Turning software-based services into cloud-enabled applications
How do you take a conventional piece of software and make it into a cloud-enabled application? This is the question at the core of the EU-funded ARTIST project, which has brought together ten international partners – Fraunhofer IAO among them – to develop new approaches and tools to tackle the problem. It is hoped the results generated will help companies ready their programs for the age of cloud computing cost-effectively.
Cloud computing provides users with a range of new possibilities and allows companies with suitable business models to offer new services. Migrating existing software to the cloud, as the EU’s “Advanced software-based seRvice provisioning and migraTIon of legacy SofTware” (ARTIST) project is seeking to do, presents companies that have in-house software development capacities with the opportunity to develop new business models, extend their customer base and migrate their software onto a new and sustainable technology platform.
Funded by the European Commission under its Seventh Framework Programme, ARTIST aims to provide innovative tools and techniques to support the further development of existing software – all the way from working out requirements to the finished program. This involves the project partners devising techniques and development tools that can turn conventional, existing Java and C# applications into cloud-enabled programs. Here, it isn’t just a case of addressing the technical challenges, but also of considering the feasibility and expense of migration to the cloud, as well as its impact on business models.
ARTIST is pursuing a model-based approach to software modernization in an effort to make analysis of the old application (reverse engineering) and the development of the new application as automated as possible. At the migration stage, this will see the generation of platform-independent models that describe all the various aspects of the old and the new application. Automated model transformations then help to turn the models into technology-specific solutions.
In order to manage these models and model transformations, and to be able to use them again in future projects, Fraunhofer IAO is in the process of developing a model database. On the one hand, this database will give developers direct access to the models and model transformations from within their work environments. On the other, it will make selected, reusable results from the project available to the developer community via a web interface.
The results of ARTIST are set to help software houses ready existing applications for new software platforms cost-effectively, so that both software houses and users of open source software can make the most of the advantages offered by these new platforms.