BLISS                                                       J. Rosenberg
Internet-Draft                                                     Cisco
Intended status: Informational                         November 19, 2007                         February 24, 2008
Expires: May 22, August 27, 2008

 Basic Level of Interoperability for Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)
                   Services (BLISS) Problem Statement

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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The IETF Trust (2007). (2008).


   The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) has been designed as a general
   purpose protocol for establishing and managing multimedia sessions.
   It provides many core functions and extensions in support of features
   such as transferring of calls, parking calls, and so on.  However,
   interoperability of more advanced features between different vendors
   has been poor.  This document describes the reason behind these
   interoperability problems, and presents a framework for addressing

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   2.  The Confusion of Tongues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   3.  Concrete Examples  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     3.1.  Call Forward No Answer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
       3.1.1.  Approach 1: UA Redirects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
       3.1.2.  Approach II: Proxy Forwards  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
       3.1.3.  Approach III: UA Proxies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7  8
       3.1.4.  Approach IV: Call Processing Language  . . . . . . . .  8  9
       3.1.5.  Failure Cases  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9 10  No One Implements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 11  Both Implement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 11  Missing Half . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 11
   4.  Solution Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 11
   5.  BLISS Solution Framework . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 13
     5.1.  Phase I - Identify a Feature Group . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 13
     5.2.  Phase II - Submit Feature Flows Gather Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 . . . . . 15
     5.3.  BLISS Phase III - Problem Definition . . . . . . . . . . . 14 15
     5.4.  BLISS Phase 4 - Minimum Interop Definition . . . . . . . . 15 16
   6.  Structure of the BLISS Final Deliverable . . . . . . . . . . . 16 17
   7.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 18
   8.  IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 18
   9.  Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
   10. Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 18
   Author's Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 19
   Intellectual Property and Copyright Statements . . . . . . . . . . 19 20

1.  Introduction

   The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) [RFC3261] has been designed as
   a general purpose protocol for establishing and managing multimedia
   sessions.  In this role, it provides many core functions and
   extensions to support "session management features".  In this
   context, session management features (or just features in this
   specification) are operations, typically invoked by the user, that
   provide some form value-added functionality within the context of a
   multimedia session.  Examples of features include putting a call on
   hold (possibly with music), transferring calls, creating ad-hoc
   conferences, having calls automatically forwarded, and so on.

   The SIP specification itself includes primitives to support some of
   these features.  For example, RFC 3264 [RFC3264] defines SDP
   signaling parameters for placing a call on hold.  Numerous SIP
   extensions have been developed which focus on functionality needed
   for session management features.  The REFER specification, RFC 3515
   [RFC3515], defines a primitive operation for a user agent to ask
   another user agent to send a SIP request, typically to initiate a
   session.  REFER is used to support many features, such as transfer,
   park, and refer. hold.  The Replaces specification, RFC 3891 [RFC3891],
   allows one dialog to replace another.  This header field is useful
   for consultation transfer features.  The dialog event package, RFC
   4235 [RFC4235], allows one UA to learn about the dialog states on
   another UA.  This package is useful for features such as shared line.

   However, despite this veritable plethora of specifications that can
   support session management features, in practice, interoperability
   has been quite poor for these kinds of functions.  One  When user agents
   from one vendor are connected to servers and user agents from other
   vendors, very few of these types of features actually work.  In most
   cases, call hold and basic transfer are broadly interoperable, but
   more advanced features such as park and resume, music-on-hold, and
   shared line appearances, do not work.

   In some cases, these interoperability failures are the fault of poor
   implementations.  In other cases, they are purposeful failures, meant
   to ensure that third party equipment is not utilized in a vendor's
   solution.  However, in many cases the problem is with the
   specifications.  There are two primary specification problems that
   can cause interoperability failure:

   o  A feature requires functionality that is not defined in any
      specification.  Therefore, the feature cannot be implemented in an
      interoperable way.

   o  A feature can be implemented in many different ways, each one
      using different specifications or different call flows, and
      assuming different functionality in each participating component
      of the system.  However, each component in a particular deployment
      each chose a different way, and therefore the overall system lacks

   This latter problem is the primary focus of this document.  Section 2
   describes the problem in architectural and more abstract terms.
   Section 3 then gives several concrete examples that demonstrate the
   problem.  Section 4 then proposes a general framework for resolving
   the interoperability problem.  Finally, Section 6 defines a template
   that can be utilized by specifications for addressing this
   interoperability problem.

