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Reflections on software artefact quality tutorial

Our work in the Service Prototyping Lab at Zurich University of Applied Sciences consists of applied research, prototype development and conveying knowledge to industry. In this context, we have worked hard over the previous two years to gather educational and hands-on material, including our own contributions, for increasingly valuable tutorials. From single lectures to half-day and eventually full-day tutorials, we aim at both technology enthusiasts and experienced engineers who are open for new ideas and sometimes surprising facts. In this reflective blog post, we report on this week’s experience of giving the full-day tutorial on microservice artefact observation and quality assessment.

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Summer school on software evolution – Summary

From September 2 to 4, 2019, Tampere University hosted the summer school on Software Evolution: From Monolithic to Cloud-Native. The Service Prototyping Lab at Zurich University of Applied Sciences contributed with five lectures (and one coincidental serverless meetup talk) to increase theoretic knowledge and practical skills of Finnish doctoral students and developers on microservices and software engineering for the cloud. All presentations are available online but as usual the slides do not capture discussions and industry relevance, so read on to get to know more about this.

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Review of Azure Blockchain meetup

As reported before, we investigate quality characteristics of decentralised applications in analogy to the usual assessment of microservice artefacts. We are happy to report on how we shared the intermediate results at the most recent Azure Blockchain meetup in Zurich, apart from reporting on the event itself.

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IEEE Services 2019

The IEEE Services 2019 conference was held in the Universitá degli Studi di Milano in Milan, Italy in July and we were there to participate and cover it!

Keynote by Dr Joseph Sifakis in the Aula Magna
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Cyclops 3.2.0 released!

The latest update to the open source Cyclops Framework, part of our ongoing work to advance metering and monetization across cloud platforms, brings yet more new features and improvements:

  • Small fixes to the versioning/rollback features
  • New estimation and forecasting engine

The new forecasting engine is now built into Cyclops’ UDR service and can generate individual or global usage forecasts and cost/revenue estimates based on the existing usage data and be used to evaluate new pricing models.

A full-featured CLI client for the forecasting engine was also created to make using the new functionality more intuitive.

Here is a peek at the forecasting in action:

Generation of an activity pattern-based charge forecast with the forecasting CLI
Generation of an activity pattern-based charge forecast with the forecasting CLI


CCGRID 2019 took place in Larnaca, Cyprus in May and, though reporting on it with a bit of a delay, of course, we could not miss it. Team member Panos Gkikopoulos was there to present our paper, Extensible Declarative Management of Cloud Resources and Providers, at the CROSSCLOUD workshop.

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Three upcoming workshops/tutorials on cloud-native and serverless application technologies

The Service Prototyping Lab will offer three in-depth presentations and hands-on sessions on several of its research topics and recent results in September and October. We hope to demonstrate valuable work and get feedback for our future research.

FI, September 2-4, 2019: «Summer School on Software Evolution: From Monolithic to Cloud-Native» @ Inforte Tampere – More information

CH, September 10, 2019: «Datengestützte Qualitätsanalyse von Microservice-Artefakten in der Softwareentwicklung» @ CH Open Workshop Days Rapperswil (in German with co-instructor support in English) – More information

DE, October 25, 2015: «CI/CD-integrated quality assessment of microservice implementation artefacts» @ Software QS-Tag Frankfurt – More information

Quality analysis of dapps: Just like cloud apps?

Looking into a possible post-cloud world, we see mentions of different computing paradigms, many of them based on decentralised structures to overcome scalability and user control limitations. Among them is blockchain-as-a-service (BCaaS or BaaS), mimicking the platform-as-a-service (PaaS) user experience for both application providers and consumers. In PaaS, providers first sign up and subscribe to the platform, then design and build their applications and deploy them to the platform where it is executing either permanently or upon incoming network requests or other event triggers. Additionally, developers may advertise their apps at technology-specific hubs such as AWS SAR or Helm Hub. Consumers then adhere to the application terms, which might require a sign-up at the provider site, before being able to invoke and make use of the application.

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IC2E/ICFC 2019 Review: From Kubernetes to Micro-Clouds

Early conference start = no tourists yet on Charles bridge

From June 24 to 27, an academic double-conferences has been taking place in Prague: IC2E 2019, the venerable seventh IEEE International Conference on Cloud Engineering, and ICFC 2019, the recently spun off first IEEE International Conference on Fog Computing. The Service Prototyping Lab at Zurich University of Applied Sciences contributed a tutorial on Kubernetes application engineering on the first conference day. The important research-inspired message conveyed is that Kubernetes is a nice container management platform, but not a cloud platform per se, and characterised by a lack of tools to ensure simplicity and quality in applications, and still emerging understanding of how to design applications in a technically and economically optimal way. This blog post reports on some of the conference discussion topics as a service for those who could not attend..

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Colloquium on Developer-Targeted Performance Engineering

The eternal software circle of life continues to pose non-trivial challenges. Developers write code, run tests, push and/or deploy, perhaps leading to more tests, and finally see their software used in production. Eventually, they might see everything working out correctly or rather not, as indicated by log messages, user complaints and other side channels, and even more eventually, when nothing else gets in the way, they might even attempt to fix the problem at any code location which might have a probability of contributing to the issue.

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