JAIN, a set of integrated network APIs for the Java platform, provides a framework to build and integrate solutions (or "services") that span across packet (e.g., IP or ATM), wireless, and PSTN networks. The objective of JAIN is to provide service portability, convergence, and secure access (by services residing outside of the network) to such integrated networks. JAIN is defined and specified by a large number of participating communication companies (the JAIN Community), and according to a well-documented process (the Java Community Process or JCP). The objective of the JAIN Community is to create an open market for services across integrated networks using Java technology. This article is the first of a series in this issue of IEEE Communications Magazine and serves as an introduction to the other articles. The next section provides the JAIN business case. The article then summarizes how the JAIN Community works, and briefly introduces how the JAIN Community is organized. The next two sections are of a more technical nature and explain how separate JAIN work items fit together. In particular, we provide the rationale for the currently supported levels of abstraction (in terms of session/call signaling models) in JAIN. We look at possible implementation scenarios. Conclusions are contained in the last section. For more details on several of the JAIN Community work items, please refer to the other JAIN-related articles [1--3] in this issue of IEEE Communications Magazine
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