For the past five years, Zurich University of Applied Sciences has hosted the Service Prototyping Lab to investigate new ways to design, prototype, implement and deploy SaaS and related cloud application concepts. We have worked with many companies from all over Switzerland to come up with innovative solutions together. We still continue this way, but we also want to reflect technological change and the evolving requirements of our research and innovation partners as well as our students in education. Therefore, we are working on reflecting this evolution also in naming, and gradually move towards a positioning as leading research partner in Switzerland around the topic of Distributed Application Computing Paradigms.

Such paradigms are omnipresent, each with their unique characteristics, although a certain amount of overlap exists, as well as advantages and disadvantages. We already investigate and teach Cloud-Native Computing, Serverless Computing and Big Data Computing. We are also looking into the emerging trends of Continuum Computing/Osmotic Computing/Fog Computing, as well as others that bring technical or economic benefits to managed and self-managed software applications and services. In the context of the digitalisation initiative of the canton of Zurich, we further solidify our position on Digital Transformation which builds on the right combination of computing paradigms. Concretely, we consider among key challenges:

  • The technical and economic exploitation of emerging and evolving computing services for more powerful applications. This includes cloud computing and multi-/cross-cloud computing (leading to advanced cloud-native applications), serverless computing, continuum computing, big data computing and decentralised computing models.
  • The improvement and assurance of key application characteristics including elasticity, resilience, latency, simplicity and running costs.
  • The service-oriented integration of applications with adequate software decomposition, microservices technologies, APIs and support services for self-management.
  • The inspection and quantitative evaluation of computing technologies and affected software artefacts with testbeds, reference data and sample applications.
  • The optimisation of application-level messaging and eventing capabilities, allowing for novel domains such as computing on geospatial and smartly encoded data.
  • The realisation of complex integrated scenarios for applications in IoT, data analytics, secure and trusted clouds, cyber-physical systems, smart-anything and for the increasing digital transformation in economy and society at large.

As life returns to normal levels across the country and the world, we are eager to assist in bringing interesting research concepts into production and are happy to talk to you about technological possibilities and using scientific research to overcome apparently unsolveable challenges.