Business Practices for Open Access Same-Time Information Systems (oasis) Standards & Communication Protocols Business Practices Requirements

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NAESB OASIS Standards and Communication Protocol (S&CP) – WEQ-002

Business Practices for Open Access Same-Time Information Systems (OASIS) Standards & Communication Protocols
Business Practices Requirements:
The following definitions are offered to clarify discussions of the OASIS in this document.
a. Transmission Services Information (TS Information) is transmission and ancillary services information that must be made available by public utilities on a non-discriminatory basis to meet the regulatory requirements of transmission open access.
b. Open Access Same-Time Information System (OASIS) comprises the computer systems and associated communications facilities that public utilities are required to provide for the purpose of making available to all transmission users comparable interactions with TS Information.
c. Open Access Same-Time Information System Node (OASIS Node) is a subsystem of the OASIS. It is one computer system in the (OASIS) that provides access to TS Information to a Transmission Customer.
d. Transmission Provider (TP or Primary Provider) is the public utility (or its designated agent)

that owns, operates or controls facilities used for the transmission of electric energy in interstate commerce. (This is the same term as is used in Part 35.3Consistent with the definition in WEQ 001-0.11).

e. Transmission Customer (TC or Customer) is any eligible Customer (or its designated agent) that can or does execute a transmission service agreement or can or does receive transmission service. (Consistent with the definition in WEQ 001-0.12).This is the same term as is used in Part 35.3).
f. Secondary Transmission Provider (ST, Reseller, or Secondary Provider) is any Customer who offers to sell transmission capacity it has purchased. (Consistent with the definition ofThis is the same as Reseller in Part 37WEQ 001-0.10).
g. Transmission Services Information Provider (TSIP) is a Transmission Provider or an agent to whom the Transmission Provider has delegated the responsibility of meeting any of the requirements of Part 37. (Consistent with the definition of This is the same as Responsible Party in WEQ 001-0.9Part 37).
h. Value-Added Transmission Services Information Provider (VTSIP) is an entity who uses TS Information in the same manner as a Customer and provides value-added information services to its Customers.
a. Permit Use of Any OASIS Node Computers: TSIPs shall be permitted to use any computer systems as an OASIS Node, so long as they meet the OASIS requirements.
b. Permit Use of Any Customer Computers: OASIS Nodes shall permit the use by Customers of any commonly available computer systems, as long as they support the required communication links to the Internet.
c. Permit the Offering of Value-Added Services: TSIPs are required, upon request, to provide their Customers the use of private network connections on a cost recovery basis. Additional services that are beyond the scope of the minimum OASIS requirements are also permitted. When provided, these private connections and additional services shall be offered on a fair and non-discriminatory basis to all Customers who might choose to use these services.
d. Permit Use of Existing Communications Facilities: In implementing the OASIS, the use of existing communications facilities shall be permitted. The use of OASIS communication facilities for the exchange of information beyond that required for open transmission access (e.g., transfer of system security or operations data between regional control centers) shall also be permitted, provided that such use does not negatively impact the exchange of open transmission access data and is consistent with the Standards of Conduct Business Practice Standards, in Part 37WEQ 009, or applicable regulations.
e. Single or Multiple Providers per Node: An OASIS Node may support a single individual Primary Provider (plus any Secondary Providers) or may support many Primary Providers.
a. Internet Compatibility: All OASIS Nodes shall support the use of internet tools, internet directory services, and internet communication protocols necessary to support the Information Access requirements stated in Section 4.
b. Connection through the Public Internet: Connection of OASIS Nodes to the public Internet is required so that Users may access them through Internet links. This connection shall be made through a firewall to improve security.
c. Connection to a Private Internet Network: OASIS Nodes shall support private connections to any OASIS User (User) who requests such a connection. The TSIP is permitted to charge the User, based on cost, for these connections. The same internet tools shall be required for these private networks as are required for the public Internet. Private connections must be provided to all users on a fair and nondiscriminatory basis.
d. Internet Communications Channel: The OASIS Nodes shall utilize a communication channel to the Internet which is adequate to support the performance requirements given the number of Users subscribed to the Providers on the Node (see Section 5.3).
a. Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) and Internet Protocol Control Protocol (IPCP) (reference RFCs 1331 and 1332) shall be supported for private internet network dial-up connections.
b. Serial Line Internet Protocol (SLIP) (reference RFC 1055) shall be supported for private internet network dial-up connections.
c. Transport Control Protocol and Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) shall be the only protocol set used between OASIS Nodes whenever they are directly interconnected, or between OASIS Nodes and Users using private leased line internet network connections.
d. Hyper Text Transport Protocol (HTTP), Version 1.0 (RFC 1945), shall be supported by TSIPs so that Users= web browsers can use it to select information for viewing displays and for downloading and uploading files electronically.
e. Internet Protocol Address: All OASIS Nodes are required to use an IP address registered with the Internet Network Information Center (InterNIC), even if private connections are used.
Support for the following specific internet tools is required, both for use over the public Internet as well as for any private connections between Users and OASIS Nodes:
a. Browser Support: OASIS Nodes shall insure that Users running minimally either Netscape's Navigator version 4.0.x or Microsoft's Internet Explorer version 4.0.x browsers (or any other commercially or privately available browser supporting that set of capabilities common to both of these industry standard browsers) shall have a fully functional user interface based on the Interface Requirements defined in Standards WEQ 001-Section 4.
b. HTML Forms shall be provided by the TSIPs to allow Customers to enter information to the OASIS Node.
c. Domain Name Service (DNS) (ref. RFC 1034, 1035) shall be provided as a minimum by the TSIPs (or their Internet Service Provider) for the resolution of IP addresses to allow Users to navigate easily between OASIS Nodes.
d. Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is recommended but not required to provide tools for operating and managing the network, if private interconnections between OASIS Nodes are established.
e. The Primary Provider shall support E-mail for exchanges with Customers, including the sending of attachments. The protocols supported shall include, as a minimum, the Simple Messaging Transfer Protocol (SMTP), Post Office Protocol (POP), and Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME).
a. World Wide Web Browsers: TSIPs shall permit Users to navigate using WWW browsers for accessing different sets of TS Information from one Provider, or for getting to TS Information from different Providers on the same OASIS Node. These navigation methods shall not favor User access to any Provider over another Provider, including Secondary Providers.
b. Internet Interconnection across OASIS Nodes: Navigation tools shall not only support navigation within the TSIP's Node, but also across interconnected OASIS Nodes. This navigation capability across interconnected Nodes shall, as a minimum, be possible through the public Internet.
a. Location of Providers: To provide Users with the information necessary to access the desired Provider, all Primary Providers shall register their OASIS Node URL address with This URL address should include the unique four letter acronym the Primary Provider will use as the PRIMARY_PROVIDER_CODE.
b. Initial User Registration: TSIPs shall require Users to register with a Primary Provider before they are permitted to access the Provider's TS Information. There must be a reference pointing to registration procedures on each Primary Provider's home page. Registration procedures may vary with the administrative requirements of each Primary Provider.
c. Initial Access Privileges: Initial registration shall permit a User only the minimum Access Privileges. A User and a Primary Provider shall mutually determine what access privilege the User is permitted. The TSIP shall set a User's Access Privilege as authorized by the Primary Provider.
d. User Login: After registration, Users shall be required to login every time they establish a dial-up connection. If a direct, permanent connection has been established, Users shall be required to login initially or any time the connection is lost. Use of alternative forms of login and authentication using certificates and public key standards is acceptable.
e. User Logout: Users shall be automatically logged out any time they are disconnected. Users may logout voluntarily.
Service Level Agreements: It is recognized that Users will have different requirements for frequency of access, performance, etc., based on their unique business needs. To accommodate these differing requirements, TSIPs shall be required to establish a "Service Level Agreement" with each User, which specifies the terms and conditions for access to the information posted by the Providers. The default Service Level Agreement shall be Internet access with the OASIS Node meeting all minimum performance requirements.