2.  The Confusion of Tongues

   SIP is typically deployed in environments a large number of user
   agents and some number of servers, such as proxy servers, registrars,
   feature servers, and so on.  Put together, these form a distributed
   system used to realize a multimedia communications network.

   Architecturally, a SIP-based multimedia network can be though of as a
   distributed state machine.  Each node in the network implements a
   state machine, and messages sent by the protocol serve the purpose of
   synchronizing the state machines across nodes.  If one considers
   these session management features (hold, transfer, park, etc.), each
   of them is ultimately trying to achieve a state change in states in the state
   machines of two or more nodes in the network.  Call hold, for
   example, attempts to change the state of media transfer between a
   pair of user agents.  More complex features, such as transfer, are an
   attempt to synchronize dialog and call states across three or more
   user agents.  In all cases, SIP messaging is used between these
   agents to change the state machinery of the protocol.

   If we consider a particular feature, the protocol machinery for
   accomplishing the feature requires logic on each node involved in the
   feature.  Let us say that feature X can be implemented using two
   different techniques - X.1 and X.2.  Each technique is composed of a
   series of message exchanges and associated state machine processing
   in each affected node.  If all affected nodes implement the same
   logic - say the logic for X.1 - the feature works.  Similarly, if all
   implement the logic for X.2, the feature works.  However, if some of
   the nodes implement the logic for X.1, and others have implemented
   the logic for X.2, the outcome is unpredicable and the feature may
   not interoperate.

   We call this problem "the confusion of tongues".  It arises whenever
   there is more than one way to implement a particular feature amongst
   a set of nodes.  While each approach is, by itself, conformant to the
   specifications, there are interoperability failures because of a
   heterogeneous selection of methodologies within a particular

   This problem is ameliorated when the logic required for a particular
   feature exists almost entirely within a single node.  Any feature
   involving multiple parties ultimately requires some form of logic in
   other nodes.  However, when the logic required for a feature requires
   that the other nodes only support for the basic SIP specs - [RFC3261]
   and [RFC3263] - we call this a single ended feature.  Single-ended
   features tend to be more interoperable because they rely on just the
   lingua franca - basic SIP - from everyone else.  An example of a
   single-ended feature is mute, which can be done locally within a node
   without any signaling at all.  Another feature is basic hold (without
   music), which requires only that the other side support [RFC3263].

   Unfortunately, many features are fundamentally not single ended.  A
   feature that is not single ended is called a multi-ended feature.
   Examples include transfer (which relies on at least support for
   REFER) and music-on-hold.

3.  Concrete Examples

   Several concrete examples can be demonstrated which show this
   problem. demonstrate the
   confusion of tongues.

3.1.  Call Forward No Answer

   Call Forward No Answer (CFNA), is a very basic feature.  In this
   feature, user X calls user Y. If user Y is not answering, the call is
   forwarded to another user, user Z. Typically this forwarding takes
   place after a certain amount of time.

   Even for a simple feature like this, there are several ways of
   implementing it.  Consider the reference architecture in Figure 1.

                             |         |
                             |         |
                             | Proxy   |
                             |         |
                             |         |
                            //   |    \
                          //     |     \
                        //       |      \\
                      //         |        \
                    //           |         \
                  //             |          \\
                 /               |            \
                                 |             \
            +-------+         +-------+          +-------+
            |       |         |       |          |       |
            | UA X  |         | UA Y  |          | UA Z  |
            |       |         |       |          |       |
            |       |         |       |          |       |
            +-------+         +-------+          +-------+

                      Figure 1: Call Forward Use Case

   In this simple network, there are four "nodes" that are cooperating
   to implement this feature.  There are three user agents, UA X, UA Y
   and UA Z. All three user agents are associated with a single proxy.
   When UA X makes a call to UA Y, the INVITE is sent to the proxy which
   delivers it to UA Y.

