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Oracle® Communications Services Gatekeeper Application Developer's Guide
Release 5.0

Part Number E16611-02
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1 Creating Applications for Oracle Communications Services Gatekeeper

As the worlds of Internet applications and of telephony-based functionality continue to converge, many application developers have become frustrated by the unfamiliar and often complex telecom interfaces that they need to master to add even simple telephony-based features to their programs. By using Oracle Communications Services Gatekeeper, telecom operators can instead offer developers a secure, easy-to-develop-for single point of contact with their networks, made up of simple Web Service interfaces that can easily be accessed from the Internet using a wide range of tools and languages.

The following chapter presents an overview of Services Gatekeeper's functionality, and the ways that application developers can use this functionality to simplify their development projects.

Basic Concepts

There are a few basic concepts you need to understand to create applications that can interact with Services Gatekeeper:

Communication Services

The basic functional unit in Services Gatekeeper is the communication service. A communication service consists of a service type (Short Messaging, User Location, etc.), an application-facing interface (also called a “north” interface), and a network-facing interface (also called a “south” interface). A request for service enters through one interface, is subjected to internal processing, including evaluation for policy and protocol translation, and is then sent on using the other interface.


Because a single application-facing interface may be connected to multiple protocols and hardware types in the underlying telecom network, it's important to understand that an application is communicating, finally, with a specific communication service, and not just the north interface. So in some cases it is possible that an application request sent to two different carriers, with different underlying network structures, might behave in slightly different ways, even though the initial request uses exactly the same north interface.

Traffic Types

In some Services Gatekeeper communication services, request traffic can travel in two directions - from the application to the underlying network and from the underlying network to the application - and in others traffic flows in one direction only.

Application-initiated Traffic

In application-initiated traffic, the application sends a request to Services Gatekeeper, the request is processed, and a response of some kind is returned synchronously. So, for example, an application could use the Third Party Call interface to set up a call. The initial operation, MakeCall, is sent to Services Gatekeeper (which sends it on to the network) and a string, the CallIdentifier, is returned to the application synchronously. To find out the status of the call, the application makes a new request, GetCallInformation, using the CallIdentifier to identify the specific call, and then receives the requested information back from Services Gatekeeper synchronously.

Network-triggered Traffic

In many cases, application-initiated traffic provides all the functionality necessary to accomplish the desired tasks. But there are certain situations in which useful information may not be immediately available for return to the application. For example, the application might send an SMS to a mobile phone that the user has turned off. The network won't deliver the message until the user turns the phone back on, which might be hours or even days later. The application can poll to find out whether or not the message has been delivered, using GetSmsDeliveryStatus, which functions much like GetCallInformation described above. But given the possibly extended period of time involved, it would be convenient simply to have the network notify the application once delivery to the mobile phone has been accomplished. To do this, two things must happen:

  • The application must inform Services Gatekeeper that it wishes to receive information that originates from the network. It does this by subscribing or registering for notifications via an application-initiated request. (In certain cases, this can also be accomplished by the operator, using OAM procedures.) Often this subscription includes filtering criteria that describes exactly what kinds of traffic it wishes to receive. Depending on the underlying network configuration, Services Gatekeeper itself, or the operator using manual steps, informs the underlying network about the kind of data that is requested. These notifications may be status updates, as described above, or, in some instances, may even include short or multimedia messages from a terminal on the telecom network.

  • The application must arrange to receive the network-triggered information, either by implementing a Web Service endpoint on its own site to which Services Gatekeeper dispatches the notifications, or by polling Services Gatekeeper to retrieve them. Notifications are kept in Services Gatekeeper for retrieval for only limited amounts of time.

Management Structures

In order to help telecom operators organize their relationships with application providers, Services Gatekeeper uses a hierarchical system of accounts. Each application is assigned a unique application instance ID which is tied to an Application Account. All the Application Accounts that belong to a single entity are assigned to a Service Provider Account. Application Accounts with similar requirements are put into Application Groups and Service Providers with similar requirements are put into Service Provider Groups. Each Application Group is associated with an Application Group Service Level Agreement (SLA) and each Service Provider Group are associated with Service Provider Group SLAs. These SLAs define and regulate the contractual agreements between the telecom operator and the application service provider, and cover such things as which services the application may access and the maximum bandwidth available for use.

Functional Overview

Services Gatekeeper allows operators to provide client application developers with a choice of interface types, based on the needs of their applications. Services Gatekeeper provides SOAP-based Web Services interfaces, RESTful interfaces (see RESTful Application Development Guide), and even two native telephony interfaces (MM7 and SMPP).


The exact mix of interfaces depends on the specific Services Gatekeeper installation.

The SOAP-based Web Services APIs are based on the Parlay X 2.1 and 3.0 standards and also include three additional Extended Web Services ones to cover Binary SMS, Subscriber Profile, and WAP Push functionality, which are not supported by Parlay X. The functionality supported by these communication services includes:

There are three native telephony APIs supported by Services Gatekeeper.

Application Testing Workflow

Application testing in a telecom environment is usually conducted in a stepwise manner. For the first step, applications are run against simulators like the optional Services Gatekeeper Simulator. The Services Gatekeeper Simulator emulates both the Services Gatekeeper and the underlying network, and allows developers to sort out basic functional issues without having to be connected to a network or network simulator. Once basic functional issues are sorted through, the application is connected to an instance of the Services Gatekeeper attached to a network simulator for non-functional testing. Next the application is tested against a test network, to eliminate any network related issues. Finally, the application can be placed into production on a live network. Figure 1-1, "Application Testing Cycle" shows the complete application test flow, from the developer's functional tests to deployment in a live network. While Services Gatekeeper Simulator-based tests may be performed in-house by an Application Service Provider, the other tests require the cooperation of the target network operator.

Figure 1-1 Application Testing Cycle

Surrounding text describes Figure 1-1 .