S-CASE: Infrastructure foundation in the energy management world

Stand-alone energy monitoring systems can identify spikes in energy or general energy waste. But what’s the next step? What caused the spike? How do you reduce consumption?

This is where stand-alone energy monitoring applications always let you down. They can identify problems, but they have no knowledge of what caused the problem, under what circumstances and what this information really means. Moreover, most of Energy Management Software (EMS) solutions provide their functionality following the ASP or SaaS model while only a few offer APIs. Even when APIs are available, they are usually limited or application-specific, requiring a lot of effort to customize and integrate with other applications.

We have identified our biggest competitors and we are in the position to go one step beyond them by introducing the new Watchtower Cloud (WTC). Existing solutions in the energy management market are either based on old-fashioned architectural models (e.g. ASP model) or their offerings are limited to serve only dedicated needs. In order to increase efficiency and intelligence, software engineers have made progress towards the direction of seamless integration with 3rd party applications and platforms during the last years. However, what is still missing is the ability not only to customize such solutions, but to also create new ones according to user’s needs. This is where WTC comes to fill the gap by offering the ability to build custom analytics and combine standalone ready-made software modules in order to compose complex, algorithmic services.

WTC is not another traditional, customer-driven software for energy management. Its innovation is based on the following set of characteristics which also become our success factors:

Built on top of the SaaS model, it simplifies deployment, reduces customer acquisition costs and enables seamless integration with external systems. It exposes its core features, functionalities and ready-made analytics as standalone service modules which can be directly consumed by end-users or 3rd party applications. It offers the ability to compose custom analytics services.
It is hardware-agnostic, meaning that it can be adopted by different hardware providers.
Developed exploiting the S-CASE platform and following its modular logic, it becomes fully scalable. Its functionality can be expanded to support more features and fit even more business needs without the need of major re-engineering.

So, this is why WTC is a powerful platform addressing the needs of both end-users who need easy-to-use and customizable interfaces and developers who need portable and well-defined services to integrate with their applications. And this is how S-CASE will become the infrastructure foundation for making WTC a scalable and interoperable framework in the energy management domain.

S-CASE Project Newsletter – Greek


Πώς μπορεί το S-CASE να σε βοηθήσει;

Το S-CASE μπορεί να σε βοηθήσει να σχεδιάσεις κλιμακούμενες διαδικτυακές υπηρεσίες για τις εφαρμογές στο κινητό σου. Όντας χρήστες του S-CASE για σχεδόν ένα χρόνο τώρα, έχουμε δει πολλά οφέλη. Πρώτον, παρέχουμε τη δυνατότητα να παράγουμε τον τυπικό κώδικα για τις RESTful διαδικτυακές υπηρεσίες μας, γεγονός που μειώνει το χρόνο παράδοσης και, δεύτερον, το S-CASE ενσωματώνει καλές πρακτικές και πρότυπα σχεδίασης στον παραγόμενο κώδικα.

Οι εξωτερικές υπηρεσίες διαδικτύου δεν ήταν ποτέ πιο εύκολες στη χρήση. Τώρα μπορούμε να προσθέσουμε στη βάση του κώδικά μας, σχεδόν αυτόματα, τη διαδικτυακή υπηρεσία που θέλουμε, απλά περιγράφοντας τις λειτουργικές και μη λειτουργικές απαιτήσεις που πρέπει να πληρούνται. Το S-CASE προτείνει μια λίστα από υπηρεσίες από τις οποίες μπορεί κανείς να επιλέξεις. Επιπλέον, οι εφαρμογές που παράγονται μπορούν να προσαρμοστούν στις ανάγκες κάθε πελάτη.

Μέσω του S-CASE έχουμε τη δυνατότητα να αναγνωρίσουμε παρόμοια λειτουργικότητα και απαιτήσεις για επαναχρησιμοποίηση, καθώς και κώδικα και υπηρεσίες διαδικτύου για κάθε νέα εφαρμογή που φτιάχνουμε. Η δημιουργία back-end υπηρεσιών δεν ήταν ποτέ πιο εύκολη! Βλέποντας πόσο έχει διευκολύνει τη ροή της δουλειάς μας, το προωθήσαμε και σε φίλους μας που δουλεύουν σε ανάπτυξη διαδικτυακών API.