3.1.1.  Approach 1: UA Redirects

   In this approach, the call forwarding functionality is implemented in
   the user agents.  The user agents have a field on the user interface
   that a user can enable to cause calls to be forwarded on no-answer.
   The user can also set up the forward-to URI through the user

   The basic call flow for this approach is shown in Figure 2.

           UA X           Proxy          UA Y           UA Z
             |(1) INVITE Y  |              |              |
             |------------->|              |              |
             |              |(2) INVITE Y  |              |
             |              |------------->|              |
             |              |              |No Answer     |
             |              |(3) 302 Z     |              |
             |              |<-------------|              |
             |              |(4) ACK       |              |
             |              |------------->|              |
             |              |(5) INVITE Z  |              |
             |              |---------------------------->|
             |              |(6) 200 OK    |              |
             |              |<----------------------------|
             |(7) 200 OK    |              |              |
             |<-------------|              |              |
             |(8) ACK       |              |              |

                         Figure 2: CFNA Approach I

   When the call from UA X arrives at the proxy, it is forwarded to UA
   Y. User Y is not there, so UA Y rings for a time.  After the call
   forward timeout has elapsed, UA Y generates a 302 response.  This
   response contains a Contact header field containing the forward-to
   URI (  This is received by the proxy, which
   recurses on the 3xx, causing the call to be forwarded to Z.

3.1.2.  Approach II: Proxy Forwards

   In this approach, the call forwarding functionality is implemented in
   the proxy.  The proxy has a web interface that allows the user to set
   up the call forwarding feature and specify the forward-to URI.

   The basic call flow for this approach is shown in Figure 3.

           UA X           Proxy          UA Y           UA Z
             |(1) INVITE Y  |              |              |
             |------------->|              |              |
             |              |(2) INVITE Y  |              |
             |              |------------->|              |
             |              |              |No Answer     |
             |              |(3) CANCEL    |              |
             |              |------------->|              |
             |              |(4) 200 CANCEL|              |
             |              |<-------------|              |
             |              |(5) 487       |              |
             |              |<-------------|              |
             |              |(6) ACK       |              |
             |              |------------->|              |
             |              |(7) INVITE Z  |              |
             |              |---------------------------->|
             |              |(8) 200 OK    |              |
             |              |<----------------------------|
             |(9) 200 OK    |              |              |
             |<-------------|              |              |
             |(10) ACK      |              |              |

                        Figure 3: CFNA Approach II

   When the call from UA X arives at the proxy, the proxy sends the
   INVITE to UA Y. UA Y rings for a time.  The call timeout timer runs
   on the proxy.  After the timeout has elapsed, the proxy generates a
   CANCEL, causing the call to stop ringing at UA X. It then consults
   its internal configuration, notes that call forwarding on no-answer
   is configured for user Y. It obtains the forward-to URI, and sends an
   INVITE to it.  User Z ansers and the call proceeds.

3.1.3.  Approach III: UA Proxies

   In this last approach, the user agent implements the call forwarding,
   but does so by acting as a proxy, forwarding the call to Z on its
   own.  As in Approach I, the UA would have an interface on its UI for
   enabling call forwarding and entering the forward-to URI.

   The basic call flow for this approach is shown in Figure 4.

           UA X           Proxy          UA Y           UA Z
             |(1) INVITE Y  |              |              |
             |------------->|              |              |
             |              |(2) INVITE Y  |              |
             |              |------------->|              |
             |              |              |No Answer     |
             |              |(3) INVITE Z  |              |
             |              |<-------------|              |
             |              |(4) INVITE Z  |              |
             |              |---------------------------->|
             |              |(5) 200 OK    |              |
             |              |<----------------------------|
             |              |(6) 200 OK    |              |
             |              |------------->|              |
             |              |(7) 200 OK    |              |
             |              |<-------------|              |
             |(8) 200 OK    |              |              |
             |<-------------|              |              |
             |(9) ACK       |              |              |

                        Figure 4: CFNA Approach III

   UA X sends an INVITE to its proxy targeted for Y. The proxy sends
   this INVITE to UA Y. The user does not answer.  So, after a timeout,
   the UA acts like a proxy and sends the INVITE back to P, this time
   with a Request-URI identifying Z. The proxy forwards this to Z, and
   the call completes.

