The Cloud meets Model-Driven Engineering

Cloud computing is enormously promising in terms of providing scalable and elastic infrastructure for software applications, as well as innovative business opportunities.

However, its complexity (both in terms of understanding and adoption) is often underestimated.
That’s why Model-Driven Engineering (MDE), whose focus is to elevate conceptual models to first class artefacts of the software development process, can come at hand also for addressing software issues on the cloud.
MDE is enormously promising in terms of automating tedious or error prone parts of systems engineering. There is a huge potential in identifying synergies between MDE and cloud computing; this is the focus of the workshop CloudMDE 2014. This year, the MODELS conference will host the second edition of the workshop, in Valencia (Spain), on September 30, 2014.
Here are a couple of excerpts from the workshop call.

Model Driven Engineering (MDE) features powerful tools, including for constructing models and managing them (e.g., via transformation, code generation, merging), though numerous challenges and difficulties arrive in adopting and deploying the tools. MDE principles, practices and tools are also becoming more widely used in industrial scenarios. Many of these scenarios are traditional IT development (e.g., focusing on code generation), and emphasis on novel or evolving deployment platforms has yet to be seen.

Cloud computing is a computational model in which applications, data, and IT resources are provided as services to users over the Internet. Cloud computing exploits distributed computers to proxvide on-demand resources and services over a network (usually the Internet) with the scale and reliability of a data centre. There are different types of clouds; organizations can provide hardware for clouds internally (internal clouds), or a third party can provide it externally (hosted clouds). A cloud might be restricted to a single organization or group (private clouds), available to the general public over the Internet (public clouds), or shared by multiple groups or organizations (hybrid clouds).

Let’s put them together! A nice example of this is the brand new cloud implementation of WebRatio.

All the papers presented at the workshop are available online as CEUR-WS proceedings at:

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CrowdServ: International Workshop on Crowdsourcing and Service Management @ ICSOC 2014

This year I am organizing the First  International Workshop on Crowdsourcing and Service Management, together with Alessandro Bozzon (TU Delft) and Khalid Belhajjame (Paris Dauphine Univ.).

CrowdServ workshop on CrowdSourcing and Web Services at ICSOC
The objective of the first edition of CrowdServ which will be co-located withthe International Conference on Service Oriented Computing (ICSOC) at Paris Dauphine University is to bring researchers and practitioners from the service oriented computing arena to discuss two fundamental issues:

  • how crowdsourcing can be leveraged to support the efficient and effective management and integration of services.
  • how crowd and automatic services can be integrated and intertwined to obtain optimal results.
Topics span from modeling, to empirical studies, to early findings and visions.
This is the first attempt in the research community to cover these topics, so I expect the workshop to be an exciting opportunity of discussion and exchange.
You can find more details on deadlines and submission procedures at:
… and obviously feel free to get in touch if you like!
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Communicating Business Process and Software Models: Quality, Understandability, and Maintainability

For the first time, this year we organized a workshop on Communicating Business Process and Software Models: Quality, Understandability, and Maintainability (CPSM 2013). [see official web site]

Hajo Reijers giving his keynote talk at CPSM workshop
Hajo Reijers giving his keynote talk at CPSM workshop

It was held on September 23rd, 2013 at the Technical University of Eindhoven, the Netherlands in conjunction with the 29th IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance.

The motivation of the workshop stands in the fact that, in recent years, models have become a paramount means for communication. This gained more attention in research on process modeling and software modeling. Both communities discuss issues on models, modeling languages, and their use and perception, such as model understandability, complexity of modeling
languages, actual usage of language features, cognitive aspects, human perception and subjective perspectives on models, and related topics. These aspects are extremely important for the adaption of modeling languages both for process design and software development. Furthermore, models are becoming more and more important as a communication tool across disciplines and enterprise roles. In particular understandability and readability of models is a key success factor for comprehensive modeling of enterprise practices and IT systems. This entails the possibility of modeling different perspectives of the enterprise, and yet grant coherency and integration between the models. The CPSM 2013 workshop was held as a multi-disciplinary forum for researchers and practitioners actively working on quality, usability and maintainability of software and process models. The goal of the CPSM workshop was to bring together researchers and practitioners in the area of Business Process (re)design and software maintenance, to discuss about and exchange ideas on quality, understandability and maintainability of business process models, of software models, and of the relationships between business process models, software models, and system implementation.

CPSM workshop attendees suring one discussion session
CPSM workshop attendees suring one discussion session

The event was a success, it gathered more than 15 attendees between software engineers, BPM practitioners and academics, and was a great occasion for discussion.

The organization of the event was by Irene Vanderfeesten, Dirk Fahland (both from Eindhoven University of Technology) and myself.
Some pictures of the event are reported here, while others are available on the workshop site, together with the slides of the keynotes and additional materials.

If you are interested in the event and in contributing to organizing or hosting its future editions, feel free to get in touch.

To keep updated on my activities you can subscribe to the RSS feed of my blog or follow my twitter account (@MarcoBrambi).

Representing Social BPM and WebML at the BPMN workshop 2011

Tomorrow (November 21st) I’ll present two contributions to the 3rd international BPMN workshop in Luzern, Switzerland.
My first speech will present our proposed notation for representing Social Business Processes within Social BPM scenarios. Social networking is more and more considered as crucial for helping organizations harness the value of informal relationships and weak ties, without compromising the consolidated business practices embedded in conventional BPM solutions. However, no appropriate notation has been devised for specifying social aspects within business process models. We propose a first attempt towards the extension of business process notations with social features. In particular, we devise an extension of the BPMN notation for capturing social requirements. Such extension does not alter the semantics of the language: it includes a set of new event types and task types, together with some annotation for the pool/lane levels. It actually exploits the extensibility features of BPMN 2.0. Our notation enables the description of social behaviours within BPMN diagrams. To demonstrate the applicability of the notation, we implement it within the WebRatio BPM editor and we provide a code generation framework that automatically produces a process enactment Web application connected with mainstream social platforms.The presentation is available on SlideShare:

My second speech is on Execution Semantics of BPMN through MDE Web Application Generation, using BPMN and WebML. I describe our pragmatic approach based on Model Driven Engineering (MDE) principles for implementing the execution semantics of BPMN. The approach is implemented in WebRatio and is based on a two-step model transformation that transforms BPMN models into Web application models specified according to the WebML notation and then into running Web applications. Thanks to the proposed chain of model transformations it is also possible to fine tune the final application in several ways by refining the intermediate WebML application models. The presentation is available on SlideShare:

More information on the workshop can be found at:
In particular, the program of the day is available here.

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