Thursday, July 30, 2015

Why we built an app and why we got featured as best app in the Apple store

It took years, countless hours of work and conceptual effort by a good bunch of people, but last December we delivered our flagship app Fluxedo to the Apple Store and Android Play Store.
And yes, we got featured as best new app in the Apple store.
This was a great surprise, for several reasons:

  • we built Fluxedo with cross-platform, non-native technologies
  • the UX was pixel-perfect wrt the Google material design guidelines
  • we didn't advertise, push or apply any PR techniques on the app
And anyway, we got selected by Apple. 
How was that?
I think three main points contributed to this success are:
  • detailed studies of UX, feedback from user panels, and expertise in usability
  • maniacal care on the implementation issues, performance, and testing of features
  • solid data management architecture
  • long-term research underneath the concept of the app (as apparent from various scientific publications that feature the technical aspects of the product: we got papers accepted at BPMS2 2012, MobileSoft 2015, ICWE 2015, and SLE 2015)
All this allowed a resulting app that is undistinguishable from native ones and works perfectly on any device.
Add to this a continuous improvement and evolution philosophy, and you get the core of the values of Fluxedo. WE are now working intensively on a new version of the app, completely re-engineered, to further improve the user experience and performance.

You can get an idea of the app from this video (or visit www.fluxedo.com):




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OMG Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) Standards At Work

What do SysML™, IFML™, SysA and DDS™ standards have in common, and how can they be put at work in the (Industrial) Internet of Things [IoT and IIoT] context?


To respond to this question, I will join a special event by the Object Management Group (OMG) on September 23, 2015, from 1:30 pm - 5:30 pm at the Cambridge, MA meeting. 
The event will consist of short presentations of the standards, panels and discussions of industrial cases and will allow a closer look at how OMG standards are shaping the Industrial Internet of Things around the globe. OMG is joining forces with IIC (Industrial Internet Consortium) for covering IIoT.
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is delivering improved productivity, major cost savings, and streamlined processes to professionals from all industries. OMG has been active in IIoT standardization from long before "IIoT" became an industry buzzword. 
This half-day information session brings together industry experts who will share case studies of these standards at work in the Industrial Internet, and present their vision of the future within this rapidly growing field. OMG is committed in supporting IIoT efforts and its standards cover several aspects of the field, as described here.
The topics covered during the event include:

  • SysML - System Modeling Language. SysML is a dialect of the Unified Modeling Language (UML) standard, and supports the specification, analysis, design, verification and validation of a broad range of systems and systems-of-systems. 
  • IFML - Interaction Flow Modeling Language. IFML is designed for expressing the content, user interaction and control behavior of the front-end of applications, including complex systems found in the Industrial Internet of Things.
  • SysA - System Assurance and CISQ. OMG's Systems Assurance Task Force (SysA TF) works with CISQ on standards that ensure the reliability, safety and security of IIoT systems. 
  • DDS - Data Distribution Service for Real-Time Systems. OMG's  DDS standard provides a protocol that meets the demanding scalability, performance, and Quality of Service requirements of IIoT applications spanning connected machines, enterprise systems, and mobile devices. 
The event is free and anyone can join. You can register to the event here:

OMG IIoT event

You can find here the official page of the event, with the detailed program and other information.


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Monday, July 27, 2015

Webinar on WebRatio BPM Platform 8.4

I'm glad to share the video of the most recent webinar on WebRatio BPM Platform, the BPMN-based tool designed to support you in building high-end BPM Web and mobile Apps with a tailored User Experience. If you never experienced WebRatio BPM Platform, here is a summary of what you can do with it:

