Service providers and equipment vendors were quick to recognize the potential value in standardizing the interfaces most often used for provisioning and maintenance of large networks. One of the early TM Forum interfaces, Multi-Technology Network Management (MTNM) was initially proposed for the provisioning of SONET/SDH infrastructures.
CORBA & MTNM
MTNM was designed to leverage the potential cost savings of a CORBA, which was then being heavily promoted in the wider IT industry. Eventually it became apparent that service orientated architectures based upon XML technologies were much more widely deployed across the IT industry than CORBA solutions and so an XML based profile of MTNM was developed which ultimately became known as Multi-Technology Operations System Interface (MTOSI). MTOSI referenced a number of concepts from the Information Framework but was based upon a significantly more complex resource model.
Java & OSS/J
At this time the IT industry was undergoing a technology revolution and new internet inspired technologies such as the Java computing platform were becoming significant players in the main stream IT industries. Sun Microsystems lead an initiative called OSS through Java OSS/J which began standardizing Java API’s for OSS integration.
The initial focus in OSS/J was on defining interfaces for use at the business layer rather than at the network level. Whereas MTOSI was released as a single fairly monolithic interface, OSS/J chose a more granular approach. This resulted in a number of standalone interfaces which shared a common information model which was loosely based upon parts of the Information Framework. Like MTOSI, OSS/J also defined an XML profile which allowed the OSS/J interfaces to be implemented outside a Java environment.
Frameworx and the integration of eTOM, SID and TAM
The Business Process Framework (eTOM), Information Framework (SID) and Application Framework (TAM) together provided the common design language for Telecommunications enterprise architects. Increasingly the IT industry was looking at the possibility of using model driven engineering to generate as much of the interface specification, documentation and implementation directly from a model.
In 2009 the TM Forum took the bold step of consolidating all of the interface teams under the same program with a view that ultimately all of the interfaces would migrate towards using a model driven engineering framework. While fully specified interface contracts remained the ultimate goal of the tooling program, it became obvious that a somewhat simpler interim step would be to begin to define any new TM Forum interface standards directly from new versions of the Information Framework whereas OSS/J and MTOSI had in some senses referenced the information model, any new interfaces should explicitly be derived from Frameworx.