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Subject: FYI: OGC approves Sensor Alert System Interoperability Experiment

The OGC has just approved a new Interoperability Experiment for Sensor Alerts. A description is provided for your information. Also, FYI, does include CAP. Any questions, please let me know. Also, please, your comments and input would be very much appreciated!


This proposed Interoperability Experiment (IE) is intended to create a prototype specification of a Sensor Alert Service (SAS) as a part of the OGC Sensor Web Enablement (SWE) effort.


Technical Approach:

The SWE Working Group has recognized that a missing piece of the SWE suite of standards and proposed standards is an alert and notification mechanism that specifies how alert or “alarm” conditions are defined, detected, and made available to interested users. This IE will create a draft alert standard known as the Sensor Alert Service (SAS). Since this standard will be focused on alerts from sensors and sensor webs, it will be narrower in scope than a complete Web-wide alerting service. Therefore it is named Sensor Alert Service rather than Web Alert Service (WAS).


There is an existing OGC discussion paper (OGC 03-100) on a proposed WAS that is broader in scope than the SAS. The SAS is expected to be a small and focused service for the purpose of handling alert conditions in a sensor web.


After requirements are defined, the first efforts to define the SAS will include a survey of existing standards to see if any meet the focused needs of the SAS requirements. Standards to be considered include, but are not limited to, the OASIS Web Services-Notification suite (WS-N) and the OASIS Asynchronous Service Access Protocol (ASAP). It is our intent to embrace existing standards where appropriate and extend them if necessary, including reporting back to the respective standards bodies the changes needed to meet our needs and work to get those changes incorporated into the existing standards.  Only if no existing standard meets the needs of SWE alert handling will a new standard service be defined.


Note that SWE already includes a discussion paper (OGC-03-008r2) describing the Web Notification Service (WNS). WNS was designed to permit a client to engage in asynchronous message interchanges with one or more other services. As such, WNS does not meet the needs of an alert notification system. SAS does not compete with WNS. In fact, SAS may, but is not required to, utilize WNS for notifications.


Carl Reed, PhD
CTO and Executive Director Specification Program

The OGC: Helping the World to Communicate Geographically
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