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Clear And Reliable Information For Integration

Objective

The objective of Clarifi is to create a broker infrastructure to support the practical application of component-based software engineering in the marketplace. The overall Clarifi model of component-based software engineering foresees the presence of a wide selection of third party components from which developers implement solutions to fulfil customers' needs. Three actors are present in the model: suppliers, integrators, and the broker. The broker supports the integrator in (a) identifying those components that are required to build the target application, (b) composing such components, and (c) performing the required trade-off analysis between different possible solutions. The broker by nature addresses the needs of both supplier and integrator. Research spanning multiple areas is required: (a) Classification of Components, (b) Certification of components, (c) Usage information, and (d) Rating and Selection.

Objectives:
The objective of CLARIFI is to create a broker infrastructure to support the practical application of component-based software engineering in the marketplace. The overall CLARIFI model of component-based software engineering foresees the presence of a wide selection of third party components from which developers implement solutions to fulfil customers' needs. Three actors are present in the model: suppliers, integrators, and the broker. The broker supports the integrator by (a) identifying those components that may be used to build the target application, (b) providing standard characteristics for such components, and (c) performing the required trade-off analysis between different possible solutions. The broker supports the supplier by (a) providing a characterisation and certification model, and (b) a potentially greatly enlarged market place. The Broker also supports all users by facilitating the 'e-trading' of components using Internet technologies.

Work description:
The project is organised into to four main periods, each of which ends with a specific milestone. An incremental approach is used for each period allowing the research to be exploited independently and the progress to be assessed even before project completion. To some extent this reduces the research risks and minimises plan disruption. The four periods of the project are described below. They have been defined carefully to build upon each other and to ensure that the research deliverables are fully adopted into the development.

CLARIFI will focus upon specific enabling research issues:
(1) "Classification of Components"- to provide for the available components a precise description of the functional capabilities and the non-functional features, (for example: - The working environment, linkages and interfaces, commercial information, reliability, quality, and cost);
(2) "Certification of components"- by both domain and type of usage, which requires evaluation of current certification schemes and if necessary generation of additional schemes;
(3) "Rating and Selection", based on both the commercial and technical information thus assisting the integrator to obtain from the broker a recommended list of suitable components for any specific solution. Usage information on how and where components have been used and Visualisation techniques will be investigated and demonstrated to aid the integrator's evaluation and selection of components.

The CLARIFI workplan is subdivided into four periods according to the following milestones:
M1 - Project Set-up (month 6), ends period 1. This period will ensure that the main goals of CLARIFI are established with Requirements Capture, Architectural Definition and Design Specifications produced. Early research deliverables for Classification will also be produced. It will end with Technical Forum #1 involving a broad cross-section of expertise and potential users.
M2 - Design Completion (month 12), ends period 2. During this period, designs for the 'Integrator's client' and the Broker's Classification, Registration and Certification will be completed. The first prototype of the Broker and an early Integrator client will be developed. Evaluation plans will be prepared and Technical Forum #2 will take place.
M3 - Prototypes deployment (month 19) ends period 3. Evaluation of prototype 1 and delivery of prototypes 2 (Registration, Certification) and 3 (Search and Evaluation). This period will end with Technical Forum #3.
M4 - Project end (month 24) All research information will be published and prototype 3 will be evaluated. The final demonstrator will be deployed for evaluation with users. Technical Forum #4 will take place and various papers will be published.

Milestones:
The CLARIFI workplan is subdivided into four periods according to the following milestones:
M1 - Project Set-up (month 6), ends period 1
M2 - Design Completion (month 12), ends period 2
M3 - Prototypes deployment (month 19), ends period 3
M4 - Project End (month 24) (see above for more details on milestones)
1) CLARiFi system implementing a Software Components Broker able to:
1.1) let any CLARiFi instance be customised according to the organisation running the tool specific culture; in particular it is possible to define the components Classification Model;
1.2) let any third party certificate specific components properties being the certification properties part of the adopted Classification Model;
1.3) let integrators search for components suitable for specific required functionalities (this case CLARiFi searches for a suite of components satisfying all together the required functionalities; the suite can be as well composed by a single component), or for specific properties values (this case CLARiFi searches only those components which exhibit the required property value), or a composition of the two;
1.4) let integrators ranking the found components according to best fitting mechanism with respect to a selected property, or by ordering them by their "distance" with respect to the required ideal component;
1.5) providing integrators with powerful graphical services allowing him/her to easily identified the required component or suit of components.
2) An ontology describing software functionalities related to the Telecommunication market sector.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

ENGINEERING - INGEGNERIA INFORMATICA - S.P.A.
Address
Via San Martino Della Battaglia 56
00185 Roma
Italy

Participants (7)

BRITISH TELECOMMUNICATIONS PLC
United Kingdom
Address
81 Newgate Street
EC1A 7AJ London
DELTA DANISH ELECTRONICS, LIGHT & ACOUSTICS
Denmark
Address
Venlighedsvej 4
2970 Hoersholm
ENTE PER LE NUOVE TECNOLOGIE, L'ENERGIA E L'AMBIENTE
Italy
Address
Lungotevere Thaon Di Revel 76
00196 Roma
KEELE UNIVERSITY
United Kingdom
Address
Keele University
ST5 5BG Staffordshire
TECHNISCHER UEBERWACHUNGS-VEREIN NORD E.V.
Germany
Address
Grosse Bahnstrasse 31
22525 Hamburg
UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI GENOVA
Italy
Address
Via Balbi 5
16126 Genova
UNIVERSITY OF DURHAM
United Kingdom
Address
University Office
DH1 3HP Durham