Human Communications has had a very busy year during 1997 as the integration of facsimile with other communication technologies continues to surge forward at a rapid rate. We have been very active in the standards work on Internet Fax. James Rafferty is co-chair of the Internet Fax work group of the Internet Engineering Task Force and has also been an active contributor in related activities within the TIA TR-29 fax standards committee in the United States and within Study Group 8 of the International Telecommunications Union. In general, the focus of these Internet fax activities is to develop standardized ways to conduct facsimile communications on the Internet or within private company intranets.
James has also continued to be active in efforts to extend the Group 3 facsimile protocol. He is editor of the work on an Extended Negotiations Protocol (ENP) within TR-29 and the ITU-T Study Group 8. ENP is intended to provide new T.30 protocol signals and procedures which will extend the fax protocol to permit multiple pass exchanges and flow control during negotiations. Applications which may benefit from these new protocol features include Fax Security, Binary File Transfer and Color/Mixed Raster Content fax. James is also the TR-29.1 editor and an active ITU contributor on the topic of enhanced Binary File Transfer (BFT). The target of the enhanced BFT work is to enable fax terminals and applications to conduct negotiations on attributes of binary files prior to attempting a file transfer via Group 3 fax.
James is also editor for the facsimile task group within the Enterprise Computer Telephony Forum. In 1996, the ECTF released the revision 1 of the S.100 specification, a document which provides an open interoperability agreement on software interfaces to support various media streams within computer telephony platforms. The S.100 specification includes a fax resource Application Program Interface. The group is currently in the process of updating this document to the revision 2 level.
Messaging integration continues to be a popular theme among many of the clients of Human Communications. In line with this interest, James has become coordinator of the Internet/Intranets work group of the Electronic Messaging Association. The group is working to ensure that emerging Internet technologies can be used to effectively meet user requirements in areas such as Internet based messaging, messaging integration (fax, voice, e-mail, ...) and Intranets.
James has also been a contributor to the work on Group 5 messaging, an initiative of the Group 5 Forum. Group 5 messaging builds on existing standards for Group 3 fax and Internet mail, and is intended to provide a message communications service which will work over both the telephone network and the Internet.
Human Communications also continues to be active in providing courses on Group 3 fax technology in partnership with fax testing leader Genoa Technology. Public and private courses have been offered in 1997, with the next course being planned for early 1998 at a southern California location.
We continue to cover the latest developments in fax standards in our well known newsletter, Human Communications Digest and also provide analysis on the impact of new trends such as Internet fax on the vendor and customer communities. Our new Human Communications Standards Update publications provide practical advice to vendors and customers about how to take new standards based technologies and put them to work to solve real world problems. Our first volume on Fax Routing Standards and Practice was given a Best of Fax award by the American Facsimile Association. We are currently, in Fall 1997, conducting an updated vendor survey on fax routing for an upcoming edition of the HC Standards Update. Vendors who want to participate should contact us at email@example.com.
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