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Blue Cloud team

Blue-Nubis for Blue-Cloud

Blue-Nubis for Blue-Cloud 5184 3888 Nubisware

Let the Blue Sky meet the Blue Sea and all is Blue for a time. – Moncy Barbour

You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water. – Rabindranath Tagore

October 2nd to October 4th 2019 Nubisware attended the Kickoff meeting of the Blue-Cloud project, funded under H2020-EU.3.2.5.1. european program.

Blue-Cloud addresses the European IA ‘The Future of Seas and Oceans Flagship Initiative’ (BG-07-2019-2020) for the following topic: [A] 2019 – Blue Cloud services. The project implements a practical approach to better understand & manage the many aspects of ocean sustainability, through a set of five pilot Blue-Cloud demonstrators. 

Nubisware as linked third party of the ISTI-CNR will be involved in the design and development of cloud based IT services for supporting the five pilots on challenging tasks like data analytics and object publishing.

In the beautiful venue of Domus Comeliana, under the shadow of Pisa’s Leaning Tower, the meeting has been a nice occasion to get in touch with valuable scientists, technicians and managers from many EU academic institutions and worldwide organizations such as FAO. Everyone with huge Sea and Ocean related background and knowledge.

We are sure that this project will be a great motivation for Nubisware to pull up the anchor and start sailing into an ocean of opportunities.

Memorandum of Understanding ISTI-CNR Nubisware

Nubisware strengthens its R&D attitude thanks to ISTI-CNR partnership

Nubisware strengthens its R&D attitude thanks to ISTI-CNR partnership 1920 1280 Nubisware

Nubisware is proud to announce the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding related to a long term partnership with the Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell’Informazione “A. Faedo” (ISTI) del Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR).

By this act Nubisware confirms its attitude towards research and development through a partner of excellence.

In synergy with ISTI-CNR staff we’ll handle topoics like Collaborative Working, Open Science, Open Scholarship working on the platforms GCubeD4Science, and OpenAIRE.

Nubisware team will contribute with its strong technological and innovation competences in IT areas such as workflow management, microservice architectures, system integration, interoperability and data analysis.

Stay tuned!

Chip a gem out of the monolith

Chip a gem out of the monolith 1000 1000 Nubisware

Leave all that can be spared behind. We travel light. Let’s hunt some orc. ― Aragorn, The Lord of the Rings

David’s success depended on surprise and accuracy. He knew he could not defeat Goliath on the giant’s terms, which is why he rejected Saul’s armor and with it the conventions of this form of combat. ― Lawrence Freedman, Strategy: A History

How an illuminated customer, carefully planned design decisions and a well chosen bunch of tools turned one of Nubisware’s most challenging commitments into a success story.

Late 2017 we’ve started to work at a very ambitious project for a large logistics company which had to face a complex refactoring of one of its core business applications.
The application had been built with an approach that at the time was considered traditional. A huge, web-based monolith rooted on top of a relational database.
Only very few technicians knowing what was going on under the hood and what were the design choices that led to particular solutions.
Up to when the supplier discontinued support, the application performed well enough. With the exception of a particular functional segment which had been causing headaches for years.
Our customer’s IT responsible was a very clever guy with a huge domain specific knowledge and a solid background in computer science. He was definitely tired of all the complaints raised by colleagues and customers so he asked the company’s CEO to invest in a refactoring of the indicted functionality. And that’s where Nubisware comes into play.

It must be said that, the functionality we were asked to refactor is a rather complex part of an already complex domain like logistics. The border between a rule and an exception is rather blurred. Thus, the work required a very careful analysis and planning which involved several meetings and a cyclic reworking of the project’s documentation.
Besides the inherent difficulty, the application also suffered from erroneous design choices that caused a general inflexibility making it very hard to correct weaknesses and limitations.
Relational persistence and the object-oriented data model proved to be major logical bottlenecks. We decided to go with a more data driven approach and helped the customer understand why a document oriented representation of the domain rules was better suited in this case.

