The CCOW Context Management Architecture defines context participants, a coordinating component known as the context manager, interfaces, and policies that govern component interaction. Context-enabled applications share a common context with each other but they only interact with the context manager. Consequently, they do not need to know about each other. The context manager interacts with additional context-aware components and services on behalf of the applications when needed. A context system contains the context manager, context participant applications, and underlying components and services.
A context session is that duration in time in which a set of applications come together to share a common context. A context session starts when an application informs the context manager that it wants to “join” the context and it is the first application to do so. Additional applications may join the same session by each informing the context manager that it wants to “join” the context. Each application that participates in the session shares a common context with the other applications in the session. The context session ends when the last application leaves the session.
The interfaces between the context manager and the applications are the same for all applications. This allows interoperability between applications from different vendors and 3rd party context manager applications. A single point-of-use device can host multiple context sessions but only one session can be active at a time. Applications can join an active context session and users may switch between context sessions, create new context sessions and terminate existing sessions. This allows a single user to have multiple sessions and multiple users to each have their own session on the same point-of-use device.
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