM using TMF Open API - Does Product Inventory have to persist references to Service Inventory items?

  • 1.  Integration COM - SOM using TMF Open API - Does Product Inventory have to persist references to Service Inventory items?

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Jul 23, 2021 09:58
    Hello everyone,

    I'm dealing with a BSS transformation project, where it's required to set up a future-proof integration between COM and SOM modules.

     

    Following steps are usually executed upon a customer onboarding request:

    • COM will send a request using TMF641 to SOM containing a list of services to be fulfilled (e.g. offers to be activated in charging system, network profile to be enabled, …)
    • Once the provisioning is completed SOM will reply to COM with the result (service order status notification) and also the IDs related to the services instantiated inside SR.

     Afterwards, assuming the customer wants to amend or remove one of the service previously instantiated, what would be your "preferred" approach, either:

    • COM to send directly a reference of the service to be amended/updated --> It implies COM maintains locally a link between commercial offer instance and service instances
    • COM to send the commercial offer instance and SOM to look up from service inventory which are the associated services and act on them accordingly.
    This is going to be a critical point to be tackled and I would appreciate your feedback.

    Regards,
    Pas

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    Pasquale Rechichi
    Ericsson Inc.
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  • 2.  RE: Integration COM - SOM using TMF Open API - Does Product Inventory have to persist references to Service Inventory items?

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Jul 25, 2021 01:50
    Hi Pasquale

    Great question. From TMF Open API model perspective, I would say that the answer is unambiguously your first bullet. We see that the BSS area (Product Catalog, Product Inventory) has references to the OSS area (ProductSpecification.serviceSpecification, Product.realizingService), whereas there are no pointers in the reverse direction.

    Now whether this is the best approach from software architecture, that's a different discussion :) .

    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: Integration COM - SOM using TMF Open API - Does Product Inventory have to persist references to Service Inventory items?

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Jul 26, 2021 07:17
    Hi Pasquale

    Basically you need a mapping between the Commercial (BSS) and Technical (OSS) layers to handle the subsequent MACD (Move, Add, Change, Disconnect) Orders. The TMF622 Product Order Model has a ProductRefOrValue sub-resource that contains the attribute realizingService which is defined as follows

    A list of service references (ServiceRef [*]). for when Service is used by other entities.


    This field should be used to store the references to the Service(s) that realize a given Product and needs to be populated during the First Time PurchaseOrder Once the Service Order is complete and Service ID is generated. In subsequent MACD Orders, COM should look at this field and generate appropriate TMF641 Service Orders for the SOM System

    Hope that answers your question

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    Kinshuk Kulshreshtha
    Oracle Corporation

    My views posted on this forum are personal, and do not reflect the position of my employer or TM Forum.
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  • 4.  RE: Integration COM - SOM using TMF Open API - Does Product Inventory have to persist references to Service Inventory items?

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Jul 26, 2021 07:48
    Thanks Kinshuk, Jonathan.

    I fully agree with your response and that would be my favourite approach.

    Regards
    Pas

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    Pasquale Rechichi
    Ericsson Inc.
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  • 5.  RE: Integration COM - SOM using TMF Open API - Does Product Inventory have to persist references to Service Inventory items?

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Jul 28, 2021 03:54
    I would also agree with this. There seems to be a P-S-R hierarchical pattern whereby a higher layer item (i.e. closer to the customer) holds references to a lower layer item. One sees the same pattern in the catalogue and order management. We have used this pattern in one of the use cases of the upcoming version of IG1228.

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    Roland Leners
    SATEC GROUP
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  • 6.  RE: Integration COM - SOM using TMF Open API - Does Product Inventory have to persist references to Service Inventory items?

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Jul 28, 2021 10:00
    Pasquale having this link between Product Inventory and realizing CFS and Resources will also be beneficial in case management or customer trouble management.

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    Bozidar Pasagic
    Bell Canada
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  • 7.  RE: Integration COM - SOM using TMF Open API - Does Product Inventory have to persist references to Service Inventory items?

