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 'Building up' stretchable electronics to be as multipurpose as your smartphone
14.08.2018 | University of California - San Diego

nachricht New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic
14.08.2018 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

Im Focus: World record: Fastest 3-D tomographic images at BESSY II

The quality of materials often depends on the manufacturing process. In casting and welding, for example, the rate at which melts solidify and the resulting microstructure of the alloy is important. With metallic foams as well, it depends on exactly how the foaming process takes place. To understand these processes fully requires fast sensing capability. The fastest 3D tomographic images to date have now been achieved at the BESSY II X-ray source operated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.

Dr. Francisco Garcia-Moreno and his team have designed a turntable that rotates ultra-stably about its axis at a constant rotational speed. This really depends...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Building up' stretchable electronics to be as multipurpose as your smartphone

14.08.2018 | Information Technology

During HIV infection, antibody can block B cells from fighting pathogens

14.08.2018 | Life Sciences

First study on physical properties of giant cancer cells may inform new treatments

14.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>