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Subject: about conformance

One of the difficulties we had in defining a conformance clause for WS-Reliability, is the existence of diverse profiles of implementations: a light personal device (e.g. cell phone) might only be required to act as a Receiving RMP, and only be required to send acks. Or, a monitoring device would only need to send, with the ability to resend. A message hub will need to act as both Sender and Receiver, and support all features.

It was hard to find a common basis of features to define conformance levels on.

But even so, it remains important to define conformance boundaries so that implementations know where they stand on interoperability.


An approach based on the QA guidelines (W3C / NIST, http://www.w3.org/TR/qaframe-spec/ ) may help:

That leads to distinguish:

- Usage profiles, based on the different roles an implementation can play:

here Sender, Receiver, or both.

- within each profile, functional levels (core, etc.) can be defined, to which will correspond levels of conformance. For the sake of interoperability, "core" Sender must be able to interoperate with "core" Receiver, etc.

- functional Modules can also be distinguished (a profile would require the implementation of some modules, e.g. only {HTTP binding + resending mechanism} for an HTTP Sender profile at Level 0, { HTTP binding + resending mechanism + group management} for HTTP Sender level 1, etc.


These definitions could belong in an (non-normative) adjunct to the standard, something that helps developers characterize their implementations in terms of profile/level (and also promotes a reasonably small number of implementation profiles).

That adjunct may or may not be merged later with the next release of the standard.


I propose we start discussing this in the meeting tomorrow if time permits.




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