  •  DEVELOP WEB AND MOBILE APPS through prototypes, then change them as many times as you need. No more time wasted building mockups on paper. 
  • NO VENDOR LOCK IN thanks to highly optimized generated code that is open, human readable and based on the most recent Java and JS frameworks. 
  • DEFINE A CUSTOM WEB OR MOBILE FRONT END for your BPM App and create a customized user interface, giving every channel a different user experience. 
  • SUPPORT YOUR USERS’ MOBILITY thanks to the mobile BPM capabilities that let you work on your BPM App on any device, desktop or mobile, and deliver a seamless user experience.
Discover more on the WebRatio site or watch the video of the webinar on YouTube:
 


 

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The "UML Profile for ArchiMate and ArchiMate Meta-model" RFP issued by OMG

After my initial post about Archimate and UML intent to get closer, just a quick update post on the fact that the "UML Profile for ArchiMate and ArchiMate Meta-model" request for proposal (RFP) have been issued by the Object Management Group at the Long Beach technical committee meeting by the Domain TC and is now available at the URL:
http://www.omg.org/cgi-bin/doc?bmi/2014-12-03
The contact person of this RFP is J.D.Baker from NIST. The effort is lead by Fred A. Cummins, Donald R. Chapin, and Claude Baudoin.

The RFP's work in progress page, which contains a link to the document and all relevant deadlines is located at this URL (Requires OMG access credentials):
http://www.omg.org/techprocess/meetings/schedule/ArchiMate_RFP.html.

So far, no proposals have been submitted, but Sparx Systems and HP have declared their interest and intent to submit.
The main controversy related to the RFP and subsequently to the proposals is about the role and positioning of a UML profile wrt the actual Archimate standard.
The deadline for proposals and for participating to the voting expires on May 18 (in a week!).

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Monday, May 4, 2015

Video of the Interview with Richard Soley (OMG) on IFML and user interaction modelling

Here is a short clip of the interview regarding the Interaction Flow Modeling Language (IFML) recorded in March 2015, in occasion of the release of IFML 1.0.
In the interview we discuss with Richard Soley about the relevance of user interaction modelling, the way it can be integrated with broader modelling projects, and the impact it has on overall design effort of software systems. Emanuele Molteni also discusses some success stories in the application of IFML in large-scale industrial projects in the US, by means of the WebRatio tool.



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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

EventOmeters: the new actor in Event Management. Mobile app + social media (semantic) analytics + IoT

Following up on my recent perspective that moves from model-driven development to hidden-model products, together with the Fluxedo team and in collaboration with WebRatio and Eurotech, we launched a new product called EventOmeters.


EventOmeters allows businesses and event organizers to increase the effectiveness of their events, involving participants and being able to rely on certain measures for the analysis of returns on investment in trade fairs, music, sports and in general of any gathering of people.
The role of the partners is as follows:
  • WebRatio is a leading provider of tools, methods and services for the rapid production of customized applications, 
  • Fluxedo is an innovative start-up focusing on mobile app development, social network integration, and semantic social media analytics,
  • Eurotech will integrate data from IoT sensors whose data is made available realtime through cloud technology.
EventOmeters has been already used in the context of the FuoriSalone, within the Milano Design Week. In this setting, the product featured around 20.000 downloads of the official mobile app of the event and an analysis of more than 110.000 social media posts.
You can find more on this at:
Here is the storified summary of the launch event that happened on April 21, 2015 in ExpoGate in Piazza Castello in Milano, Italy.


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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Here we are: IFML 1.0 published by the OMG officially

IFML 1.0 is finally published!



The OMG released the official 1.0 version of the new standard in March 2015. It took several years of research, discussions and validation, but here we are with the standard specification. The specification document can be downloaded for free at:

http://www.omg.org/spec/IFML/

Here is Emanuele ready for the presentation given at the Object Management Group ADTF (Analysis & Design Task Force).


Emanuele Molteni presenting IFML implementation
and success stories at the OMG meeting
With perfect timing, we are also ready to go to the market with:



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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Keynote speech on User Interaction Modeling at Modelsward 2015 in Angers

On February 10, 2015 I gave a keynote at Modelsward in Angers, France.

