Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Ruminating on TMForum

The TM Forum (TMF) is an organisation of over 850 telecom firms working together to drive digital innovation. They created a standard known as TMF Open APIs, which provides a standard interface for the interchange of various telco data.

TM Forum’s Open APIs are JSON-based and follow the REST paradigm. They also share a common data model for Telecom.

Any CSP (Communications service provider) can accelerate their API journey by leveraging the TMForum API contracts. The link below gives some of the examples of the API standards available:

Currently, there are around 60+ APIs defined in the Open API table of TMForum. 

Few examples of the APIs are as follows:

  • Customer Bill Management API: This API allows operations to find and retrieve one or several customer bills (also called invoices) produced for a customer.
  • Customer Management API: Provides a standardized mechanism for customer and customer account management, such as creation, update, retrieval, deletion and notification of events.
  • Digital Identity Management API: Provides the ability to manage a digital identity. This digital identity allows identification of an individual, a resource, or a party Role (a specific role - or set of roles - for a given individual).
  • Account Management API: Provides standardized mechanism for the management of billing and settlement accounts, as well as for financial accounting (account receivable) either in B2B or B2B2C contexts.
  • Geographic Address Management API: Provides a standardized client interface to an Address management system. It allows looking for worldwide addresses
  • Geographic Site Management API: Covers the operations to manage (create, read, delete) sites that can be associated with a customer, account, service delivery or other entities.
  • Payment Management API: The Payments API provides the standardized client interface to Payment Systems for notifying about performed payments or refunds.
  • Payment Method Management API: This API supports the frequently-used payment methods for the customer to choose and pay the usage, including voucher card, coupon, and money transfer.
  • Product Ordering Management API: Provides a standardized mechanism for placing a product order with all the necessary order parameters.
  • Promotion Management API: Used to provide the additional discount, voucher, bonus or gift to the customer who meets the pre-defined criteria.
  • Recommendation Management API: Recommendation API is used to recommend offering quickly based on the history and real-time context of a customer.
  • Resource Function Activation Management API: This API introduces Resource Function which is used to represent a Network Service as well as a Network Function.

The GitHub repository of TMForum is a great place to get acquainted with the APIs -

Since the TMForum defines the data model in JSON format, any noSQL datastore that stores data as JSON documents becomes an easy option to quickly implement an API strategy. For example, TMF data model of the API can be persisted 1:1 in Mongo database without the need for additional mappings as shown here -

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