From an architectural viewpoint the application was bulky, slow and to some extent unmanageable. We decided to rewrite the code as a set of cooperating microservices which are mostly stateless and thus perfectly suited to exploit inherent parallelism available on the customer’s very good infrastructure. Moreover, it enabled for a progressive migration towards the final solution involving several small and risk-limited integration steps.
Every major functionality (the algorithmic core, the data transformation services, the document repository, the graphical user interface) was split apart, wrapped with a REST API, rethought, rewritten, intensively tested and then put into staging. This was so surprisingly smooth that, to my feelings there has not even been an official staging-to-production phase. At some point have been told that users were using the new functionality with great satisfaction.
The serialization model for the documents was chosen to be XML because its formal solidity and the availability of validation and modeling tools granted the robustness that was needed for the backbone of the project. JSON was limited to the interaction between the User Agent, the GUI and some supporting services that provided integration to existing databases. The use cases were very heterogeneous but we wanted to keep the syntax (i. e. XSD) simple and manageable manually. Thus we decided to go for a very simple yet flexible XML structure with the possibility to enrich the semantics of elements through RDFa.
In order to manage the complexity and the continuously evolving specifications we decided to model all the application semantics (rules, constraints, relations, mappings, …) with an OWL Ontology designed with Protegé. Keeping most of the domain specific logic stored in an external, lightweight yet structured model allowed for late refactorings and enhancements to the application logic and proved to be also a great support for the implementation of the GUI.
All the code was written in XQuery 3.1 modules and BaseX was used as the runtime for the scripts and the REST APIs. The seven services were packaged into WAR archives (each less than 20MBs in size) and deployed inside Tomcat (7, 8, and 9).

In conclusion, the services have been running, nearly without intervention, for about 9 months by now. The customer is very satisfied about the huge improvements in flexibility and performance and, besides all the other metrics that we’ve taken (footprint, memory usage, throughput, …), this is the only actual one that counts at the end!

Nubisware e MoDiS su Il Sole 24 Ore

Nubisware on Il Sole 24 Ore

Nubisware on Il Sole 24 Ore 1080 1080 Nubisware

Nubisware invites you to read the brief article on page 26 of today’s (July 26th, 2018) Il Sole 24 Ore.
The article talks about MoDiS, a technological advanced product for remote industrial diagnostics developed in collaboration with GS&S.

BaseX

Nubisware sponsors BaseX

Nubisware sponsors BaseX 1499 905 Nubisware

The reward for work well done, is the opportunity to do more. – Jonas Salk –

No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave. – Calvin Coolidge –

In order to explain in few words what BaseX is, I’d just cite the incipit of it’s home on the web which I warmly encourage you to have a look at.

BaseX is a robust, high-performance XML database engine and a highly compliant XQuery 3.1 processor with full support of the W3C Update and Full Text extensions. It serves as excellent framework for building complex data-intensive web applications. 
It comes with interactive user interfaces (desktop, web-based) that give you great insight into your data.

For us it has grown over the years to become an invaluable “swiss army knife” that we use pervasively to implement all sort of components for our customers’ micro-services, REST APIs, data-oriented applications and integrations. Not to speak of Nubisware’s own internal tooling and artifacts.

Great! At what cost comes all this power? Actually at no cost! Thanks to BaseX Gmbh, BaseX is usable for free with a very permissive opensource License.

For more than ten years, as employees of different companies, we’ve been very active BaseX users and we contributed to it with suggestions and code snippets, participating in the mailing list and even presenting our work at one BaseX users’ meetup in the context of XMLPrague (2015).

Today, joined into Nubisware, we are exited to announce that we are able to contribute back with a concrete sponsorship for the development of one awesome feature in the upcoming 9.x series that will even more boost our productivity and enhance the solutions we are developing for our most valuable partners and customers.

We are really looking forward to further collaborate with the wonderful staff at BaseX Gmbh!

egdsimulator

EGD Simulator to the rescue

EGD Simulator to the rescue 930 768 Nubisware

Learning never exhausts the mind. – Leonardo da Vinci –

If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way. – Napoleon Hill –

In its nearly two years of life, Nubisware has already gone along different more or less successful paths.

One of the journeys that has taught us very interesting lessons is the one we followed side by side with our partner GS&S in the development of MoDiS a Monitoring and Diagnostic Software for the industrial domain.

The industrial domain is a rather consolidated one that has its long lived rules, practices, tools and protocols.

Sometimes it has been though for computer scientists devoted to opensource, as we are, to understand what is the correct tooling and where to find opensource libraries and instrumentation that allows for connecting and testing hardware devices which are not commonly available off the shelf.

One such hardware components, we have been asked to interface to by our partner, is the MarK VIe device by GE Automation. Thanks to the great support of GS&S, we have been able to interact with a Mark VIe CPU in their laboratories from time to time. Most importantly we got some example exports of likely industrial plant configurations.

Once we’ve dug deeply enough into the details of the GE-EGD protocol, which is the most efficient way to communicate with the Mark VIe device, we decided that implementing a software simulator for a GE-EGD source could be feasible. This tool would allow us to continuously test and optimize our GE-EGD consumer software without depending on the availability of a real device.

Today, Nubisware in agreement with GS&S, felt that it would be great to release our EGDSimulator on GitHub for the open source community with the hope to help out other developers, engineers or students the same way we have got support from domain experts who preceded us and who released software which is of great help and inspiration such as PyVisa, PyVisaPy, Eclipse MILO, Coolprop.

Happy simulation!