3.1.4.  Approach IV: Call Processing Language

   In this approach, the proxy implements the call forwarding logic.
   However, instead of the logic being configured through a web page, it
   has been uploaded to the proxy server through a Call Processing
   Language (CPL) [RFC3880] script that the UA included in its
   registration request.

   The basic call flow for this approach is shown in Figure 5.

           UA X           Proxy          UA Y           UA Z
             |              |(1) REGISTER  |              |
             |              |with CPL      |              |
             |              |<-------------|              |
             |              |(2) 200 OK    |              |
             |              |------------->|              |
             |(3) INVITE Y  |              |              |
             |------------->|              |              |
             |              |(4) INVITE Y  |              |
             |              |------------->|              |
             |              |              |No Answer     |
             |              |(5) CANCEL    |              |
             |              |------------->|              |
             |              |(6) 200 CANCEL|              |
             |              |<-------------|              |
             |              |(7) 487       |              |
             |              |<-------------|              |
             |              |(8) ACK       |              |
             |              |------------->|              |
             |              |(9) INVITE Z  |              |
             |              |---------------------------->|
             |              |(10) 200 OK   |              |
             |              |<----------------------------|
             |(11) 200 OK   |              |              |
             |<-------------|              |              |
             |(12) ACK      |              |              |

                        Figure 5: CFNA Approach IV

   This flow is nearly identical to the one in Figure 3, however, the
   logic in the proxy is guided by the CPL script.

3.1.5.  Failure Cases

   We have now described four different call forwarding implementations.
   All four are compliant to RFC 3261.  All four assume some form of
   "feature logic" in some of the components in order to realize this
   feature.  For Approach I, this logic is entirely in the UA, and
   consists of the activation of the feature, configuration of the
   forward-to URI, execution of the timer, and then causing of a
   redirect to the forward-to URI.  In approach I, no other logic beyond
   RFC 3261 compliance  This implementation of the feature
   is needed. single ended.  For approach II, the logic is entirely in the
   proxy, and consists of the activation of the feature through the web,
   configuration of the forward-to URI through the web, execution of the
   timer, and then causing of CANCEL and sequential fork to the
   forward-to URI.  In  This implementation approach II, no other "feature logic" is required on any other component. also single-ended.

   In approach III, all of the logic exists on the UA, and consists of
   the activation of the feature, configuration of the forward-to URI,
   execution of the timer, and then causing of a proxy to the forward-to
   URI.  This approach is also single-ended.  In approach IV, all of the
   feature logic is in the proxy, but it is implemented by CPL, and the
   UA has a CPL implementation that establishes the forwarding number
   configuration.  Consequently, this approach is multi-ended.

   If one considers several different combinations of implementation,
   several error cases arise.  No One Implements

   In this case, the UA assumes approach II (that is, it assumes the
   proxy handles call forwarding), while the proxy assumes approaches I
   or III (that is, the UA handles call forwarding).  In this case, the
   call will arrive at the proxy, which forwards it to UA Y, where it
   rings indefinitely.  The feature does not get provided at all.  Both Implement

   In this case, the UA assumes approach I (that is, it assumes that it
   handles call forwarding), and the proxy assumes approach II (that it,
   it assumes that it handles call forwarding).  In this case, assuming
   that the forwarding number ends up being provisioned in both places,
   the actual behavior of the system is a race condition.  If the timer
   fires first at the proxy, the call is forwarded to the number
   configured on the proxy.  If the timer fires first on the UA, the
   call is forwarded to the number configured on the UA.  If these
   forwarding numbers are different, this results in highly confusing
   behavior.  Missing Half

   In this case, the UA implements CPL, but the proxy does not.  Or, the
   proxy implements CPL, but the UA does not.  In either case, the logic
   for the forwarding feature cannot be configured, and the feature does
   not work.

