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PROJECT NEWSLETTER Issue 3.


14.09.2011

Dear FACIT-SME Partners!

Let us present the third issue of the FACIT-SME project newsletter!
 
Having a lot of work behind ourself it’s time to share the progress we have made in this project since the last newsletter.
 
We had one GA meeting in Berlin where deliverables 2.2 and 3.1 has been accepted, and WP5 scenario definition achieved a great progress. In May the RTD Partners published the first prototype of the FACIT Portal for internal tests. In July the consortium successfully managed the review meeting in Brussels related to the first period (01.01.2010-01.04.2011) of the project.
 
In this issue you can find a short summary of the review, a status update about the prototype, further plans for the Budapest GA (22-23 September) and infos about the authum dissemination events.
 
Please feel free to send comment sor suggestions to the coordinator Frank Walter Jaekel!
Thank you for your attention!

The FACIT-SME-RTD team

Successfull Review in Brussels
On Friday 29th July, after one week of preparation works, the mid-term review of the FACIT-SME project was conducted at the EU’s facilities in Brussels. The purpose of the review was to confirm the project’s progress according to the plan and to release the prefinancing for the second phase of the project.   article1

Partners spent significant effort to participate, taking into account that the date was already fully in the summer season. We had all RTD partners and one association from each country (three from four SME associations, where PIN-SME as the fifth will be involved in dissemination in the second period, only). Only the minor presence of SMEs was slightly criticized, mainly because they had no chance to demonstrate their interest during the meeting, whereas it was agreed that the main contributions from the SMEs will come in the second period until mid 2012.
From the Commission’s side, the officer Antonio Loredan participated, supported by Owen Molloy (Ireland) as the reviewer. The meeting was conducted in a very friendly but committed atmosphere and – rare case – mostly keeping the time schedule of the agenda. The feedback at the end of the day was quite positive, specifically appreciating the availability of a convincing and stable prototype after just one year of development – obviously, this is not a too frequent case in such projects.
The project management was considered efficient and effective, with a small weak point on the demonstration of the resources used, especially for personnel. During the meeting an agreement was made upon which information should be collected and submitted after the meeting as amendment, mainly focusing on the persons inducing the personnel cost and their professional background. The requested amendment is prepared by Fraunhofer with the required support by the affected partners.
In terms of content, the first two “Official Results” from the transaction, corresponding to the work packages “Reference Model and Deployment Model” and “Design of the OSES Architecture” were presented. A clear focus was then put on the presentation of the software development work and consequently to the prototype. For the presentation method, the partners have chosen to present a “demonstration story”, following a simplified virtual application case. The intention was to provide guidance through the quite large functionality of the prototype, and it worked extremely well. Thus, this could be the base of further dissemination and exploitation activities, potentially even supported by web presentations to attract potential users of the associations.
With respect to the evaluation scenarios, there was appreciation that partners have a sufficient and precise plan for their evaluations, clearly related to real business problems. This will be helpful for the dissemination and exploitation activities, which have also been presented in the review.
In general, the project has been encouraged to keep its high pace in the second period. The second review will be conducted after the end of the project, but not necessarily as a physical meeting – depending on the quality of progress. A discussion was initiated to perform a meeting close to the project’s end (probably in June 2011) with a high participation of the SMEs in order to discuss the final results, possibly in Modena, Italy. This might be not an official review meeting, but a GA meeting with extended participation by the officer and the reviewer, in order to acquire their personal advice for the future of the know-how developed in the project.

FACIT-SME Prototype – The context of the development
First interviews related to application scenarios have been performed in May 2011. In the interviews at TeamSoftware and Qonsult the “scoping model” as part of the open references model (ORM) documented within the deliverable D2.1 has been used to describe the relevant processes for small and medium size companies in the software engineering area. In parallel the prototype development has been progressed starting from the deliverable “OSES Architecture and Component specification (CIM/PIM Level)” (D3.1). D3.1 represents the specification of the FACIT-SME solution.

