Architectural Solution for Providing Tools as a Service

A couple of years ago, we pitched the idea of Tools as Services  as it had become clear that Cloud Computing based infrastructures will be widely leveraged for providing all sorts of services for businesses. We conceived and started a project to design, build, and evaluate an infrastructure that can materialize our idea of providing engineering (i.e., Software Engineering) tools as services rather than getting the engineering tools deployed on individual machines or a centralized server. We argued that an increasing number of individuals and organizations will need an easy and on demand access to tools for performing specific activities (e.g., Requirements modeling or Software testing). We have been making steadily and continuous progress towards our first main goals in this regard: designing an infrastructure for providing tools as a service. At this stage, we have designed an architectural solution for building and leveraging a cloud-based infrastructure to provide Tools as a Service. Apart from well known software architecture design principles, processes, and architectural patterns, our architectural solutions, described in this poster, exploits well known semantic technologies, Ontologies for providing solutions to tools integration challenges.

This poster provides a brief summary of the challenges that needs to be addressed for providing tools as services and designed architectural solution and associated semantic technologies. One of the key requirements for our infrastructure is to support bundling of multiple tools in an integrated fashion; this means we need provide appropriate mechanisms for making the artifacts and data elements of different tools interoperate seamlessly. Our Ontology based solution is designed to address the tools integration challenges by defining semantic relationships among data and to main knowledge of semantic relationships. We have also implemented a proof-of-concept prototype, which can host a selected set of tools and provision them as services. More information and the prototype of our infrastructure will be publicized soon in terms of scientific publications and tool demonstrations at various industrial and scientific forums. If you are interested in knowing more, please drop us an email and we will be happy to share with you the information that is not in the public domain yet.