Τι προβλήματα λύνει το S-CASE;

Φαντάσου τον εαυτό σου και τους φίλους σου να είστε συν-ιδρυτές μιας νεοφυούς επιχείρησης που σχεδιάζει υπηρεσίες κινητών συσκευών. Η εξειδίκευσή σας είναι στην ανάπτυξη εφαρμογών για κινητές συσκευές, αλλά για τα περισσότερες εφαρμογές χρειάζεστε κάποιες back-end υπηρεσίες να λειτουργούν στο νέφος για να μπορείτε να ανεβάζετε ή να κατεβάζετε τα δεδομένα των χρηστών ή/και να επικοινωνείτε με άλλες διαδικτυακές υπηρεσίες, όπως για παράδειγμα κάποιες υπηρεσίες καιρού που χρειαστήκατε στην τελευταία εφαρμογή σας. Καθότι δεν είστε ειδικοί στην τεχνολογική ανάπτυξη διαδικτύου, θα πρέπει ή να αναθέσετε την ανάπτυξη του back-end σε κάποιον άλλο, γεγονός που θα οδηγήσει σε αυξημένο κόστος, ή να αναπτύξετε τις υπηρεσίες οι ίδιοι, γεγονός που θα καθυστερήσει την εισαγωγή της εφαρμογής στην αγορά.

Επιπλέον, υπάρχει το ενδεχόμενο ρίσκο να έχετε μειωμένη αποδοτικότητα, ειδικά όσον αφορά την αξιοπιστία και την ασφάλεια και όλοι γνωρίζετε πόσο ανταγωνιστική και αμείλικτη είναι η αγορά κινητών συσκευών.

Ξεκίνα να χρησιμοποιείς το S-CASE σήμερα

Μέσω της πλατφόρμας του S-CASE μπορείς να δημιουργήσεις σχεδόν αυτόματα RESTful διαδικτυακές υπηρεσίες βασισμένες σε απαιτήσεις με τη δύναμη της Μοντελοστραφούς Τεχνολογίας Λογισμικού. Αύξησε την παραγωγικότητά σου και απλοποίησε τη διαδικασία ανάπτυξης από την αρχή μέχρι την υλοποίηση και τη συντήρηση.



S-CASE can help you build robust and scalable back-end web services for your mobile apps. Being users of S-CASE for almost a year now, we have seen several benefits. We have been able to avoid writing boilerplate code for our RESTful web services which reduces lead times. Secondly, S-CASE incorporates good design practices and patterns in our codebase. Moreover, through S-CASE, we keep requirements and the respective source code always aligned.

External web services were never easier to use. We can now add to the codebase, almost automatically, the web service we want by just describing the functional and non-functional requirements it must satisfy. S-CASE recommends a list of services to select from. In addition, even though our apps are customized per client, the back-end services are quite similar in terms of functionality.

Through S-CASE we are able to identify similar functionality and re-use requirements, code and web services for every new app we build. Building back-end services has never been easier! In fact, seeing how S-CASE has facilitated our workflow, we also pitched it to our friends working on pure Web API development.

Imagine you and your friend are co-founders in a small mobile dev shop. Our tech expertise is on the development of mobile apps, but for almost all of our projects, we need some back-end services running on the cloud in order to upload or download user data and contact 3rd party web services, like some weather services we needed in our latest app. Not being web service tech savvy, we either have to outsource the back-end development, leading to increased costs, or we have to do it ourselves which slows down time-to-market. In addition, there is the potential risk of under-performing, especially in terms of reliability and security. And you know how competitive and unforgivable the mobile market can be.

With the S-CASE platform you can (semi) automatically generate RESTful Web Services from requirements with the power of Model-Driven Engineering. Increase your productivity and simplify your development process from inception to deployment and maintenance.

S-CASE Project Newsletter – Italian


Come S-CASE può aiutarti?

