For Immediate Release
April 3, 1996

NTT's MIA Computer Procurement Specifications Incorporated into NMF/SPIRIT International Common Specifications
- NTT to shift from MIA to SPIRIT specifications -

Major specifications of the MIA*1 computer procurement specifications developed by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) have been incorporated into the SPIRIT*2 general-purpose computer specifications developed by service providers and vendors worldwide, signifying favorable evaluation of NTT's high-level technology for such specifications.

NTT, aiming at the easy construction of multivendor systems, developed its MIA specifications in collaboration with several vendors beginning in 1988. NTT has developed an in-house multivendor computer system using the specifications and has continued to promote the wider recognition of MIA. To further enhance and develop MIA internationally, NTT established the SPIRIT project within the Network Management Forum (NMF) in 1993 in collaboration with the world's major service providers and vendors. The aim of NMF/SPIRIT is to develop common computer procurement specifications for service providers. The inclusion of MIA's main specifications in NMF/SPIRIT follows three years of work by NTT to further the project.

In addition, STDL*3, a set of specifications for on-line transaction processing and a key component of NMF/SPIRIT, was adopted by X/OPEN*4, an international organization developing industry standards for open systems.

NTT plans to shift its own computer procurement specifications from MIA to SPIRIT, based on these developments.


I. Background and History

Multivendor systems combining computers of various vendors offer the merit of using individual vendors' computers for their best applications. Due to differences between vendors' computers, however, it is difficult to port application programs and to ensure interoperability, as well as to maintain consistent usability.

To resolve these problems for the efficient construction of multivendor systems, NTT introduced the Multivendor Integration Architecture (MIA) specifications in 1991 for its own computer procurement, based on which in-house application systems have been constructed at NTT.

For similar reasons, a project called Service Providers' Integrated Requirements for Information Technology (NMF/SPIRIT) was formed within the Network Management Forum (NMF) in 1993 to develop common computer procurement specifications for service providers worldwide.

II. Technical Points

NTT has actively contributed to the NMF/SPIRIT project since its beginning through efforts including providing information on its MIA specifications. As a result, the third and current issue of NMF/SPIRIT embraces the major specifications of MIA. Meanwhile, to develop specifications for the most open and broadest possible application, NMF/SPIRIT has collaborated with X/Open, a consortium which has been working towards industry standards for open systems. Last fall, X/Open adopted NMF/SPIRIT's Structured Transaction Definition Language (STDL), a core component of NMF/SPIRIT and based on MIA technology provided by NTT.

As a result of such developments, NTT plans to shift its own computer procurement specifications from MIA to NMF/SPIRIT, as well as offer additional requirements for incorporation into NMF/SPIRIT from April. These additional requirements will concern specific conditions for individual regions and countries where NMF/SPIRIT specifications are recognized.

NMF/SPIRIT specifications have been developed based on service providers' requirements, but are for general-use purposes not limited to on the telecommunications industry. NMF/SPIRIT facilitates the simplified development of multivendor systems. Given that NTT's specifications have been favorably developed and incorporated into international common specifications, NTT expects to contribute further to the development of open systems not limited to vendors.

Vendors interested in receiving a copy of a document entitled " Additional Requirements for NMF/SPIRIT Specifications" should contact the NTT International Procurement Division at (phone) 03-3509-5939.

III. Terms

*1) MIA (Multivendor Integration Architecture)
This is a set of procurement specifications for general-purpose computers that NTT developed in collaboration with NTT Data Communications Systems Corporation (NTT DATA) and five computer vendors (IBM Japan Ltd., Digital Equipment Corporation Japan, NEC Corporation, Hitachi Ltd. and Fujitsu Ltd.). MIA does not rely on specific types of computers and vendors to realize efficient construction of multivendor systems. MIA was announced in 1991 and has been utilized for computer procurement of in-house systems at NTT since 1992.

*2) NMF/SPIRIT (Service Providers' Integrated Requirements for Information Technology)
This is a set of procurement specifications for general-purpose computers that service providers around the world can utilize commonly for the procurement of information processing systems. NMF/SPIRIT was developed by a project team in the Network Management Forum (NMF), an organization promoting the standardization of network & system management technology and manufacturing. NMF/SPIRIT was formed by world's major service providers and computer vendors.

*3) STDL (Structured Transaction Definition Language)
This is a high-level language to describe application programs of transaction processing (processing patterns of computers necessary for basic business.) STDL is appropriate for open systems as it is compatible with vendors' conventional transaction processing monitors. Program description for distributed systems can be easily carried out with STDL. The language was included in NMF/SPIRIT based on improvements in specifications developed by MIA.

*4) X/Open
This international organization was established to develop standard specifications for the computer industry and to promote open systems.