However, so far there are no methods to test them systematically and at low cost for malfunctions and security vulnerabilities. Therefore, computer scientists from Saarland University are working on automatic methods of testing, which check complex web applications autonomously. For the first time, they will present this work at exhibition booth F34 in hall 26 at the computer fair Cebit. The trade show will take place from March 6 to 10 in Hannover.
“Ineffective and inefficient” is Valentin Dallmeier’s assessment of the methods that web developers and responsible project leaders rely on to try to find programming errors and security holes in web applications. Dallmeier is a postdoc working at the software engineering chair of Saarland University. Its main focus is systematic automated debugging. The developed methods are functioning very well with typical computer programs. Dallmeier and his colleague Martin Burger have built on that basis, and aim to develop a software system that will determine automatically why Web 2.0 applications fail.
“This is still done manually and therefore causes not only very high costs, but also high levels of risk for companies and the community,” Burger explains. He refers to an article from last December, which revealed that incorrect programming of the “Facebook” social network made it possible to access saved, private photos of members.
Dallmeier and Burger want to prevent such worst-case scenarios and other breakdowns through their software “Webmate.” Businesses and their responsible web administrators will only have to type in their Web address. Afterwards the system will automatically discover how the different components of the application are connected to each other and via which menus, buttons, and other control panels the users are interacting with the application.
Subsequently, it will generate and carry out test scenarios. If it discovers, for example, that the application is not compatible with a certain version of a browser, or a control panel no longer exists in a new version of the application, the system will inform the developer immediately — likewise if a database is not connected, a server does not respond, or a link is dead. The web developer should be able to repeat this test at any time.
In the future, the service will be offered to companies for a fee. The researchers want to promote the technology through their own business, and hope to receive a patent. They will found their own company within the next few months. Dallmeier, the leader of the project, is confident that it is possible to implement the software system soon. “We have done the basic work over the last three years, and we even did some feasibility studies,” he says. He estimates the market potential in Germany alone to be 120 million Euros annually.For further information please contact:
Thorsten Mohr | Universität des Saarlandes
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Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
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Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
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For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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