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Subject: Working Group call 20040810

Participants in this morning's working group call agreed
to examine the various approaches to modeling relationships
in the context of specific use cases for containment
and reference relationships.

- Rami Elron (BMC)
- Gearard Woods (IBM)
- Jeff Bohren (Open Networks)
- Gary Cole (Sun)

Mr. Bohren emphasized the importance of discussing containment
and reference relationships separately. Mr. Bohren suggested that:
- The uses cases for containment and reference differ significantly.
- Containment of an object affects the object's identity
  more fundamentally than the references of an object,
- Modeling containment relationships should be simpler
  and less contentious than modeling reference relationships
- Discussing both containment and reference at the same time
  tends to confuse participants.
- If SPML 2.0 were able to model only one of the two,
  he would prefer that it model containment relationships.

Mr. Elron agreed that reference relationships were likely to be more
problematic, but suggested this as a reason to tackle them first.
The group disagreed, deciding to tackle containment first.

Mr. Woods suggested that containment relationships could be modeled
without special protocol operations (for example, by adding a 'parent'
attribute to the schema).  He said that he would try to produce an
informal document before the next conference call.

Mr. Elron proposed modeling containment as a special form of reference.
Mr. Cole was concerned that this would require additional complexity
(e.g., meta-data to define cardinality for reference relationships)
that would not be needed if containment were modeled separately.
Mr. Bohren repeated his belief that the use cases for containment
and reference were different enough that they should not be combined.

Mr. Elron stated his concern that interoperability would suffer
if SPML 2.0 did not model relationships. Without relationships,
interoperability would once again depend on standard schema.
Mr. Cole agreed, saying that the goal must be to model relationships
in a way that is clear, functional and practical
so that committee members will include it in the specification.
Mr. Bohren pointed out that providers will implement optional interfaces
--such as containment and reference--only if they see a functional
benefit that outweighs the cost of implementation.

Action Items:
1) Gerry Woods will write a document describing his ideas
   on modeling containment using schema.


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