A programmable architecture for the provision of hybrid services
The success of new service provision platforms will largely depend on their ability to blend with existing technologies. The advent of Internet telephony, although impressive, is unlikely to make telephone customers suddenly turn in favor of computers. Rather, customers display increasing interest in services that span multiple networks (especially Internet Protocol-based networks and the telephone and cellular networks) and open new vistas. We refer to these services as hybrid services and propose an architecture for their provision. This architecture allows for programming the service platform elements (i.e., network nodes, gateways, control servers, and terminals) in order to include new service logics. We identify components that can be assembled to build these logics by considering a service as a composition of features such as address translation, security, call control, connectivity, charging and user interaction. Generic service components are derived from the modeling of these features. We assure that our proposal can be implemented even in existing systems in return for slight changes: These systems are required to generate an event when a special service is encountered. The treatment of this event is handled by an object at a Java Service Layer. Java has been chosen for its platform-neutrality feature and its embedded security mechanisms. Using our architecture, we design a hybrid closed user group service.