MultiRáció
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Information Technology Research

Adaptive Software Technologies

Project ID: KMOP-1.1.1-08/1-2008-0019
Market oriented research and development activity in MultiRáció

The project is supported by the European Union and co-financed by ERDF (European Regional Development Fund).

The project's main objectve is the creation of an intelligent software development environment, capable to prepare OpenOffice extension modules, and the enhancement of this environment by using it for adjusting our adaptive applications to the new extension architecture of OpenOffice, and by the development of new, adapive extensions. The project will result in a better human-computer interacion. Adapive software is able to automatically analyze and react to user behaviour. In addition to this, the data collected from many users can be used in statistical analysis to aid user interface development in producing software more suited to the requirements of the users.

OpenOffice has been selected as the implementation target of the intelligent software development environment because its source code is freely available, but the technology can be adapted to other platforms as well.

Project objectives:

  • Development of an intelligent software development environment;
  • Technology transfer to the new OpenOfice extension model with respect to adaptive software;
  • Prototype of a marketable software library;
  • Development of at least 9 python based extensions, 5 of which is commercially licensed.

Project results:

  • Intelligent software development environment for OpenOffice extension modules;
  • OpenOffice.org code modification to enable adaptive library (SGPL);
  • Python based extension modules with adaptive user interfaces;
  • Dissemination of technology on conferences, involving university students in research activities;
  • Software that automatically adapts to user behaviour patterns.

The adaptive extension development environment will be specified based on our prevous experience, and a beta version will be ready by the end of the project. The environment will be also tested in real-world extension development process. A limited version of the environment will be vailable to the public, so that other OpenOffice developers can test it add their experiences.

In the first phase of the research, Multiráció and the Eötös University group will analyze the extension structure of OpenOffice and design procedures to add adaptive features to extension modules. Results will be presented on the annual OpenOffice conference.

In the next phase, several adaptive extensions and a prototype level development environment will be created. 4 of the extensions willbe freely available to the development community.

 

Software Quality Assurance

In the framework of the National Technology Programme: Development of a software quality assurance service-pack for applications of the OpenDocument Format.
Project ID: TECH_08_A2-SZOMIN08
Consortium leader: MultiRáció
Project leader: Miklós Banai

Consortium members:
1. MultiRáció
2. Polygon (IBM partner)
3. Sun Microsystems Magyarország (until 2010, then Oracle Magyarország)
4. Szeged University (SZTE)
5. Eötvös University, Budapest (ELTE)
6. Budapesti University of Technology and Economics (BME)

These days there are more than one billion personal computers in the world, which may be doubled within a couple of years. We can use writers and spreadsheets as document editors, on computers and on the mobile tools, since these are spreading rapidly. Software industry has become a very important part of the economy, as it already yields the 25% of the GDP in the USA. One of the most important targets of software development is to provide stable applications. Stability can only be guaranteed by high quality, this is why software quality assurance has become an important part of development and production. As electronic document processing became more and more a common task, document exchange and cooperation among different users made compatibility and interoperability a central issue of document editor applications.

The first overall solution of this problem was the Open Document Format (ODF) developed by OASIS, an organization of various large computer users and producers. ODF was accepted as ISO standard in 2006. Application of this standar d format has been supporting by the European Union by making it one of the obligatory standards of document exchange in public institutions. A number of countries (e.g. the Netherlands, France, South Africa, Brazil, etc.) ordered the application of the standard by law, NATO also applies it as one of the obligatory document exchange formats. The Brazilian government organizations already use ODF as document exchange format. ODF is also supported by the market leader Microsoft Office in its new version to be released in 2009. Some dominant software developer companies of the world, like Sun Microsystems and IBM, tend to promote various technologies to encourage the effective involvement of independent software companies in their large software projects. Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) promoted by IBM was the first step in this direction. Sun followed this line soon by the UNO model of its OpenOffice.org (OOo). In the segment of office productivity applications, the organization OASIS developed ODF, a standard file format enabling 100% compatibility and interoperability among office applications. Independent software developer companies can join to these solutions by developing new functions as extensions or add-on modules.

The forecomer of the proposed project is the software quality assurance project "OpenOffice++", successfully completed by SZTE and MultiRacio. The resulting monitoring system is currently on line at the OpenOffice/StarOffice software developer department of Sun Microsystems in Hamburg. The purpose of the new project is to continue this work for ODF conforming software applications by including extension modules in this monitoring process. Technologies of the mobile environment and Erlang would be also included to extend the range of the services.

The quick spreading of these ODF applications is shown, by the data of Sun Microsystems: the number of OpenOffice.org and StarOffice users has raised to 75 Million worldwide. The major gains are in the Pacific Areas, including Japan and China. This rapidly increasing demand in the Pacific required a new version of StarOffice, called StarSuite, which fulfils the specific needs of the geographical area. And now the OpenOffice.org downloads have already reached the 2 Million per week. The Companies of IBM, Sun Microsystems and Novell have switched or are switching to ODF applications, which means hundred thousand new users more worldwide. The IBM this spring marketed its own ODF application, the OpenOffice.org based Lotus Symphony 1.0. The support of this application for companies can be bought based on number of users from the world leading IT company. In 2009 Brazil specified ODF as the national institutional document exchange format. This decision increases the number of ODF application users substantially in Brazil (population 170 million) as well. Since last year more than hundred thousand users have downloaded the global add-on extensions of MultiRáció Ltd to OpenOffic.org and StarOffice.

