Team interview, University of L'Aquila

Nov 08 2016

Developers can now focus only on coding the business-level logic

What is the new development paradigm for IoT and business service composition? 

uda_marco_autili.jpgMarco Autili, Assistant Professor:  As the Internet Network grows, the Internet of Services and Things is taking place. We daily experience the interaction with physical objects such as home alarm systems, thermostats, lighting bulbs, and other devices. These objects, which are not normally considered “intelligent”, are becoming smarter and smarter, and are programmed so as to be capable of independent computation and proactive actions. This capability allows these objects to communicate with each other as well as with software business services. Composing services and things spatially distributed over the Internet and coordinating their interactions in a distributed way is far from being simple if handled manually.
Hence, a new development and computing paradigm should offer dedicated modelling techniques, architectural style, integration patterns and middleware-level support to aid the automatic and distributed composition of business services and things.
Choreography-based development and choreography-oriented computation are good candidates towards supporting the realisation of such a paradigm in that choreographies represent an unambiguous and agnostic way of describing the relationships among business participants in a global peer-to-peer collaboration and supporting their distributed coordination.

Massimo Tivoli, Associate Professor:  
It is a paradigm promoting the flexible and easy reuse of existing services and things, and relieving the developer from accounting for composition and coordination issues.

What are the main benefits for software architect and developers to use service choreographies and, as a consequence of that, to use the CHOReVOLUTION platform? 

uda_massimo_tivoli.jpgMassimo Tivoli: On one hand, due to the inherently distributed nature of their software architecture, choreographies allow architects to build more scalable and efficient complex systems. On the other hand, developing concurrent and distributed systems introduces several issues. The main benefit, for choreography developers that use the CHOReVOLUTION platform, is to build choreographies by discarding possible service coordination, concurrency, and heterogeneity issues. That is, developers focus only on coding the business-level logic corresponding to the specified choreography tasks as taken in isolation.

Marco Autili
: The adoption of service choreographies allows software architect and developers to have a global view of the system to be realised and focus on specifying how groups of business participants work together, identifying potential services and things that can play the roles of the identified participants, understanding and analyzing their interactions.
The CHOReVOLUTION platform is a ready-to-use integrated environment to design, synthesize, deploy and enact choreographies. Things are considered as first-class computation citizens and are seamlessly composed with business services despite possible heterogeneities in their business-level interaction protocols and middleware-level communication paradigms. Developers can focus only on implementing (or reusing when already existing) the internal logic of services and things. The CHOReVOLUTION platform will take care of producing the code needed to coordinate, adapt and secure the interaction among services and things, their deployment and enactment.

What skills are required to use the CHOReVOLUTION Studio? 

Massimo Tivoli: Basic knowledge of the ECLIPSE platform, business processes modelling through BPMN2 choreography diagrams, basic notion of service-oriented architectures and enabling technologies such as XML Schemas, WSDL, etc.

What key innovation do you bring? Where is the most challenging aspect in this development?  

Marco Autili: The flexibility and dynamicity come from the fact that CHOReVOLUTION choreographies run on the Cloud, and the project provides the needed middleware-level, monitoring, and run-time support to make a choreography dynamically adaptable to possible context changes. 

Massimo Tivoli: The main innovation brought by the CHOReVOLUTION approach and its related Studio concerns automatic support for a more easy realisation of choreographies by sparing developers from writing code that goes beyond the implementation of the business logic internal to single choreography tasks. These aspects have been appreciated by the industrial partners in that the approach permits to develop choreographies according to their daily development practices.

What are your responsibilities at UDA? 

uda_marco_autili.jpgMarco Autili: I am Assistant Professor at the Department of Information Engineering Computer Science and Mathematics (DISIM), University of L'Aquila - Italy.
My main research areas are software engineering, distributed systems, context-oriented programming, formal methods
I actively work on the (from theory to practice) application of software engineering methods to the modeling, verification, analysis and automatic synthesis of complex distributed systems, and application of context-oriented programming and analysis techniques to the development of adaptable (mobile) applications.

uda_massimo_tivoli.jpgMassimo Tivoli:
I am an Associate Professor at the Department of Information Engineering, Computer Science, and Mathematics (University of L’Aquila). My main responsibilities concern research coordination activities and teaching activities.