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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Monday, February 9, 2015

Bran Selic, Mark Van Den Brand and Marco Brambilla: Panel on State of Modeling.

Within the Modelsward conference held at ESEO in Angers, France, the warm up session has been delegated to a panel on the state of modelling, where panelists Bran Selic, Mark Van Den Brand and myself discussed about their vision on modelling.

Plenty of good points came up both from the panelists and the audience.

The main message from Bran Selic was:

  • Non-functional modelling is wrong, both in terminology and semantic senses 
  • the so called "ities" are more than 50, and still each of them needs to be covered with different techniques and tools
  • The term implies a second-order importance, and a negative definition which are bad by themselves
  • Furthermore, you cannot cover them separately wrt functional requirements, because it's not true you can cover them through aspect-oriented or separation of concern. For instance, you cannot put in "reliability" to a system after you have covered the functional aspects only
  • So, best to call them "qualities" of the system. Even in ancient Greece, quality was undistinguishable from the thing itself

On the other side, Mark Van Den Brand was pointing to:

  •  the risk for software engineers to become obsolete, because every domain expert is going to build his own tools and languages by himself
  • the software engineers then should become more interdisciplinary, while not delve into becoming domain experts of some sort.
My provocative message at the panel was that:
  • Modeling is dead! In the sense we cannot expect 
  • We should move to Un-Modeling Practices, that is: remove modelling as a tool for everybody, using modelling tools as experts, and let people enjoy only the little bit they deserve, without forcing MDD frameworks, which are usually not easily accepted
  • Modeling should be used under the hood and each actor should be shown the proper tool (including programmers, who are not easily buying the model-driven approaches at all)
  • This will not be possible until language and tool designers will be software engineers only (just think at the terrible modelling tools we are able to build).
  • Here is the slides I used for my pitch:


I think all this poses extremely complex challenges to the modelling and software engineering community. It's up to us to keep up with these challenges, or become obsolete (aka. remain a very small niche in the software development world).


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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The business value of Mobile + Cloud + Internet of Things



Once again, this year I gave a presentation at SMAU Milano together with WebRatio (with Matteo Sassi as a co-speaker).

The purpose this time was to show and inspire on how Mobile, Cloud and IoT are becoming concrete business opportunities.

We tried to give a different interpretation to these technology trends: At first glance, the technologies that integrate Cloud, Mobile andInternet of Things (IoT) are attractive only to industry leaders with the ability to invest huge budgets and resources (such as Google Nest or Philips HUE, for example). These technologies are becoming attractive for individual developers who implement solutions thanks to open-source hardware and systems, such as Arduino and Raspberry PI which then inevitably force them to make design compromises.

We showed how conceptual solutions like the one proposed by WebRatio offer a code less approach that gives companies the opportunity to enter as main players, without limitations, in this new Mobile, Cloud and IoT market.

By using WebRatio Platform, companies can model apps with the IFML language (Interaction Flow Modeling Language) and "rationalize" the interaction with the IoT networks (think of the interaction of the sensors on which the "Internet of Things" technology is based) and put them into operation directly in the Cloud. In this way, companies save on infrastructure costs and reduce the cost and time to design and build applications.  It is possible to design new applications in this context caring only to use the correct interfaces and focusing on the opportunities provided by this new technology.

Here is the presentation we gave (partly in Italian, but very visual):

And here is a short video of the audience:

 

 together with a few pictures of the event:




My other presentations at SMAU given in the past are:

Mobile, Cloud, BPM through MDD for fostering the business. Presentation at SMAU 2013

BPM and Cloud, the ideal partners. SMAU 2012 presentation

Seminar on Social BPM at SMAU 2011 Milano

Trends and challenges in Business Process Management (BPM) at SMAU 2010


And my personal page on the SMAU site is:

http://www.smau.it/speakers/marco.brambilla/

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

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:

http://ceur-ws.org/Vol-1242/



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