The FACIT prototype consists of the following different types of models and their specific usage:
  article2
  • Enterprise Model Fragments, is a piece of an enterprise model which can be used to compose a company specific model. It is represented by using an enterprise modelling method, currently IEM.
  • Method Models, is a model of a software engineering method such SCRUM and represented in a similar way like Enterprise Model Fragments. It can be integrated into specific company model or directly used as a project model.
  • Quality Models are represented in terms of requirements and used to check the fulfilment of a given company or project model in terms of a given quality model.
In terms of the usage of the models the distinction is between enterprise models representing the process and organisational structure of a company and project models representing the structure of a workflow for a specific project:
  • Enterprise models could be "as-is model", "analysis model", "to-be model", "released enterprise model".
  • Project models used for specific projects which could be a subset of the approved and released enterprise model.
In terms of the application of the FACIT-SME solution different areas / spaces exist. The ORM covers the IT knowledge available within an AG and the AG provides this knowledge as a service to its members. The use of the knowledge for running an enterprise or projects requires further areas / spaces. Therefore a SME can apply for an enterprise area or space and afterwards it can define project areas or spaces. A project area or space can be used to execute and monitor a project within a workflow engine currently Bonita (figure 1).
figure1
Figure 1:
Different areas or spaces of the FACIT solution realised within the FACIT prototype


The work concerning the OSES Platform first version (D4.1) started in autumn 2010 with the establishment of the development infrastructure:
  • Selection of the source code management system. The tool “Subversion” has been selected and installed on a Joinet server. It is in use between the partners involved in the development.
  • For communication between the partners and especially to ensure a close cooperation between WP4 and WP5, the open source tracking system “Trac” has been selected. A specific configuration with extensions for reporting bugs, extensions, improvements provides an adaptation to the project demands.
  • “TestLink” has been selected for test management.
Also, feasibly tests have been performed during autumn 2010. A specific workflow across several tools has been introduced by Joinet to facilitate the MDA (Model Driven Architecture)-related approach. The tool chain is documented in a description about “OSES Platform first version”. Also, the realisation of the OSES architecture discussed in parallel and a web service approach are selected to integrate “external” tools such as workflow engines, document management systems, modelling tools, etc. According to this decision the development environments and languages are in principle open. For the main development environment Microsoft Visual Studio and C# have been selected. However, the web service concept also allows using other languages. In fact, in the project Java with Eclipse and Python are also used.

The development of the OSES persistent layer and web-services started in the beginning of December 2010. At this time the development of the data-model and the architecture descriptions for D3.1 were ready. During the work between D3.1 and D4.1 a FACIT portal has been proposed and designed. This portal approach together with the web services moves the FACIT-SME solution into the internet. It enables the provision of FACIT as an application service provider (ASP) solution. The portal covers the ORM as well as the OSES features.

The execution engines are also connected via the web services because of different surveys expressing that it is difficult to find “the standard” for the mapping of models to the execution. Moreover, related standards or quasi-standards such as BPEL/WSDL and XPDL/BPMN have differences in their evolutions. Therefore, FACIT-SME provides an open web service interface and intents to create in the next phases a development kit to connect different execution engines (workflow, document management, messaging).

The first prototype has been presented during the FACIT-SME general assembly (GA) in March/April 2011 and discussed with AGs and SMEs. It starts with piloting the ORM concepts and using the OSES Platform first version which is now under continues improvement. The check of functionalities is conducted in cooperation with the application scenarios defined for D5.1.

The improvement of the current version of the prototype especially in terms of usability and demands from the application scenarios will result in the deliverable “OSES Platform final version” (D4.2). This will be the final version of the OSES Integrated System, but intermediate improved versions will be provided to the partners continuously in order to support the application evaluation and training.

FACIT-SME Prototype - Application story
The following is a fictive but feasible story of a FACIT application illustrating the functionalities of the current prototype.

 
The board of CONFAPI decides to provide the FACIT solution to their members because of improving the services provided by the association. The association provides the FACIT solution including:
  • FACIT portal,
  • ORM with an initial set of knowledge (information about methods, quality models, tools and practices),
  • OSES providing model instantiation services for Enterprise area and Project area,
  • Quality assessment services,
  • MO²GO modelling facility service,
  • Bonita workflow service.
 
article3
The association assigned a service provider to installs the FACIT package and will provide the ASP for the association. Afterwards the association improves the knowledge by methods and best practices already used among their members. It promotes the new services such as
  • Members has free access to the knowledge of
    • software engineering methods,
    • selected open source tools for improving the software engineering process for IT SME
    • quality models
  • Members can rent an enterprise area
    • to store and manage their tools, methods, quality models
    • define an enterprise model for quality assessment and standard procedures
    • check lists for fast check of maturity related to quality models
    • setup projects
    • running and monitoring of project workflows
    • Learn from projects and define project templates for future use.