a. Display: TSIPs shall format all TS Information in HTML format such that it may be viewed and read directly by Users without requiring them to download it. This information shall be in clear English as much as possible, with the definitions of any mnemonics or abbreviations available on-line. The minimum information that is to be displayed is provided in the Templates in Standards WEQ 002-Section 4.3.
b. Read-Only Access to TS Information: For security reasons, Users shall have read-only access to the TS Information. They shall not be permitted to enter any information except where explicitly allowed, such as HTML transaction request forms or by the Templates in Section Standards WEQ 002-4.3.
c. Downloading Capability: Users shall be able to download from an OASIS Node the TS Information in electronic format as a file. The rules for formatting of this data are described in Standards WEQ 002-Section 4.2.
d. On-Line Data Entry on Forms: Customers shall be permitted to fill out on-line the HTML forms supplied by the TSIPs, for requesting the purchase of services and for posting of products for sale (by Customers who are Resellers). Customers shall also be permitted to fill-out and post Want- Ads.
e. Uploading Capability: Customers shall be able to upload to OASIS Nodes the filled-out forms. TSIPs shall ensure that these uploaded forms are handled identically to forms filled out on-line. TSIPs shall provide forms that support the HTTP input of Comma Separated Variable (CSV) records. This capability shall permit a Customer to upload CSV records using standard Web browsers or additional client software (such as fetch_http) to specify the location of the CSV records stored on the Customer's hard disk.
f. Selection of TS Information: Users shall be able to dynamically select the TS Information they want to view and/or download. This selection shall be, as a minimum, through navigation to text displays, the use of pull-down menus to select information for display, data entry into forms for initiating queries, and the selection of files to download via menus.
The following are the Provider update requirements:
a. Provider Posting of TS Information: Each Provider (including Secondary Providers and Value-Added Providers) shall be responsible for writing (posting) and updating TS Information on their OASIS Node. No User shall be permitted to modify a Provider's Information.
b. (i) INFO.HTM: Each Provider shall provide general information on how to use their node and describe all special aspects, such as line losses, congestion charges and assistance. The address for the directory of this information shall be INFO.HTM (case sensitive), an HTML web page, linked to the Provider's registered URL address. See section 4.5 for information required to be on the web page INFO.HTM.
(ii) Standards of Conduct:
c. OASIS Node Space for Secondary Provider: To permit Users to readily find TS Information for the transmission systems that they are interested in, TSIPs shall provide database space on their OASIS Node for all Secondary Providers who have purchased, and who request to resell, transmission access rights for the power systems of the Primary Providers supported by that Node.
d. Secondary Provider Posting to Primary Provider Node: The Secondary Providers shall post the relevant TS Information on the OASIS Node associated with each Primary Provider from whom the transmission access rights were originally purchased.
e. Secondary Provider Posting Capabilities: The TSIPs shall ensure that the Secondary Providers shall be able to post their TS Information to the appropriate OASIS Nodes using the same tools and capabilities as the Customers, meet the same performance criteria as the Primary Providers, and allow users to view these postings on the same display page, using the same tables, as similar capacity being sold by the Primary Providers.
f. Free-Form Posting of non-TS Information: The TSIP shall ensure that Providers and Customers may post non-TS Information, such as Want-Ads and that this information is easily accessible by all Users. The TSIP shall be allowed to limit the volume and/or to charge for the posting of non-TS Information.
g. Time Stamps: All TS Information shall be associated with a time stamp to show when it was posted to the OASIS Node.
h. Transaction Tracking by an Assignment Reference Number: All requests for purchase of transmission or ancillary services will be marked by a unique accounting number, called an assignment reference.
i. Time-Stamped OASIS Audit Log: All posting of TS Information, all updating of TS Information, all User logins and disconnects, all User download requests, all Service Requests, and all other transactions shall be time stamped and stored in an OASIS Audit Log. This OASIS Audit Log shall be the official record of interactions, and shall be maintained on-line for download for at least 90 days. Changes in the values of posted Capacity (Available Transfer Capability) must be stored in the on-line Audit Log for 20 days. Audit records must be maintained for 3 years off-line and available in electronic form within seven days of a Customer request.
j. Studies: A summary description with dates, and programs used of all transmission studies used to prepare data for the Primary Provider's ATC and TTC calculation will be provided along with information as to how to obtain the study data and results.