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Jul 28, 2021 14:40
    On the other hand, one could argue that a link in the other direction, from Service to Product, and from Resource to Service/Product, would also be very useful. If a service problem is detected, I can use this link to find out which products are impacted and perhaps proactively warn the customer/product user.

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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.
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Integration COM - SOM using TMF Open API - Does Product Inventory have to persist references to Service Inventory items?

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Jul 29, 2021 04:04
    Hi Jonathan,

    I completely agree with you that there are use cases where we need to query the Product and Subscriber details based on the Service. Most common of them are Assurance related use cases. eg: if there is a Fibre Cut, we need to know who are the customers that are impacted and send a notification to them about the service disruption.

    In my opinion, we should have a single source of truth where we manage these relationships and query that for all use cases irrespective of the directionality of the request. This will avoid the potential problem of having discrepancies between systems that are managing the links in each direction. This relationship is maintained in the Product Inventory using the realizingService Relationship

    Instead of storing the reverse relationship in Service Inventory and then ending up in all kind of synchronisation issues to maintain this relationship in both places, I think TMF637 Product Inventory API should expose the filter criteria so that TMF637 GET Product can be used to look for the Products that are realized with a given Service or a Resource. In TMF API spec, attribute selection is enabled for all first level attributes.But filtering on sub-resources may be available depending on the compliance level supported by an implementation. It would require the Product Inventory implementation to have additional indexes for quick querying of the Products based on the realizingService but it would save us from all the complexities and potential problems of maintaining directional relationships at 2 places in the architecture.

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    Kinshuk Kulshreshtha
    Oracle Corporation

    My views posted on this forum are personal, and do not reflect the position of my employer or TM Forum.
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Integration COM - SOM using TMF Open API - Does Product Inventory have to persist references to Service Inventory items?

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Jul 29, 2021 10:02
    I agree with Kinshuk's approach. If for example you are at the production layer you can filter the the service inventory for RFS or CFS category with a party playing role of customer if you want to find services used by a customer.    From there you can move up . The product inventory api will through filtering search as Kinshuk explained give you the realizing CFS associated to the product. This is how you can make the association between the commercial layer and the production layer I think.

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    Bozidar Pasagic
    Bell Canada
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  • 10.  RE: Integration COM - SOM using TMF Open API - Does Product Inventory have to persist references to Service Inventory items?

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Jul 30, 2021 01:52
    Our real time charging application is catalog driven, meaning we need to traverse Service -> Product -> Offering -> Prices for rating and charging. Necessarily our implementation keeps a Product reference in our internal Service Inventory (cache). We manage with Open APIs so we use a polymorphic extension of Service.

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    Vance Shipley
    SigScale
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  • 11.  RE: Integration COM - SOM using TMF Open API - Does Product Inventory have to persist references to Service Inventory items?

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Jul 30, 2021 05:01
    Vance thanks for your contribution. This of course raises the question about whether rating and charging should be associated at all with the service domain (ODA I'm talking about you :) ), since services "know" nothing about prices. If rating and charging were defined as being part of core commerce, they would have direct access to product catalog and product inventory, and perhaps life would be easier.

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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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  • 12.  RE: Integration COM - SOM using TMF Open API - Does Product Inventory have to persist references to Service Inventory items?

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Jul 30, 2021 05:40
    Edited by Vance Shipley Jul 30, 2021 06:33
    It's a bit more complicated as Rating is in the Core Commerce block of the ODA Functional Architecture while Charging is in the Production block. But I must say these fences we erect sometimes seem to get in the way and we really have to question how permeable they should be. It is my view that while Rating is authoritatively a Core Commerce function the real time execution may be delegated to a function in Production.

    Stay tuned for the 5G Chargers Catalyst where our AI-driven dynamic Product Catalog use cases will demonstrate catalog driven multivendor integration.

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    Vance Shipley
    SigScale
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