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SnowShore Develops Media Server Control Markup Language (MSCML)

SnowShore Develops New Standard for IP-Enhanced Conferencing and SIP Services

Endorsements by Telecom Leaders Highlights Steady Adoption Throughout Industry
Media Server Markup Language Embraced by Industry for SIP Enhanced Conferencing
SnowShore Offers Royalty-Free Usage to Drive the Industry's Adoption of Open, Flexible Service Applications and Features

Chelmsford, MA, USA. September 08, 2003

SnowShore Networks, a leading provider of IP services infrastructure for wireline, wireless and broadband networks, today [2003-09-08] officially introduced the application development and control protocol -- media server control markup language (MSCML) -- to the telecommunications industry. The protocol, which the company created in 2000 and submitted to the IETF as an Internet Draft in 2002 after a rigorous two year test and evaluation process, is used to drive the delivery of IP enhanced conferencing to wireline, wireless and broadband networks worldwide. SnowShore also announced the successful deployment of MSCML in both trials and live network environments by a number of leading telecommunications vendors, applications developers and service providers worldwide.

"Z-Tel has found that using the MSCML standard, based on XML document type definitions, is ideal for application call control for IP services, especially in the area of conferencing," notes Jim Kitchen of Z-Tel, Senior VP of Network Strategy.

Open and Standardized

As part of its ongoing drive to fuel the growth of innovative services, SnowShore has stated to the IETF that it is offering Royalty Free licenses of its intellectual property necessary for implementing the MSCML standard. This inclusive policy provides IP application developers, infrastructure vendors and service providers with the opportunity to bring to market new IP enhanced conferencing and innovative services within the universal framework of SIP and MSCML. Specific information regarding this offer may be obtained from the IETF.

"It is in our DNA at SnowShore to develop inclusive and standardized solutions," said Eric Burger, SnowShore CTO and an author of MSCML. "Unlike other proprietary protocols which resemble closely guarded treasure maps -- only available to certain vendors and on a royalty basis -- MSCML is a public roadmap that leads developers, vendors and service providers down the road to successful development and deployment of innovative, feature rich enhanced IP services." Burger is a key contributor to the development and broad acceptance of other open standards such as SIP and VXML. He has written numerous documents and standards for the IETF, W3C, CableLabs, and the IPCC.

Industry Adopted and Deployed

MSCML is a SIP-based development and control language for IP enhanced conferencing services. MSCML is used in conjunction with SIP to provide advanced conferencing and IVR functions. Over the course of its development and testing in the last two years, MSCML has become the control protocol of choice within the industry for innovative IP enhanced conferencing applications and features. MSCML is currently being used by a number of application developers, media server manufacturers, equipment vendors and service providers in trials and live deployments including Z-Tel, IBM, Broadsoft, Bay Packets, Commetrex, Leapstone and Ubiquity Software. Industry watchers and vendors alike view MSCML as the essential protocol for call control between the media server and application server in the IP services architecture.

"MSCML represents the next step in the development and delivery of SIP conferencing services enabling the incorporation of advanced features and controls such as sizing and resizing, in-conference IVR operations and conference event reporting," said Marc Beattie, Senior Partner Wainhouse Research. "MSCML provides both a standardized framework and functionality to guide developers in introducing a wide range of innovative IP services that have not been available to this point."

MSCML is understood to be the only language being deployed for SIP enhanced conferencing and serves as the framework and development language for a broad array of innovative IP services such as messaging and IP Centrex. In conferencing, MSCML enables the development of advanced IP conference functions such as floor control, sidebar-conferencing, gain control and other service innovations.

"We believe by offering MSCML to the industry, it will spur true innovation and growth of new IP services that will benefit the entire VoIP market," concluded Burger. "MSCML is a tried and true solution that provides vendors and service providers alike with the fuel necessary for powering a new generation of multimedia applications."


Prior to MSCML, there was no standard way to deliver SIP-based enhanced conferencing. Basic SIP constructs, such as described in the IETF's Basic Network Media Services with SIP(4), served simple n-way conferencing well. The SIP URI provides a natural mechanism for identifying a specific SIP conference, while INVITE and BYE methods elegantly implement conference join and leave semantics. However, enhanced conferencing applications also require features such as sizing and resizing, in-conference IVR operations (e.g., recording and playing participant names to the full conference) and conference event reporting. MSCML payloads within standard SIP INVITE and INFO requests realize these features. For more information about MSCML and the vendors currently deploying the protocol, access the SnowShore web site at and download a copy of its white paper.

About SnowShore Networks

SnowShore Networks (, a telecommunications equipment company, provides innovative, carrier-grade IP communications infrastructure products to its OEM and System Integrator customers enabling them to deliver a wide array of IP solutions to their service provider customers. SnowShore's suite of media processing products, which include the N20 and A1-Media Server and the A1-Media Firewall, feature SnowShore's patent pending WireSpeedMedia technology, a high performance multimedia processing engine that is blended with an open and flexible platform architecture to enable SnowShore's customers to deliver customized communication solutions with assured performance at scale. Founded in May 2000, SnowShore Networks is privately held and backed by Charles River Ventures, Matrix Partners, St. Paul Ventures, and 3i.


SnowShore Networks
John Gates
Tel: +1 978-367-8443

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See the news story: "SnowShore Networks Develops Royalty-Free Media Server Control Markup Language (MSCML)."

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