a. General Message & Log: TSIPs shall post a general message and log that may be read by Users. The message shall state that the Provider has updated some information, and shall contain (or point to) a reverse chronological log of those changes. This log may be the same as the Audit Log. The User may use the manual capability to see the message.
b. TSIP Notification Design Responsibilities: The TSIP shall avoid a design that could cause serious performance problems by necessitating frequent requests for information from many Users.
There are three basic types of User interactions which must be supported by the OASIS Node. These interactions are defined in Section 4.3.
a. Query/Response: The simplest level of interactions is the query of posted information and the corresponding response. The User may determine the scope of the information queried by specifying values, through an HTML form, a URL string, or an uploaded file, using Query Variables and their associated input values as defined with each Template in Section 4.3. The response will be either an HTML display or a record oriented file, depending on the output format that the User requests. The TSIP may establish procedures to restrict the size of the response, if an overly broad query could result in a response that degrades the overall performance of the OASIS Node for their Users.
b. Purchase Request: The second type of Customer interaction is the submittal of a request to purchase a service. The Customer completes an input form, a URL string or uploads a file and submits it to the OASIS Node. The uploaded file can either be a series of Query Variables or a record oriented file. The Seller of the service, possibly off-line from the OASIS Node, processes the request and the status is updated accordingly. If the Seller approves the purchase request, then the Cusomer must again confirmed it. Once the Customer confirms an approved purchase, a reservation for those services is considered to exist, unless later the reservation is reassigned, displaced, or annulled.
c. Upload and Modify Postings: Customers who wish to resell their rights may upload a form, create the appropriate URL or upload a file to post services for sale. A similar process applies to eligible Third Party Sellers of ancillary services. The products are posted by the TSIP. The seller may monitor the status of the services by requesting status information. Similarly the Seller may modify its posted transmission services by submitting a service modification request through a form, a URL query, or by uploading a file.
a. ASCII-Based OASIS Templates: For providing information to Users, TSIPs shall use the specified OASIS Templates. These Templates define the information that must be presented to Users, both in the form of graphical displays and as downloaded files. Users shall be able to request Template information using query-response data flows. The OASIS Templates are described in section 4.3. The Data Element Dictionary, which defines the Data Elements in the OASIS Templates, is provided in Appendix A. Data elements must be used in the exact sequence and number as shown in the Templates when file uploads and downloads are used. Although the contents of the graphical displays are precisely defined as the same information as in the Templates, the actual graphical display formats of the TS information are beyond the scope of the OASIS requirements. Due to the nature of graphical displays, there may be more than one graphical display used to convey the information in a single Template.
b. ASCII-Based OASIS File Structures: For uploading requests from and downloading information to Users, TSIPs shall use specific file structures that are defined for OASIS Template information (see section 4.2). These file structures are based on the use of headers that contain the Query Variable information, including the name of the OASIS Template. These headers thus determine the contents and the format of the data that follows. Although headers may not be essential if file transfers contain the exact sequence and number of Data Elements as the Templates, this feature is being preserved for possible future use when additional flexibility may be allowed.
002-4.2.1 OASIS Node Naming Requirements
The following naming conventions shall be used to locate information posted on an OASIS Node. OASIS naming conventions shall conform to standard URL structures.
002- OASIS Node Names
In order to provide a consistent method for locating an OASIS Node, the standard Internet naming convention shall be used. All OASIS Node names shall be unique. Each Primary Provider OASIS Node name and home directory shall be registered with the master OASIS directory site at OASIS Node names shall be stored in an Internet DNS name directory.
002- OASIS Node and Primary Provider Home Directory
The home directory name on an OASIS Node shall be "OASIS" (all upper case) to identify that the directory is related to the OASIS. The directory of each Primary Provider shall be listed under the "OASIS" directory:
(OASIS Node name) is the World Wide Web URL address of the OASIS Information Provider.
(PRIMARY_PROVIDER_CODE) (Case sensitive) is the 4-character acronym of the primary provider.
PRIMARY_PROVIDER_CODEs shall be registered with the master OASIS directory site at A pointer to user registration information shall be located on the Primary Provider's home page.
002- Script Names
Common Gateway Interface (CGI) scripts shall be located in the directory "data" as follows (case sensitive): http://(OASIS Node name)/OASIS/ (PRIMARY_PROVIDER_CODE) /data/(cgi script name)?(Query Variables)
(cgi script name) is the OASIS Template name in lower case (see Section 4.3). Other cgi scripts may be defined as required to implement the HTML interface to the documented Templates.
(Query Variables) is a list of query variables with their settings formatted as defined by the HTTP protocol (i.e., URL encoded separated by ampersands).
To request the hourly schedule Template at Primary Provider WXYZ Co. ?templ=schedule& ver=1.2& fmt=data &stime=19960412040000PD &sptime=19960412100000PD& pprov=wxyz
002-4.2.2 Data Element Dictionary
The following are the requirements for the Data Element Dictionary:
a. Definition of OASIS Information Elements: All OASIS Information Data Elements shall be defined in the Data Element Dictionary which will be stored in the OASIS Node directory:

  • http://(OASISNode Name)/OASIS/(PRIMARY_PROVIDER_CODE)/ (datadic.htm | datadic.txt)

  • Where:

  • datadic.htm is the HTML version of the Data Element dictionary (case sensitive)

  • datadic.txt is the ASCII text version of the Data Element dictionary (case sensitive)

  • The Data Element Dictionary is defined in Appendix A.

b. Provider-specific Data Element Values: The valid values that certain OASIS Information Data Elements may take on, such as PATH_NAME, etc., are unique to a Primary Provider. Names that must be uniquely identified by Primary Provider shall be listed on-line on the OASIS Node via the LIST Template (see Section 4.3.5). In posting OASIS information associated with Data Elements which are not free-form text, TSIPs shall use only the accepted Data Element values listed in the Data Element Dictionary and/or those values posted in the LIST of provider specific names provided on the OASIS Node.

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