4.  Solution Considerations

   There are many ways this interoperability problem can be solved.  The
   most obvious solution is to actually enumerate every specific feature
   that we wish to support with SIP (Call Forward No Answer, Call
   Forward Busy, Hold, Music-on-hold, and so on).  Then, for each
   feature, identify a specific call flow that realizes it, and describe
   the exact functionality required in each component of the system.  In
   the case of call forward no answer, for example, we would choose one
   of the four approaches, define the information that needs to be
   configured (timeout, activation state, call forwarding URI), and
   describe the timer and how it operates.  This approach would actually
   lead to excellent interoperability, but would come at high cost.  The
   set of interoperable features would be limited to only those which we
   explicitly specify, and there would be little room for innovation.

   To avoid this pitfall and others like it, a proper solution to the
   interoperability has to be structured in such a way that it achieves
   the following goals:

   Avoid Enumeration:  One of

   Covers Everything:  Ultimately, the main goals goal of SIP the solution is to provide a rich
      set make
      things work in reality.  This means that the solution has to cover
      all aspects of features. the feature that can be a source of
      interoperability problems.  This includes traditional signaling,
      media, and even provisioning and configuration issues.  For
      example, the failure of Section was caused by an
      inconsistent provisioning mechanism between the UA and the server.
      Consequently, interoperability requires this mechanism to be
      agreed upon to the degree required for interop.  The objective of
      BLISS is that the resulting specifications ensure that you can
      take a UA from one vendor, plug it into the server of another, and
      it works - full stop.

   Avoid Enumeration:  One of the main goals of SIP is to provide a rich
      set of features.  If it requires a specification to be developed
      for each and every feature, this goal of SIP is lost.  Instead,
      SIP will be limited to a small number of features and it will be
      hard to add new ones.  Therefore, any solution to the
      interoperability problem must avoid the need to enumerate each and
      every feature and document something about it.

   Allow Variability in Definition:  It should not be necessary to
      rigorously define the behavior of any particular feature.  It is
      possible for variations to occur that do not affect
      interoperability.  For example, a variation on CFNA is that a
      provisional response can be sent back to the originator informing
      them that the call was forwarded.  This variation can be
      implemented without impacting interoperability at all; if the
      originator can render or utilize the provisional response, things
      work.  If they can't things still work on the originator simply
      doesn't get that part of the feature.  We should allow this kind
      of localized variability in what each feature does, to preserve

   Assume Multimedia:  Though many of the features discussed so far are
      very telephony centric, they all apply and can be used with any
      number of media types.  In addition, it is important that the
      solution to the interoperability problem not assume a particular
      media type.  Unless the feature is specifically about a media type
      (instant message logging for example), it must be possible for it
      to work with all media types.

   Allow Variability in Implementation:  Whenever possible, the solution
      to the interoperability problem should strive to allow variations
      in how the implementations work, while preserving
      interoperability.  For example, in the case of call forwarding,
      the central source of interoperability failure is that is unclear
      whether the UAs or proxies have responsibility for the forwarding
      logic.  If the decision was made that this logic is in the UA,
      then either Approach I or Approach III will work.  Consequently,
      it is not necessary to specify which of those two approaches is to
      be implemented; just that the UA performs the implementation.

   Support a Multiplicity of Environments:  SIP is utilized in a broad
      set of environments.  These include large service providers
      targeted to consumers, enterprises with business phones, and peer-
      to-peer systems where there is no central server at all.  SIP is
      utilized in wireless networks with limited bandwidth and high
      packet loss, and in high-bandwidth wired environments.  It is the
      goal of this process that interoperability be possible using the
      same set of specifications for all cases.  The problem is not
      restricted to just enterprises, even though many advanced features
      typically get associated with enterprise.

5.  BLISS Solution Framework

   The framework for solving this interoperability dilemma is called
   BLISS - Basic Level of Interoperability for SIP Services.  This
   solution is actually a process that a working group can follow to
   identify interoperability problems and then develop solutions.

