Shared Conceptual Schema

In order to perform interoperable management activities, communicating OSs must share a common view or understanding of the following information: Understanding management functions (e.g., event management and state management) includes an understanding of what options and which roles (e.g., manager or agent) are supported for each function. While trial and error is one method of gaining this understanding the need for a more efficient mechanism is appreciated. It is necessary to understand which managed object classes are supported by each OS. Since CMIP scoping is only capable of discovering instances of managed object classes, a more comprehensive mechanism is needed to understand the complete set of managed object classes supported including those for which there is not presently an instance available. There may also be relationships (e.g., possible superior-subordinate pairs for naming) between managed object classes. If so, the negotiation mechanism needs to support the development of this understanding as well. The actual instances of managed object classes that are available in a OS forms the most significant base of understanding needed by communicating OSs. CMIP scoping is a reasonable mechanism to provide most of this understanding. As with managed object classes, managed object instances may also be participating in relationships that need to be understood by communicating OSs. Beside understanding what functions and managed objects are supported, the shared conceptual schema also includes an understanding of authorized management capabilities (e.g., permission to modify configurations, adjust tariffs, create or delete managed objects, run destructive tests). The interoperable interface specifies the protocols that are used for communication between OSs. OSs must implement this interface and perform the role of either a managing process, an agent process, or both; OS design is otherwise unconstrained. OSs wishing to communicate must agree (either offline or online) on a shared conceptual schema. Where necessary, supplier- specific information may be carried within the framework of standard interactions. Finally, OS implementations evolve over time and must be tested for conformance with the interoperable interface.