SIMalliance publishes new OMAPI smartphone SE specification

Source: SIMalliance

SIMalliance, the global non-profit industry association which simplifies secure element (SE) implementation to drive secure mobile services, has published a new version - v3.0 - of its OMAPI Specification, incorporating updates which allow it to be universally implemented on every type of smartphone OS globally.

The OMAPI Specification, which is referenced by the GSMA and is currently implemented in over 150 models of Android NFC smartphone, specifies how mobile applications may access different SEs, including the UICC and embedded SEs, within a mobile device. Until now, the OMAPI Specification has been available for implementation on all smartphone OS that use object oriented programming languages. Version 3.0 of the specification now adds support for native programming languages by defining the procedural interface, alongside the object oriented interface, which is required for the technology to be used on Blackberry devices, for example.

In parallel with the release of the updated OMAPI Specification, SIMalliance has revised the OMAPI Test Specification to define compliance testing according to the new procedural interface within the API. The newly published OMAPI Test Specification v2.0 outlines mobile device compliance to the OMAPI Specification v3.0 and defines test cases in order that conformance tests can be executed.

Together, the OMAPI Test Specification and the OMAPI Test Application - the first version of which was published by SIMalliance in July 2014 - make it easier for developers, handset manufacturers and OS providers to implement and verify the use of the OMAPI Specification in handsets. This encourages greater standardisation in SE access management across mobile devices.

Hervé Pierre, SIMalliance Chairman, comments: "The OMAPI Specification, alongside the accompanying test specification and test application, plays a very important role in standardising the secure mobile services ecosystem. The correct integration of the specification across handsets is essential to ensure the interoperability of SE-based mobile applications across different devices.

"The work to extend the technology for all OS was carried out in full recognition and support of the GSMA's requirements for handset manufacturers to implement OMAPI.. This work has now been completed and represents a huge step forward for the industry; global interoperability, in terms of how mobile applications access different SEs within a device, is - for the first time – now achievable across every type of smartphone model."

GlobalPlatform recently endorsed the value that the OMAPI Specification brings to mobile services standardisation, by announcing that it has integrated compliance testing for the correct implementation of OMAPI on handsets within its device compliance program. The GlobalPlatform Device Compliance Program confirms that the OMAPI Specification and GlobalPlatform's Secure Element Access Control Specification have been correctly implemented across handsets, ensuring both the interoperability of SE-based mobile applications across different devices and the integrity of secure mobile application communication channels.

The OMAPI v3.0 provides interface definitions and UML diagrams to support implementation across all mobile platforms and programming languages. The specification is closely referenced in the GSMA's own technical support materials, including the NFC Handset & APIs Requirements specification and the NFC Handset Test Book.

All SIMalliance OMAPI resources – including OMAPI v3.0, the OMAPI Test Specification v2.0 and OMAPI Test Application v1.0 - are available, free to download, from the resources page on the SIMalliance website. SIMalliance continues to invite industry feedback on its OMAPI resources. Comments should be sent to 

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