January 2020 - 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 TP48. It comprised sessions of the technical plenary and all working groups and ran over the period from November 30 to December 18. This was the fourth meeting in a series of virtual TP meetings over the course of a very challenging 2020.
Q: With four virtual TPs completed, what organizational lessons have you learned and will be applying to future meetings?
RH: There are positives and negatives. One learning during this year is that virtual meetings work but they are less efficient than in-person meetings. Our members discussed this issue and agreed that that while face-to-face meetings are preferable it might not be realistic to plan such meetings in 2021. We therefore decided to re-schedule most 2021 meetings as virtual meetings according to the following schedule:
- TP#49: Jan 18 – Feb 10, 2020 had already been planned as virtual meeting
- There will be a new version of TP#50 which merges TP50 and TP51 in a new TP#50 virtual format over the period from May 10 to June 4. This will keep an equal distance of 12 weeks between TP49 and the new TP51.
- The ‘new’ version of TP#51 will take place virtually in the period from August 30 to September 17.
- The ‘new’ version of TP#52 is currently planned as an in-person meeting in the week of November 29 to December 3. TP52 will be the last meeting of the year and we are working to identify a host and location for this meeting.
Speaking on behalf of oneM2M members, we sincerely thank the InDiCo initiative, an EU project to promote international standardization, project as well as TTC and ARIB in Japan for their kind offer to host in-person meetings in 2021. TP#50 was due to be hosted in Dublin, Ireland by InDiCo in April while TP#51 would have been hosted in Japan by TTC and ARIB in June. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we will not be able to take them up on their offers.
Looking further out, we have commenced internal discussions on the meeting plan for 2022 based on a mix of physical and virtual TPs.
Q: And what were the major developments in each of the three Working Groups?
RH: The main progress in the Requirements and Domain Model (RDM) working group falls into three areas. One deals with the technical specification document TS-0023, which is the Smart Device Template (SDT) based Information Model and Mapping for Vertical Industries. The second concerns the technical report TR-0058 on Railway Domain Enablement. The third area of progress was in the technical report TR-0061, which is a study on ontologies for Smart City Services.
As part of the work item WI-0084 (SDT based Information Model & Mapping for Vertical Industries) members finalized the Release 4 version of TS-0023 with a set of agreed change requests. These will lead to further enhancements targeting release 5. One of these change requests deals with the modelling of cross domain non-functional features, such as management or security. Our members will also study better ways to align their work with the “IoT for Smart Lifts” work item (WI-0084) which was successfully completed and closed at this TP. The focus of these activities will shift more to the ongoing and new work items and features for release 5.
During the TP, we also began discussions on the scope and timeline for release 5. The additional capabilities in Release 5 will comprise functionalities such as advanced semantic discovery, system enhancements to support data protection regulations, interworking with the Open Geospatial Consortium’s SensorThing API and, effective IoT communication to protect 3GPP networks. Together, the addition of these capabilities to the oneM2M standards roadmap will enable better support for smart city and many other use cases. The tentative schedule, targeting the finalization of release 5 in 2022, has still strong dependencies on the future meeting organization.
As regards the System Design & Security (SDS) working group, most of the meeting time was spent on progressing the Rel-4 Stage 3 (architectural and protocol aspects) work. Based on the latest plan, only one more meeting is needed to freeze Stage 3 of Rel-4. and that will happen at TP#49 in January/ February 2021.
The Testing & Developers Ecosystem (TDE) working group progressed work on developing Rel-4 Testing Specifications: TS-0018 R4 Interoperability test. Members agreed on changes dealing with Test Purposes of Primitive profile, Service subscription user profile, and 3GPP interworking. Additional work was progressed on changes to the release 3, as well as the release 2 version of test cases specified in TS-0019, using the TTCN test specification language.
One other matter relating to the TDE working group was the election of Bob Flynn of Exacta as Vice Chair of the Testing and Developer’s Ecosystem WG.
Q: Finally, would you share a summary of oneM2M’s seventh interoperability test event which took place around the same time as the TP?
RH: Yes indeed. The test event took place on 16 and 17 Nov 2020 in Korea. It combined in-person and remote participation across USA-to-Asia time zones for which the organizers deserve heartfelt congratulations.
It is worth emphasizing that interoperability events enable oneM2M to validate its standard; validation may reveal errors or ambiguities in the requirements which prevent correct implementation of the standard, which can lead to interoperability issues. I believe that our history of interoperability testing is unique in the IoT industry and important for organizations that want to build and operate open-standard IoT systems.
During the Technical Plenary, we received a report on the seventh interoperability test event. This was co-organized by ETSI and the TTA, as well as the European Project Indico, led by ETSI. Testing activities help to confirm interoperability between implementations from different companies. It was also proposed conformance testing, very helpful for debugging the participants’ implementations, but as well a good opportunity to verify the new TTCN-3 testcases produced by oneM2M TDE WG. Fifty-six participants registered for the event. The organizers planned sixty-four test sessions for the participants located in different geographies and time zones
The Interoperability testing provided contains a total number of 235 tests, which is about 130 more than at Interop 6. The event marked the first time such a high volume of tests was conducted at a single event. The 235 interop tests and more than a thousand for conformance covered Releases 2 and 3 of the oneM2M standard. The scope of activities covered 4 protocol bindings - HTTP, CoAP and MQTT and WebSocket.
The interoperability success rate was 95.9 % with many useful lessons learned.
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.