Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Open solution to managing distributed software developments

30.03.2004


One of the key challenges to managing distributed projects is to keep track of the overall project execution ensuring that all parties are kept informed when, say, one partner makes a breakthrough. This communications and coordination challenge led to GENESIS’ open source solution.

"The idea was to develop a flexible and low intrusive environment for managing the distributed teams of people working on the same project," says Pierluigi Ritrovato, Manager of the Centre for Research in Pure and Applied Mathematics (CRMPA) at the University of Salerno, coordinator of this IST programme-funded project. "We tried to develop tools to help formalise these distributed activities, following a workflow-like approach."

Changing project processes ’on the fly’



GENESIS researchers developed a software platform capable of supporting virtual organisations by supporting the cooperation, distribution and control of the various aspects and phases of a project performed by differing project partners located in different geographical sites. The GENESIS Platform integrates, in a low invasive and harmonised way tools for resource management, process flow control, event notification, artefact management, automatic metric collections, collaboration and cooperation. The project specifically targeted the software development market sector.

The key difference in the GENESIS approach lies in the ability to change the process flow within the project as it develops. "We created a workflow engine and a workflow language able to accept incremental definition and ’on the fly’ changes in the process. So new activities can be defined, different persons can be assigned to a task. You can define the development process incrementally, as the project goes on," says Ritrovato.

This ability to re-assign personnel or processes as the project develops is a major advance on earlier project management methods for virtual organisations. If a new activity or a revision of the process is required following, say, consultation with the client, such changes can be accommodated immediately without requiring major modifications of the complete development process. Any changes are instantly notified to the relevant sites.

Support for both formal and informal communication

The GENESIS platform allows the various phases of software engineering projects to be allocated to teams at differing sites. Software development processes can be defined, and the tasks or activities within such processes can be distributed among various sites. Each site can execute different instances of the software development process; the inputs and outputs of such process instances are treated as software artefacts, e.g. software modules, design documents, test suites, etc.

Communication abilities support both the formal (the release of specification documents) and informal (personal views on a design choice) aspects of a project. The environment is designed to support modelling, control and measurement of software design, development and maintenance processes, as well as the communication between software engineers belonging to the different development teams.

Placed on SourceForge

GENESIS was completed in November 2003, and the software has been placed on SourceForge.net, the development resource site for Open Source software.

Since that time several external companies have downloaded the software, and the project partners have received some requests for information about the tools and processes. To date however, Ritrovato admits, there have been no approaches from the Open Source community to develop the platform further.

"It may be that GENESIS is simply too big to be seen as a solution to specific short-term projects," he says. "It is a component-based, flexible, non-intrusive and scalable environment that can work in a centralised or distributed manner. However, it is aimed at the management of medium to large software development projects by distributed teams configured as virtual organisations." As a result, the partners may in future try submitting some platform components individually to the Open Source community.

Platform for future activities

The platform has been used for the management of the last three months of activity under the GENESIS project itself, and, says Ritrovato, will be used to manage some Sixth Framework Programme initiatives.

Other project partners are using the environment internally for the control of specific projects. Greek software house LogicDIS for example, intends to use the platform internally for the control of the development of their commercial products. CRMPA itself has built on GENESIS, and is currently working on an experimental environment for collaborative research.

Contact:
Pierluigi Ritrovato
Centre for Research into Pure and Applied Mathematics (CRMPA)
c/o DIIMA Universita’ di Salerno
Via Ponte Don Melillo
I-84084 Fisciano (SA)
Italy
Tel: +39-089-964289
Fax: +39-089-964191
Email: ritrovato@crmpa.unisa.it

Source: Based on information from GENESIS

Tara Morris | IST Results
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.lu/index.cfm?section=news&tpl=article&ID=63305

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches
25.05.2018 | Universität Ulm

nachricht Supercomputing the emergence of material behavior
18.05.2018 | University of Texas at Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>