It is important to note that the race, between data exchange within connected systems, which are conditioning the protocols and standard formats has not finished yet. The aims laid down in this proposal, assure the spread of the applicability of the leading document standard. The development of service oriented architectures, widely accepted by the software developers, is in the first stage. The compatibility of data exchange is the key of the usage of processes, provided by independent developers. This is the common interest of the big software companies and the smaller software companies as well, who are developing extensions, add-ons and processes.

The software quality assurance service-package, along ODF applications can be easily adopted for other software as well. Because this benefit, most of the national and international software industry segments can be covered during the sales process.

The consortium aims to enter in the competition of services in the field of software quality monitoring and assurance. That service can reach market success, which is available in time and in accordance with the critical development processes. To reach the leader position the critical factors are the strong scientific base and the continuous development oft the methods behind the analytical- appraising-monitoring service.

The secondary purpose of the project is developing software quality assurance tools and services for the mobile and telecommunications environment, and XML (ODF) verification of document exchange.

In the last few years the usage of Erlang functional programming language has dynamically spread. Only in the first half of 2008 41 thousand users have downloaded one of the Erlang versions. Major industrial applications has developed in this language. Along Ericsson other companies use Erlang like the British T-Mobile, Motorola, the Erlang Training and Consulting for telecommunication software, the Swedish Kreditor for electronic payment, the Quviq for producing software-testing tools. There is emerging demand for refactoring tools on the mobile telecommunication recently. As one research reports: 20% of the asked Erlang developers, have heard about the RefactorErl, developed by ELTE (Number 5 of the Consortium), supported by Ericsson. And 5% are using this prototype.

The main outcome will be the promotion of ODF applications (extended to mobile environments) in the software market by making the development and maintenance of these applications more effective.

The members of the consortium will be entitled to count on that they will base a competitive servicing environment with their former results and with attainment of planned goals during this joined project. In this way they could allocate the intellectual achievements of the participant universities to the rapidly developing service market.

The project has 7 tasks:

Task 1: Adaptation and integration of the components of the Monitoring System

The current quality monitoring system is used to monitor software written in the C/C++, Java and C# programming languages. In this task we will expand the group of monitored software with applications written in the Python programming language. By extending the group of already handled programming languages, we will be capable to monitor every notable extension of OpenOffice.org. The result of the first task is a well-formed, complete software system which is continuously monitored. The platforms contain general desktop and large server computer systems, as well as small and mobile devices.

Task 2: Research, adaptation and improvement of impact analysis methods

Our aim is to extend the software quality package with an impact analysis software tool applicable in the fields of cost estimation and testing. An important factor is that the tools are appropriate for impact analysis of real world, industrial size systems (like OpenOffice.org and derived software). The other main goal in this task is to utilize impact analysis results that are available for the object oriented paradigm in the field of functional programming, concentrating on the Erlang language.

Task 3: Code quality improvement

The product of the task is an extended monitoring system which provides information for improvements and bug-fixes. This results in a higher quality software package which can be measured by quality indicators as well.

Task 4: Developing product and process based qualification schema for ODF applications and mobile environment

This task has the goal to develop an ISO 9126-based and a CMMI-based qualification schema that can be applied for ODF applications and mobile environment. Internal, external and quality in use metrics will be determined. The results of the code analysis will be used, as well as the test environment provided by the partners of this project. The result of this task is a quality profile based on ISO 9126 and an other based on CMMI, that can be used to understand and measure the quality of the ODF applications and of the applications in mobile environment.

Task 5: Handling ODF documents on mobile platforms

One of the goals of the project is to handle ODF documents in small resource environments, so we need to simplify the format for mobile platforms. During this we obtain two deferent (but related) document-formats, so we have to produce the transformation between them. Because of the ODF stores the content of document, the formatting, the metadatas and the editing-properties in an archived format in different XML documents, so we want to develop prototype converter software between collections of XML schemas. The visualization is not the only goal on mobile platforms, we want to develop a resource dependent editing environment, so we will support easy text editing, selection of subdocuments, and integration of subdocuments into one document, and we have to analyse the theoretical and practical possibilities of concurrent editing and formatting.

Task 6: Validation in user environments

Wewill perform the validation tests in a real validation environment. In this context a real environment means a full-fledged user environment which is based on a corporate-level software system. The results are tracked back to the software components through code fixes and lifecycle management in order to validate the effect of the quality change on usage.

Task 7: Handling ODF documents in SOA environment and integrating them using an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB)

ODF document format is a data structure described with a standards XML syntax, which is entirely suitable for computer processing, through automated processes. The service oriented (SOA) environments, the SOA-based application development approach and its actual service bus implementations are one of the most dynamically developing areas of business information. As an added advantage, the pre-defined message format of these systems is XML, as well. The need arises to integrate the already existing or developing SOA implementations with existing ODF-based applications, and to investigate the technological possibilities of the integration for concrete (possibly open sourced) systems.

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