[BLeiner@ARPA.MIL: workshop announcement]

Karen R. Sollins (sollins@lcs.mit.edu)
Sun, 5 Mar 1995 16:42:57 -0500


Date: Sun, 5 Mar 1995 16:42:57 -0500
Message-Id: <199503052142.QAA02986@lysithea.lcs.mit.edu>
From: "Karen R. Sollins" <sollins@lcs.mit.edu>
To: uri@bunyip.com, iiir@vinca.cnidr.org
Subject: [BLeiner@ARPA.MIL: workshop announcement]

SIGCOMM95
WORKSHOP ON MIDDLEWARE
28-29 AUGUST 1995
CAMBRIDGE, MA

With the growth of the Internet and the corresponding agreement on a common
network and transport infrastructure comes a new opportunity. The consensus
on the use of the TCP/IP protocol suite, including protocols for routing,
addressing, and forwarding of packets, end-to-end transport mechanisms, and
standard protocols for file transfer, remote login, electronic mail and
network management has resulted in a wide spread interoperable networking
infrastructure. This in turn is creating tremendous opportunities for new
and innovative services to be provided over the network. An example of this
is the rapid evolution of the World-Wide Web in the last several years.

At the same time, the explosive growth in availability and use of the
Internet is creating new challenges. The existing infrastructure must be
extended if it is to continue to scale in numbers of users, offer bandwidth
guarantees, and support new classes of network applications. These trends
demand that we raise the level of common services and introduce new types
of higher-level services. Interoperable information management, search, and
retrieval mechanisms would create opportunities for new third-party
information services. Interoperable payment mechanisms would spur the
evolution of electronic commerce. Interoperable multimedia representation
formats and exchange protocols would spur a new generation of group support
tools. There are opportunities to create many such middleware components,
including caching and replication services, indexing services, remote
scripting environments, data typing and structuring primitives, and higher
level communication abstractions such as multicast and causal broadcast.

The purpose of this workshop is to explore this area of middleware
infrastructure. A specific objective is to identify and discuss those areas
of services that would sit "above" the traditional network protocols and
provide means for extending the the commonly available services on the
network to enclose higher layers of abstraction. A critical question to be
addressed is the balance between standardization and the exploration of new
concepts for middleware services. Thus, identifying the appropriate level
for standardization and interoperability is expected to be a major topic of
discussion at the workshop. We plan to discuss the vision for where
middleware is heading. For example, what kind of middleware support is
needed for the integration of databases, information spaces (such as WWW),
and personal communication tools. Finally, engineering issues in middleware
implementation will be of interest. Questions will be addressed such as how
to engineer the interface between middleware and TCP and how to take
advantage of underneath IP multicast support in caching and replication
services.

The workshop will be organized based on invited participants. A workshop of
approximately 75 people is anticipated. Brief (no more than three pages)
position papers are welcome to aid in the selection of workshop invitees.
These position papers are due no later than 15 March 1995. The workshop
itself will last 1.5 days immediately preceeding the main SIGCOMM'95
conference.

Position papers should be sent by electronic mail in ascii to
SC95WS@mercury.lcs.mit.edu. Questions should be addressed to the Workshop
Program Chair, Dr. Barry M. Leiner, BLeiner@arpa.mil.