Chasing Apple, HP targets telecoms with app store pack

Rob Barry

The success of the iPhone App Store has put application development for the telecommunication industry in the limelight and telcos around the globe are leveraging SOAs to catch up. Adding to the mix, HP has added REST support, a virtual sandbox and a handful of features to its Service Delivery Platform for the telecom industry.

The product is designed to help telcos provide a service-oriented architecture for developers to build Web-based applications, widgets and mashups on the service provider's wireless network. A carrier which implements a Service Delivery Platform can create a community for independent developers to build, test and run their applications.

HP said it hopes to foster a standards-based approach to development in the telecom space by adding REST to its supported protocols in version 3.0.

"Not every service that we have exposed and offered is WS-* based," said Tim Hall, director of SOA products at HP Software & Solutions. "The handsets can support a wide variety of protocols, but if you're going to send them XML content in a small discrete package, then that seems to be the way to go."

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From the list of customers HP supplied, it doesn't appear their Service Delivery Platform is yet getting a lot of play in North America. Some customers include Telenor in Norway, Telefonica in Spain, SK Telecom in South Korea and Telecom Italia.

Earlier this month, Telefonica opened its own application store for mobile phones, called the mstore, with more than 1,000 applications to start with.

The HP Service Delivery Platform has a fairly large feature set. There is a virtual sandbox, a revenue management model, service orchestration, a storefront portal and multimedia support. Now that the platform has added REST to its existing support of WS-*, HP hopes to attract more Web 2.0 developers to its customers' application development networks.

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