This article originally appeared in the January 2011 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY
I am constantly asked the question by alumni, “I went to the SIP Tutorial years ago, has it really changed?” The answer can be seen in the marketplace today.
Based on HTML, SIP started off as an easy to read telecommunications protocol that was aimed at supporting telecom-like services. However, at its core it was about the Internet.
And as the Internet changes, so has SIP.
SIP took advantage of the presence and instant messaging revolution to deliver new services and replace the signaling protocols of the legacy dial tone with the Internet model of knowing your status and availability.
Then came the early versions of Skype and BitTorrent (News - Alert) that taught us about peer-to-peer connectivity, the further modification of the web, and the move away from client/server technologies.
Then came the unified communication vision where rich media started to integrate all these media formats into a complete communication suite of communication. While strongly connected to the enterprise side of the business, it represented new adoption of SIP by major players.
Recently, the use of over-the top video and end-to-end communication has given rise to mobile video communication that we see on the iPhone (News - Alert) and Android implementations, And this is a foreshadowing of what is possible when the new video standard codecs are implemented.
All of these changes represent leaps forward on the Internet and progress that has then been integrated into the standards. SIP continues to explode with innovation like the rest of the web, and as the new solutions arrive they add to the mix of SIP.
This history is in the SIP Tutorial, but more important are the teachers. Henry Sinnreich and Alan Johnston (News - Alert) worked together on the first commercial SIP implementation for MCI back when Vint Cerf was pushing to make everything work over IP. Vint was their boss.
They not only represent the original implementation but current authorship of the SIP RFCs.
They provide in each SIP Tutorial an update of how the standard is being impacted by the innovation of the Internet.
Then you have to ask the question: Who should go to the SIP Tutorial? The answer is rarely the beginner but often the person looking to take his or her development plans beyond what exists and toward what can be.
And now we are the next phase of the web and cloud computing where the soon to be released version of HTML5 will bring a new era of rich communication. The voice of the web will be SIP, the device you carry will integrate SIP, and in many cases the devices that talk to other machines will find SIP a solution that makes sense in the future.
If you are looking to be current, the SIP Tutorial will take you way beyond 2.0.
Carl Ford (News - Alert) is a partner at Crossfire Media.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi