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  • 1.  Quantity in ProductOrderItem in TMF 622

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Jun 10, 2024 18:25
    Edited by Varun Pandhi Jun 10, 2024 18:25

    Hi all,

    We could see an attribute "quantity" (of type Integer) on ProductOrderItem in TMF 622.

    Let's say we have a New Provide order where quantity = 10 is ordered. Upon completion of the product order, we would need to update product inventory with quantity = 10 for the Product. But, we couldn't see any such attribute on Product resource. Where could we capture such information in Product resource?

    Moreover, when we try to place a change order where we wish to decrease the quantity by 2, as per TMF semantics, we should have ProductOrderItem with quantity = -2 (Depicting what is changing) or quantity = 8 (the final quantity expected)?



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    Varun Pandhi
    Infosys
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  • 2.  RE: Quantity in ProductOrderItem in TMF 622

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Jun 11, 2024 03:49

    Hi Varun

    The basic question is - what type of products will use this quantity attribute? Typically it will be low-value accessories, consumables, and the like. For such cases it's not clear that there is any point in persisting the products in the inventory after the order is complete. And I'm also not sure what the meaning of a change order is on such products. What exactly do you expect to happen when you send an order with -2? That the customer will somehow return 2 of the products?

    In general when you keep a product in the inventory it's because you want to address it specifically, e.g. to make a change on it (network provisioning), to record a standard or extended warranty, to allow recurring charge for a rental equipment, etc. In all these cases the quantity is meaningless because you'll need to deal with a specific instance (we can term this as "serialized").

    But if you can come up with a convincing use case for quantity in the inventory, and/or change orders on non-serialized products, we'd need to look again.



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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: Quantity in ProductOrderItem in TMF 622

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Jun 11, 2024 12:02

    Hi Jonathan,

    a common usecase is the purchase of Licences for as SaaS or similar, or the ordering of a block of Phone Numbers. Or the length of a cable that has to be digged under the earth for a location of a business customer. There are probably many more examples; OK, not in all cases a change order makes sense, but ...

    As for the value itself, I think it should be not a pure Integer, I'd suggest to change it to Quantity, so it could be e.g. (for the cable) the length in Meters, or a weight in Kilograms, ... and it should allow for fractional values.

    And that could then be used in conjunction with unitOfMeasure in ProductOfferingPrice resp. in ProductPrice to calculate the charged price, like
    price = Product.quantity / Product(Offering)Price.unitOfMeasure * Product(Offering)Price.price

    Does that make sense?



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    Lutz Bettge
    Deutsche Telekom AG
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  • 4.  RE: Quantity in ProductOrderItem in TMF 622

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Jun 12, 2024 12:42

    To support the notion of a license I would rather use a product characteristic & not the quantity on the orderItem.
    Using the quantity on the orderItem would mean according to me that it would get expanded into individual product instances.
    You could use the quantity on orderItem level for ordering 5 VOIP phones of the same type for instance. Nevertheless as soon as you need to put individual characteristics like a serial number it doesn't work.



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    Peter Broucke
    Proximus SA
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  • 5.  RE: Quantity in ProductOrderItem in TMF 622

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Jun 13, 2024 03:24

    Thanks @Lutz Bettge and @Peter Broucke for your insights.

    In Lutz' examples of time-and-materials, I don't think that there is relevance in saving the details in the product inventory. And I would expect that the amount would indeed be a quantity characteristic on the T&M product itself, not an order quantity.

    For licenses (let's say a site license for Microsoft Teams), it depends if each "seat" under the license is considered as a separate product, or rather the license itself is the product.

    • If each seat is a separate product, there would presumably be a distinct serial number, so each product would be a separate instance in the inventory, no need for quantity.
    • If the license itself is the product, the number of seats would be a characteristic value in the product

    For ordering a block of phone numbers, each phone number is a separate logical resource. The voice products (VoIP or Mobile for instance) using those numbers will definitely be separate products. So the only thing left is the actual block, which may be charged as one-time or recurring. In either case, the amount of numbers being ordered would be a characteristic on the block product.

    Feel free to agree or disagree ...



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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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  • 6.  RE: Quantity in ProductOrderItem in TMF 622

    TM Forum Member
    Posted 26 days ago

    Hi @Jonathan Goldberg, others: Thanks for your responses.

    For the case of licences and phone numbers, in a New Provide order, if customer orders 3 licences, then there could be 2 possible options -

    Option 1: 1 ProductOrderItem with Quantity = 3 passed in POST Product Order request and it resulting in 3 Product instances linked to ProductOrderItem (This is not supported by current TMF 622 as per the cardinality between ProductOrderItem and Product resource)

    Option 2: 3 ProductOrderItems with Quantity = 1 passed in POST Product Order request and it resulting in 3 Product instances linked to each ProductOrderItem

    So, does TMF recommend to use Option 2 in such cases?

    And, essentially do you mean to say Quantity can be other than 1 in ProductOrderItems only for the products which don't need to be managed individually and don't hold any recurring charge as such? Product instances for the same might need to be managed in Product Inventory though For example, consider the case where customer is allowed to buy max 5 quantity of "500 MB National Data" in a single month. This rule can be governed if we have stored "500 MB National Data" Product in Product Inventory with their startDateTime and endDateTime specified.

    And, even customer could remove one of the "500 MB National Data" Products during the month as service provider could offer some refund. In such cases, would a Change Order with ProductOrderItem having Quantity = -1 for "500 MB National data" Product instance linked to it make sense?



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    Varun Pandhi
    Infosys
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  • 7.  RE: Quantity in ProductOrderItem in TMF 622

    TM Forum Member
    Posted 25 days ago

    Firstly, TMF as an organization doesn't generally recommend anything in API definitions. If you are looking for recommendations, they will typically be found in Implementation Guides (IGxxxx). I'm not aware of one that deals with quantity, but maybe you'll find something.

    I personally recommend Option 2, not to use Quantity for serializable products, as I explained in my previous replies.

    With your example of an allowance (500MB National Data), clearly the actual balance of the allowance bucket needs to be maintained individually for each bucket.; this would be at the usage level. Perhaps there is a case here for using quantity at the product level, but I'm not sure, since you still need to distinguish between allowances that the customer hasn't started using yet as against the one that's in use and the ones that are depleted.

    Bottom line, I'm still not convinced that quantity is useful for persisted products in the inventory, I think it's more trouble than it's worth.



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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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