5.1.  Phase I - Identify a Feature Group

   The first step is to identify a feature or set of features which have
   been known to be problematic in actual deployments.  These features
   are collected into bundles called a feature group.  A feature group
   is a collection of actual features that all have a similar flow, and
   for which it is believed the source of interoperability failures may
   be common.  A feature group can also have just one feature.  For
   example, Call Forward No Answer, Call Forward Busy, Call Forward
   Unconditional are all very similar, and clearly all have the same
   interoperability problem described in Section 3.1.  However, the root
   issue with these flows is that there needs to be a common
   understanding of where call treatment feature logic is executed, and
   how the desired treatment is signaled from the user to the place
   where it is implemented.  Thus, other features that are similar, in
   that they make a decision on call handling based on user input or
   conditions, will likely also benefit from consideration.

   Thus, a feature group is defined by a characteristic that identifies
   a large (and in fact, possibly infinite) number of actual "features"
   that all belong to the group.  This characteristic is called its
   functional primitive.  The first step in the BLISS process is to
   identify feature groups and their functional primitives that are
   narrow enough so they are meaningful, yet broad enough that they are
   not overly constraining.  This is not exact, and the initial
   definitions do not need to be exact.  They can be refined as the
   BLISS process proceeds.  Indeed, in many cases, investigations can
   start with a single feature - for example call park - and analysis
   can proceed with just one.  As work proceeds, the definition of the
   feature group can be broadened.  In the case of CFNA, clearly a
   functional primitive of "call forwarding features that execute on no-answer" no-
   answer" is too narrow.  A functional primitive of "features that
   handle an initial INVITE" is too broad.  An ideal starting point
   would probably be, "features that result in a retargeting or response
   operation that depend on user-specified criteria".  This covers all
   of the call forwarding variations, but also includes features like Do-Not-

   Each feature group should be defined in a similar way, through the
   definition of a functional primitive by which one could decide
   whether or not a particular feature was included.  As part of this
   definition, the group can consider specific features and agree
   whether or not they are covered by the primitive.  For example, would
   "send call to voicemail" be covered by the functional primitive
   "features that result in a retargeting or response operation that
   depend on user-specified criteria"?  The answer is yes in this case.
   Discussion of what features are covered by a functional primitive is
   part of the discussion in this phase.

   Care must be taken not to define the functional primitive in such a
   way as to eliminate the possibility of any but a defined and
   enumerated set of features from being included.  The functional
   primitive should clearly cover features which are in existence today,
   and of interest, but allow for future ones that could be covered by
   the primitive.  This avoids the perils of enumeration as discussed in
   Section 4.

5.2.  Phase II - Submit Feature Flows Gather Data

   With the functional primitive identified and a shared understanding
   of which features fit within it, the next step is for working group
   participants to document how their implementations implement features
   in the group.

   This takes the form can be done any number of ways.  Ideally, call flows along with
   explanatory text that clearly articulates what kind of logic,
   specific to that feature, is assumed in each component of the system.
   The approaches for CFNA documented in Section 3.1 are exactly what is
   required at this stage.  Ideally, there would be a
   collected that document submitted
   to the working group for each implementation.  For example, "Company
   Foo Flows for Call Forward" would be a document submitted mechanism implemented by an
   employee of company Foo, documenting their flow for call forward.
   THis document can include flows for each variation that the
   implementation supports.  For example, it might have a separate call
   flow documented for CFNA, for CFB, and for CFU.

   Obviously, other documentation procedures are possible.  A single
   editor can work with a team, and the team all suggest specific flows vendor.
   However, experience has shown that are accumulated into one document.  This avoids the need for
   vendor-specific documents.  Participants can also suggest flows they
   think might exist or might work, even if there is no known
   implementation of the flow.  That is fine too.  The primary objective
   of vendors frequently consider this phase
   information proprietary or sensitive.  An alternate model is to collect as many flows as possible for features
   that are covered by
   define a survey which asks high level questions about how the feature
   or feature group definition. is implemented.  Yet another model is to merely ask
   vendors to submit freeform text which describes their implementation.

