February 2021 - In this interview, Roland Hechwartner of Deutsche Telekom (DT) and Chairman for oneM2M’s Technical Plenary (TP) describes the latest developments and lessons learned from oneM2M’s recent TP49. It comprised sessions of the technical plenary and all working groups and ran over the period from January 18 to February 9, 2021. This was the fifth meeting in a series of virtual TP meetings, following on from a very challenging 2020.
Q: At a high level, what were the major developments to come out of this TP?
RH: Leaving the activities of each working group to one side, I would say that three topics are worth highlighting. The first of these relates to India which adopted oneM2M standards at the national level towards the end of 2020. One consequence of that development is that over 50 organizations joined as members of oneM2M and participated in various technical plenary activities. There is more information about this development in this press announcement.
The second development is a proposal from one of our members, Convida Wireless, to establish a sub-committee on the topic of sustainability. The aim of this initiative is to promote the message that IoT enables sustainability. There are many examples of applications such as smart cities, intelligent transport, energy management and, data sharing to optimize distributed supply chains. We believe that standardization is important to maximize the potential of sustainability, especially in matters related interoperability, scalability, modularity, and re-use which are central to the oneM2M design philosophy. Such a committee would play an important role in external communications and as a means of feeding new requirements into the technical specifications process. The next steps are to bring this proposal for discussion and approval by the Partners of the oneM2M partnership project to the Steering Committee.
Finally, the third important topic relates to planning for Release 5 of the oneM2M specifications. This is important because the IoT market continues to evolve and expose new needs. oneM2M’s structured approach means that the industry has a coherent framework for integrating these requirements. As of now, Release 5 will comprise functionalities like advanced semantic discovery, system enhancements to support data protection regulations, interworking with sensor thing API and effective IoT communication to protect 3GPP networks, which, for instance will enable smart city and many other use cases.
Q: And what were the major developments in each of the three Working Groups?
RH: The Requirements and Domain Model (RDM) working group made good progress made on several key documents. One is the technical specification TS-0023 Smart Device Template (SDT) based Information Model and Mapping for Vertical Industries. This is an important evolution for oneM2M, taking the concepts of a horizontal and general-purpose architecture and adapting it for vertical-specific needs. Similarly, there was good progress on the technical report TR-0058, which deals with Railway Domain Enablement, and on the technical report TR-0061, which is a study on ontologies for Smart City Services.
The TP also approved a new work item for Release 5 on SDT based Information Model and Mapping for Vertical Industries for Release 5. The supporting companies are Hansung University, Orange, Deutsche Telekom, and Exacta GSS. The purpose of this Work Item is to enable the continuation of contributions of Information Models including ModuleClasses and Device models from various domains for the TS-0023. I expect finalization of this initiative by TP56 (Q3 2022).
The System Design & Security (SDS) working group spent their time to progress the Rel-4 Stage 3 (architectural and protocol aspects) work. In the process, they decided that one more meeting cycle, to TP#50 in April/May this year, will be needed to complete the planned feature set for release 4 and to achieve the milestone of the freeze of Stage 3 of Rel-4. From a procedural standpoint, a ‘freeze’ means that the technical content and the desired functionality is defined, but corrections and editorial changes may still be applied before publishing the specifications.
Software campaigning is one example of the features that need some more discussion and clarifications before final agreement. oneM2M software campaigning, together with the enhanced resource announcement features, would allow a system designer to place a oneM2M platform instance on an edge node.
The Testing & Developers Ecosystem (TDE) working group progressed work on developing Rel-4 Testing specifications. These are documented in a technical specification document, TS-0018 R4 Interoperability test. Changes were agreed on Test Purposes of Primitive profile, 3GPP interworking, Service Subscription User Profile, and cross resource notification.
When implementing a standard, it is frequently requested from the software developer community to get some tutorials describing basic use cases, example procedures, and scenarios, including diagrams, message flows, message traces samples, resource description samples, etc. Mindful of the needs of the developer community, we continue to invest effort in information and tool support resources. A Work Item dedicated to the Developer Guide series was completed and closed. Under this Work Item, oneM2M contributors developed a guideline document for application developers who want to use functionalities offered by an oneM2M service platform. The content is available as a Technical Report but also available on the oneM2M website in the developer’s corner.
Another developer resource is the oneM2M API Guide Technical Report covering. This was ratified for publication by oneM2M’s national and regional Standards Development Organizations (Partners Type 1). The TR provides a collection of oneM2M APIs as a guide for developers to develop applications using functionalities provided by a oneM2M service platform. Example APIs are written based on HTTP protocol binding and JSON format.
Q: In addition to the growing member base have there been any other organizational changes of note?
RH: Yes, I am pleased to report that Poornima Shandilya from the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) in Delhi, India was elected as Vice Chair of the System Design and Security Working Group. Poornima is a valued contributor, participating through TSDSI, our Indian Partner Type 1, who also received a Technical Excellence Award last year.
oneM2M is the global standards initiative that covers requirements, architecture, API specifications, security solutions and interoperability for Machine-to-Machine and IoT technologies. oneM2M was formed in 2012 and consists of eight of the world's preeminent standards development organizations: ARIB (Japan), ATIS (U.S.), CCSA (China), ETSI (Europe), TIA (U.S.), TSDSI (India), TTA (Korea), and TTC (Japan), together with industry fora and consortia (GlobalPlatform) and over 200 member organizations. oneM2M specifications provide a framework to support applications and services such as the smart grid, connected car, home automation, public safety, and health. oneM2M actively encourages industry associations and forums with specific application requirements to participate in oneM2M, in order to ensure that the solutions developed support their specific needs. For more information, including how to join and participate in oneM2M, see: www.onem2m.org.