The speech focuses on the modeling of software UIs through graphical domain-specific languages and in particular shows the new standard adopted by OMG called IFML (Interaction Flow Modeling Language) at work. My presentation illustrates the basic concepts of IFML, presents the design best practices and integration with other modelling languages, and discusses some large-scale industrial experiences (also featuring quantitative measures of productivity) achieved through IFML and associated full code generation techniques.

The full video of my presentation (1 hour long, if you can endure it!) is available on Vimeo thanks to the Insticc service. See it here too:

 

"Modeling and Execution of Software User Interfaces" Dr. Marco Brambilla (MODELSWARD 2015).

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Monday, March 2, 2015

My interview on Social Media and Society: what I said (and what I didn't)

My recent interview on the evolution of social media and its role in modern society is available on YouTube (in Italian only, sorry about that).

While the 3+ minutes of speech necessarily had to be a general overview on the role and recent changes of social media, I wish to summarise here the some technical aspects of it.

As I mentioned in the presentation:



  • social media changed a lot since their early days, from being consumed on PCs to mobile devices, from general purpose social networks connecting friends to digital stages where we "sell" our life to the entire world, from places where to share personal information to platforms where to publish also objective information coming from the real world experience.
  • social media are nowadays a valuable source of information for companies, who look for (and find) their customers through social media marketing and advertising, and public institutions and researchers, that can leverage on a large amount of data for providing benefits to our everyday life
YourExpo2015 - the Instagram Photo Challenge of Expo2015 MilanoWhat I didn't say is how you can do that. Well, it's pretty simple. 

The ingredients of the recipe: 
  • A lot of users sharing their profile
  • A lot of content (photos, statuses, geotags, descriptions) shared by people
  • (which makes up a VERY big data problem)
  • crawlers capturing this (or stream capturing systems) and storage as needed
  • MODELS of the context, the problem and the solution
  • and DATA ANALYSIS TOOLS for studying the data and extracting meaningful information
To me, the most valuable points are MODELS and ANALYSIS TOOLS. We are doing a lot of experiments on mixing model-driven techniques with semantic analysis, NLP, and social media monitoring. One example of our experiments is the YourExpo2015 Instagram Photo Challenge
Have a look and participate if you like. More on this coming soon!








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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The IFML book - OMG's Interaction Flow Modeling Language explained

After almost one year of work, the result of our efforts finally came to light in late December 2014. Since it was almost Christmas time, we decided to wait 2014 for the launch. But now, here we are.
OMG Press and Morgan Kauffman published our book:

Interaction Flow Modeling Language:

Model-Driven UI Engineering of Web and Mobile Apps with IFML


Additionally, I can announce officially we will have a launch event at the next OMG meeting in Reston, VA, USA, in March 2015.
The book introduces the reader to the novel OMG standard Interaction Flow Modeling Language (IFML). Authors Marco Brambilla and Piero Fraternali are also authors of the IFML standard and wrote this book to explain the main concepts of the language. They effectively illustrate how IFML can be applied in practice to the specification and implementation of complex web and mobile applications, featuring rich interfaces, both browser based and native, client side components and widgets, and connections to data sources, business logic and services.
The book provides you with unique insight into the benefits of engineering web and mobile applications with an agile model driven approach. Concepts are explained through intuitive examples, drawn from real-world applications. The authors accompany you in the voyage from visual specifications of requirements to design and code production. The book distills more than twenty years of practice and provides a mix of methodological principles and concrete and immediately applicable techniques. Dr. Richard M. Soley, chairman of the OMG, wrote the foreword of the book.

You can buy the book in paperback (on Amazon or any other bookstore) or electronic format (Kindle on Amazon; PDF e-book on Elsevier store).

If you are looking for some basic introduction to model-driven engineering, you can check out this book: Model-Driven Software Engineering in Practice (by Brambilla, Cabot and Wimmer).



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