   It is a decision of the working group as to whether to actually
   publish these flows the collected information as an RFC, or to use the flows them as a working
   internet draft, or just keep them on a web page.  The flows themselves are gathered data
   is not actually the an output of the BLISS process; they are only an intermediate
   step.  If the flows are information is to be published as an RFC, it is
   suggested that a single document be published for each functional
   primitive.  The title of the document would be something like,
   "Enumeration of Existing Practices for Foo" where "Foo" is some
   moniker for the functional primitive.  Such a document must be clear
   that it is NOT a best practice.  It would strictly be informational.  The document would have subsections for
   each flow contributed and considered by the group.

5.3.  BLISS Phase III - Problem Definition

   With flows current practice for a particular feature group collected, the
   next step in the process is to an analysis on analyze the flows. data.  The analysis
   considers each permutation of implementation of logic from the flows submitted data
   gathered in the previous phase, and determines which combinations
   work, and which ones do not.

   General speaking, this analysis is performed by taking the components
   associated with the feature (for example, in the case of CFNA, there
   are four components - three UA and one proxy), and for each one
   considering what happens when it implements one of the logical
   behaviors identified in the flow documents cases identified from the previous phase.
   Thus, if four variations on a feature have been submitted to the
   group, and that feature has four components, there are 16 possible
   deployment scenarios that can be considered.  In practice, many of
   these are equivalent or moot, and therefore the number in practice
   will be much smaller.  The group should work to identify those cases
   that are going to be of interest, and then based on the logic in each
   component, figure out where interoperability failures occur.

   This phase can be accomplished using documents that contain flows, or
   can be purely a thinking exercise carried out on the mailing list. list or
   in a design team.  In all likelihood, it will depend on the feature
   group and the level of complexity.  Regardless of the intermediate
   steps, the end goal of this phase should be an enumeration of
   combinations with known interoperability problems.  This  One possible
   output would look exactly like the contents of Section 3.1.5, which
   describe several failure modes that are possible.

5.4.  BLISS Phase 4 - Minimum Interop Definition

   The final step in the BLISS process is to repair the interopreability
   failures identified in the previous phase.  This is done by coming up
   with a set of recommendations on behaviors of various components,
   such that, were those rules to be followed, those interoperability
   failure cases would not have occurred.

   In some cases, these recommendations identify a place in the network
   where something has to happen.  Again, considering our CFNA example,
   the primary recommendation that needs to be made is where the logic
   for call handling should happen - in the UA, in the proxy, or both.
   This is likely to be a contentious topic, and the right thing will
   certainly be a function of participant preference and use cases that
   are considered important.  But, no one ever said life is easy.

   In other cases, these recommendations take the form of a
   specification that needs to be implemented.  For example, CFNA can be
   implemented using CPL, in which case both the UA and proxy need to
   support it.  If the group should decide that CPL is the main way to
   implement these features, the recommendation should clearly state
   that CPL is required in both places.

   Indeed, if a particular functional primitive requires any
   functionality to be present in any node that goes beyond the "common"
   functions in RFC 3261, the recommendations need to state that.  For
   example, if a particular feature can be implemented using S/MIME, and
   the group decides that S/MIME is the required everywhere for this
   feature to work, that recommendation should be clearly stated.

   In some cases, only a part of a specification is required in order
   for the features in a feature group to be interoperable.  In that
   case, the group should identify which parts it is.  In the example of
   CPL, RFC 3880 [RFC3880], the ability to support non-signalling
   controls is not neccesary to achieve an implementation of this
   feature group.  So, the recommendation could be that this part is not

   Another key part of the recommendations that get made in this phase,
   are recommendations around capability discovery.  If a decision is
   made that says there are multiple different ways that a feature can
   work, and it is necessary to know which one is in use, some kind of
   capability exchange is required.  Consider once more CFNA.  If the
   recommendation of the group is that all proxies have to implement the
   logic associated with the feature, but phones can also optionally do
   it, the UA needs to determine whether it has to be responsible for
   this feature or not.  Otherwise, the failure mode in Section
   may still happen.  This particular problem can be resolved, for
   example, by the use of a feature tag in the Require header field that
   would inform the proxy whether it should or should not provide the
   feature.  The BLISS recommendations for this phase need to include
   these kinds of things, if they are necessary for the feature group.

