A Structured Approach to the Development of Telematic Services Using Distributed Object-Oriented Platforms

Dionisis Adamopoulos

Centre for Communication Systems Research (CCSR), University of Surrey, Guildford, UK.

Rapid technological developments are taking place in computing and telecommunications. The evolving synergy between them, known as Telematics, provides a wide range of opportunities for the delivery of new advanced multimedia services. In this context, Information Networking plays a central role and Telecommunications Service Engineering emerges as an important new scientific discipline.

This thesis examines important issues that underpin the service creation process for advanced telematic services. It proposes a telecommunications service engineering framework consisting of a service development methodology, a service creation environment and a service support environment that encompasses a service execution environment, the latter based on distributed object technology, and populates that framework.

The starting point is the proposal of a complete methodology for the development of telematic services, that covers in a systematic and structured manner the entire service creation process. The methodology assumes a generic service environment based on the Telecommunications Information Networking Architecture (TINA), adopts an iterative and incremental use case driven approach, and uses the Unified Modelling Language (UML) and other results from object-oriented software engineering methodologies which it extends and applies to telematic services. Furthermore, the proposed methodology is validated and evaluated by applying it to the design and development of a complex representative telematic service i.e. a Multi-Media Conferencing Service for Education and Training (MMCS-ET).

The thesis also examines the role of various Distributed Processing Environments (DPEs) - also known as middleware - in service execution and argues that Microsoft's Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) is a valid choice as a service engineering DPE. Furthermore, it enhances DCOM with the capability of handling continuous media streams such as voice, audio and video, by designing and implementing a number of suitable multimedia support services, together with a related Application Programming Interface (API). The use of the enhanced DCOM as a TINA compliant DPE is validated by using it as a service execution environment for the MMCS-ET service.

PhD Thesis, November 2000.

The full thesis in Acrobat pdf (4M) can be made available by contacting the author (dxa (at) otenet.gr).