Nikolaos Georgantas, INRIA Researcher

Nov 23 2017


An automated tool chain to faciltate the integration of heterogeneous systems into choreographies

What is the new development paradigm for IoT, smart city and smart mobility applications? 

The IoT domain is extremely fragmented with very diverse technologies and siloed vertical solutions proposed by the ever increasing number of actors of this field. IoT application designers need a new open development environment for easily building secured and large-scale applications combining services and things. Smart cities and intelligent transportation systems need a flexible platform for composing rapidly new services based on the IoT and existing web services. Designed for fast changing environments, the open source CHOReVOLUTION platform helps business users, software architects and developers to build, run and monitor distributed applications based on service choreography. This new approach requires no central coordination, in contrast to service orchestration.

What are the main benefits for software architects and developers of using the CHOReVOLUTION platform?

Using simple drag-and-drop operations, the end-users of the Eclipse-based CHOReVOLUTION Studio can build a choreography diagram integrating business goals, connected things and services. Then, the platform middleware components contribute to generate and deploy the resulting service choreography. Most importantly, a number of software artifacts are synthesized that resolve all heterogeneity issues inherent in a distributed system composed from independently developed and possibly autonomous entities. These relate, for instance, to business operations and data, business protocols, middleware protocols or security. Once distributed in the cloud, the application remains scalable, reconfigurable and secured. It respects the initial business goals, but important updates can still be brought at multiple levels, without having to re-invent the whole application.

Is the project designed for DevOps / SecOps allowing to compose and run dynamic services on hybrid clouds?

The CHOReVOLUTION platform & methodology certainly adheres to the philosophy of DevOps / SecOps, as it enables managing the whole lifecycle of secure service choreographies in an agile way. It automates most of the tedious and error-prone stages of choreography building, from expressing business objectives to running finally composed systems. Furthermore, dynamic services deployed on multiple clouds and hybrid clouds are certainly possible with the CHOReVOLUTION platform. However, these are not the main focus of our current experimentations and use cases. DevOps and SecOps team members may be looking for a global service inventory, an identity management solution and powerful back-end tools to bridge the gap between existing IoT and web services. They can find such features in the CHOReVOLUTION platform.    

How can a designer build his first choreography? What skills are needed to use the CHOReVOLUTION Studio?

An eCommerce application is provided with the CHOReVOLUTION platform, including all artifacts and files to try the Studio (an Eclipse-based IDRE), starting with a standard BPMN 2.0 modeling approach. BPMN, Java and basic Eclipse knowledge are required to build business-oriented service choreographies. And some notions of web services, security and IoT protocols are also useful. Nevertheless, the choreography designer can rely on the automated, easy-to-use tool chain of the CHOReVOLUTION platform for tackling all the hard problems of integrating heterogeneous systems into choreographies.  

What key innovation do you bring? Where is the most challenging aspect in this agile development?

My Inria colleagues and I have developed the part of the CHOReVOLUTION platform solution that seamlessly enables end-to-end interconnections of services and things independently of their interaction technologies, be it web services, CoAP-based sensors or MQTT data feeds. Our solution covers practically all existing and possibly future middleware protocols. And this by automated synthesis of the middleware artifacts that enable cross-connecting these heterogeneous technologies. These artifacts form the eVolution Service Bus (VSB), a lightweight, entirely flexible, and fully distributed interoperability bus.   

A word about yourself and your organization

I am a researcher at Inria Paris and Head of the MiMove research team, which has a strong focus on mobile distributed systems and supporting middleware, with special interest in the aspects of emergence and evolution, very-large-scale mobile sensing, and mobile social crowd-sensing. I am leading the effort concerning the CHOReVOLUTION platform middleware.

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