   The recommendations in this phase, covering specific protocols or
   pieces of protocols, places where functionality needs to reside, and
   capability negotiations and controls, are all the final output of the
   BLISS process.  If the group has done its job well, with these
   recommendations, a (potentially large) class of features will
   interoperate, yet there will be room for innovation.

6.  Structure of the BLISS Final Deliverable

   This section describes a recommended template for the final BLISS
   deliverable - the recommendations of Section 5.4.

   There will typically be a document produced per functional primitive.
   The title of the document must clearly articulate the functional
   primitive that is being addressed.  For example, if the functional
   group is forwarding, an appropriate title would be, "Best Practices
   for Interoperability of Forwarding Features in the Session Initiation
   Protocol".  It is important that the feature group be well
   articulated in the title, so that implementors seeking guidance on
   these features can find it.

   Similarly, the abstract of the document is very important.  It has to
   contain several sentences that more clearly articulate the functional
   primitive definition.  In addition, the abstract should contain
   example features, by name or description, that are defined by the
   functional primitive.  Again, this is important so that people
   looking to understand why feature foo doesn't work, can find the
   right specification that tells them what they need to do to make it

   The body of the document needs to first clearly and fully define the
   functional primitive.  It must then enumerate features that are in
   the group.  Next, the document should summarize the problems that
   have arisen in practice that led to the interoperability failures.

   This would basically be a summarization of the results of phase III
   of the BLISS process.  If the feature group were call forwarding,
   this part of the document would discuss how the primary problem is
   where in the network the actual feature logic lives - UA or proxy,
   and that the interop problems occur because of inconsistent choices
   between UA and proxy.  The final part of the document is explicit
   recommendations.  This would typically be broken out by component
   types - a section for UA, a section for proxies or "servers" more
   generally (so that it is clear that B2BUAs aren't excused from the
   interoperability requirements).  This section would clearly state the
   requirements for this feature group - specifications, portions of
   specifications, and capability behaviors that are required.

7.  Security Considerations

   Interoperability of security functions is also a critical part of the
   overall interoperability problem, and must be considered as well.

8.  IANA Considerations

   There are no IANA considerations associated with this specification.

9.  Acknowledgements

   I'd like to thank Shida Schubert, Jason Fischl, and John Elwell for
   actually running the BLISS process and providing feedback on its

10.  Informative References

   [RFC3261]  Rosenberg, J., Schulzrinne, H., Camarillo, G., Johnston,
              A., Peterson, J., Sparks, R., Handley, M., and E.
              Schooler, "SIP: Session Initiation Protocol", RFC 3261,
              June 2002.

   [RFC3263]  Rosenberg, J. and H. Schulzrinne, "Session Initiation
              Protocol (SIP): Locating SIP Servers", RFC 3263,
              June 2002.

   [RFC3264]  Rosenberg, J. and H. Schulzrinne, "An Offer/Answer Model
              with Session Description Protocol (SDP)", RFC 3264,
              June 2002.

   [RFC3515]  Sparks, R., "The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Refer
              Method", RFC 3515, April 2003.

   [RFC3891]  Mahy, R., Biggs, B., and R. Dean, "The Session Initiation
              Protocol (SIP) "Replaces" Header", RFC 3891,
              September 2004.

   [RFC4235]  Rosenberg, J., Schulzrinne, H., and R. Mahy, "An INVITE-
              Initiated Dialog Event Package for the Session Initiation
              Protocol (SIP)", RFC 4235, November 2005.

   [RFC3880]  Lennox, J., Wu, X., and H. Schulzrinne, "Call Processing
              Language (CPL): A Language for User Control of Internet
              Telephony Services", RFC 3880, October 2004.

Author's Address

   Jonathan Rosenberg
   Edison, NJ

   Phone: +1 973 952-5000

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