Technical assets

We need to highlight that one of the most challenge of this Project from a technical point of view has been the integration of different and heterogeneous platforms and frameworks and make them working together. Therefore we used different programming languages and web services. That is the reason why we had to develop (for the initial prototype) a partial integration with the modeller that at this stage has to be launched from a local PC.

We were able to implement the first running code generator compliant with the Model Driven Architecture guidelines. This generator is able to generate the database, the persistence layer and a web-service starting from an UML Model description. Such work requested the evolution of the meta-description of the UML.

One more point is the complex integration of the database using the persistence layer through web-service using both Java and .NET technology. This feature has been possible because of a smart recursive approach that allows the user to access the database without a remote-session.

Finally, the Java integration with the external tools such as MO²GO and Bonita has been realised using the web-service technology and a real integration has been archived. In the next stages of the development task it is planned to empower the web-service interface to become completely independent from platform and languages.
General Assembly in Budapest
The first phase of FACIT-SME targeted the development and realisation of the FACIT-SME methods and on the first prototype. After the successful FACIT-SME review in July 2011, the second phase of FACIT-SME has the goal to use and improve the prototype but also to move it into the real world. This relates to dissemination and exploitation but also to the implementation of the FACIT portal for the AGs.
  article4

The next general assembly in 22-23 September, 2011 will therefore focus on the following three major goals:
  1. The approval of FACIT-SME milestone 3, which covers D1.1, D4.1, D7.3, D7.4. The deliverables are available from the partner area on the FACIT-SME webpage.
  2. Hands-on experiences provision in the use of the FACIT-SME solution. All participants should have their notebook available.
  3. Dissemination and exploitation of the FACIT-SME results in a broader way. Regens started already a program that each AG should provide a FACIT-SME workshop within their region.
The expectations are that after this GA meeting the AGs and SMEs participating within FACIT-SME have detailed knowledge about the use of the FACIT-SME solution as well as first experiences in the usage. They will be able to navigate within the FACIT portal, to find functionalities and to apply these functions. The RTD partners can get direct feedback from the users. AGs and SMEs will also get a clearer foundation for the further improvement of the dissemination and exploitation activities. Finally improvements for FACIT-SME tutorials are expected from experiences to train the FACIT portal.

See you in Budapest!


Authum Dissemination Workshops 2011
According to the preliminary agreed workplan related to dissemination activities, Hungarian AGs are ready to organize a workshop in order to present the project scope and results including the first prototype to its members.

  article5
The planned date for the Hungarian workshop is in 18 October, with the expected attendees of 40 members. The invitation list contains 1500 contacts, but a targeted selection of companies, potential later VARs, or tutors will be specially targeted. The main suuporter of the workshop will be Regens, but IVSZ will also invite a keynote speaker connected to this topic, from Qualysoft in order to give a more widen scope for discussion. Régens prepared a master presentation that gives an overall picture about the FACIT-SME project including the results of the first phase, and the focus and exact goals FACIT-SME project set for the second period.
FACIT SME Events Agenda 2011
Past events:
  • 2011.03.31-04.01 General Assembly meeting Berlin
  • 2011.05.25-27 Work meeting Budapest
  • 2011.05.31 Technical Comittee meeting Budapest
  • 2011.07.26-28 Review preparation meeting Brussels
  • 2011.07.29 Period 1. - Review meeting Brussels
Ready for the review
On the way
Réka presenting
Monika Ratto presenting
Gorka presenting
Frank presenting
Klara presenting
Lunch time
After the review
FACIT GA opening session
Frank and the concept
Fraunhofer IPK Berlin
István presenting
Réka explaining
Tatjana presenting
Teaming
The big FACIT team
Upcoming events:
  • 2011.09.22-23 General Assembly meeting Budapest
  • 2011.09.19-21 Workmeeting Budapest for RTD Partners only
  • 2011.October-November: Authum Workshops organised by the AGs
 
 
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All rights reserved by FACIT-SME Consortium 2011.
Coordinator contact: Frank-Walter Jaekel    Fraunhofer IPK-Berlin    frank-walter.jaekel@ipk.fhg.de
This project is co-financed by the European Commission.

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