Friday, November 6, 2009

Telephony integration and Clique Space(TM).

I'm a little more relaxed in this post; my computer has been returned and I have found my data to be intact.

Now to the substance of this post...

People may confuse Clique Space with telephony integration toolboxes like the open source Asterisk or identity systems like OpenID, only to ask themselves what the difference is. I have been asked similar questions before, so I will try to explain the difference here.

Telephony integration has recently become popular as organisations try to integrate all the communications technology that have grown organically through the ebb and flow (or should that rather be flow and ebb) of technology trends. Obviously, organisations are looking for a way to integrate all this technology so a user doesn't have to remember different ways of operating different devices; a growing frustration.

As far as I can tell (I haven't truly studied the subject, so come to these conclusions from a position of ignorance) a telephony integration toolbox is a library of middle-ware adaptors and other gadgets that allow a device of one type to interface with a device of another type. This is something that adds value to the current and ever increasing types of devices, and its value is probably justified as far as I have been able to understand. One might use a telephony integration library to integrate mobile phone networks with VOIP networks, or to translate between IM text and audio.

I'm not good at remembering thousands of trivial facts, and telephony integration requires the developer learn by rote, a lot of protocol minutiae. Minutiae is something I have habit to avoid, and instead, prefer to remember general concepts. Clique Space is a concept that generalises user, device and collaborative behaviour.

Clique Space does not facilitate telephony integration, or any other middle-ware function known to me when I registered the patent. I am still yet to find a technology that approaches what Clique Space is at this point in time. In fact, Clique Space is so very different to any middle-ware technology. A Clique Space may sit above a middle-ware platform and may even straddle different ones; multiple competing platforms exist even though this contradicts their existence. The use of Clique Space over any middle-ware platform or platforms would at least be orthogonal to, but may even compliment the platforms over which it is used.

This is how.

I don't believe I have to know about how a middle-ware platform might function, yet I know that it must function through the cooperative action (a collaboration) of a collection of hardware and software devices. Needless to say, these devices could Connect themselves to a Clique Space system as Client Devices. Each Client Device would use one or more suitable Media Profiles that would model the Client Devices' individual behaviour and their collaborative behaviour as Cliques so this behaviour could be controlled and recorded.

A Clique Space merely models (and may, depending on the way particular devices function, control) the individual and collaborative behaviour of devices which are registered within it. It might be considered a tool for telephony integration itself, although it can be used in many more contexts than this. In this sense, Clique Space is not middle-ware in the same sense as telephony integration is. Unless a Media Profile might make use of Clique Space's own transport mechanism, Clique Space does not facilitate a transport layer allowing one kind of device to talk to another. However, it does allow device compatibility to be modelled in a hierarchy of Media Profiles so this compatibility might be communicated to any other Client Device that has the ability to View a Clique Space.

Hence, I believe it can be demonstrated that Clique Space occupies its own valuable niche in a world where the management of a growing number of devices will impress on users the practical necessity of Clique Space's use. Clique Space also integrates this management of devices with management of user identity and affiliation in a seamless whole. I'll probably talk about user identity and affiliation in a later post although I've already covered it somewhat in earlier posts like this one.

... and if proof can be shown, I'll gladly accept proof that I'm wrong. I'll be able to let this go if I am.

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