S-CASE può aiutarti nello sviluppare servizi web di back-end robusti e scalabili per le tue applicazioni mobili. Come utenti finali di S-CASE da ormai un anno, abbiamo toccato con mano molteplici benefici: Abbiamo evitato di scrivere codice su codice per i nostri servizi web RESTful con una conseguente riduzione dei tempi totali di ingegnerizzazione e sviluppo del progetto; abbiamo incorporato con semplicità pratiche di design e pattern consolidati nel nostro codice; abbiamo un meccanismo per mantenere allineati nel tempo i requisiti e il codice sorgente.

“External????” Servizi web esterni non sono mai stati cosi semplici da integrare ed usare. Ora possiamo aggiungere al codice, in modo semi-automatico, i servizi web che necessitiamo, semplicemente definendo i requisiti funzionali e non-funzionali che questi servizi devono essere in grado di soddisfare. S-CASE identifica per te e ti propone l’insieme più opportuno di servizi web per il tuo sviluppo. Inoltre, sebbene le nostre applicazioni siano customizzate per client, i servizi di back-end sono molti simili in termini di funzionalità.

Con S-CASE, siamo in gradi di identificare funzionalità simili e ri-usare requisiti, codice e servizi web per ogni app che vogliamo sviluppare. Implementare nuovi servizi di back-end non è mai stato così semplice. Vedendo concretamente come S-CASE ci ha facilitato l’intero nostro processo di sviluppo, lo abbiamo consigliato ai nostri amici che lavorano sullo sviluppo di API Web.

Quali problemi può risolverti S-CASE?

Immagina di essere, insieme ad tuo amico, co-fondatore di un piccolo “mobile dev shop”. La “our” nostra expertise tecnica è nello sviluppo di applicazioni mobili, ma per la maggior parte dei nostri progetti, abbiamo necessità di servizi di back-end su cloud per l’upload o il download dei dati utente e per “contact” servizi web di terze parti, come per esempio servizi web per il meteo. Non essendo esperti di sviluppo di servizi web, dobbiamo o affidarci ad aziende esterne per lo sviluppo del back-end, portandoci ad un aumento dei costi, oppure dobbiamo sviluppare internamente il servizio, portandoci ad un rallentamento di tutto il progetto e del suo time-to-market.

Inoltre, c’è il rischio potenziale di trascurare gli aspetti di qualità, come per esempio l’affidabilità e sicurezza del prodotto software sviluppato. E tu sai bene quanto possa essere competitivo il mercato delle app mobile…

Inizia a usare S-CASE fin da subito!

Con la piattaforma S-CASE puoi generare Servizi Web RESTful in modo semi-automatico a partire dai requisiti di progetto e sfruttando le potenzialità del Model-Driven Engineering. Aumenta la tua produttività, e semplifica il tuo processo di sviluppo, dal design iniziale al deploy e alla gestione del prodotto finale.

Per ulteriori informazioni sulle attività del progetto di ricerca S-CASE, visita il nostro sito web: www.scasefp7.eu

S-CASE Project Newsletter – Croatian


Kako S-CASE može pomoći Vama?

S-CASE Vam može pomoći u izradi robusnih i skalabilnih pozadinskih web servisa za Vaše mobilne aplikacije. Korištenjem S-CASE-a već skoro godinu dana uočili smo nekoliko pogodnosi koje on pruža. Kao prvo, uspjeli smo izbjeći pisanje boilerplate koda za RESTful web servise, što smanjuje vrijeme razvoja. Kao drugo, S-CASE uključuje preporučene prakse i obrasce u naš kôd. Nadalje, S-CASE nam omogućava usklađenost zahtjeva i odgovarajućeg izvornog koda.

Uporaba vanjskih web servisa nikad nije bila jednostavnija. Uključiti web servis u kôd moguće je gotovo automatski, tek opisom funkcijskih i nefunkcijskih zahtjeva koje taj servis rješava. S-CASE pritom predlaže listu odgovarajućih servisa. Dodatno, iako su naše aplikacije specifične za pojedinog klijenta, back-end servisi su prilično slični po pitanju funkcionalnosti.

S-CASE nam omogućava identifikaciju sličnih funkcionalnosti i ponovnu uporabu specifikacija zahtjeva, kôda i web servisa za svaku novu aplikaciju koju razvijamo. Razvijanje back-end servisa nikad nije bilo jednostavnije! Štoviše, vidjevši koliko je S-CASE pojednostavio naš posao, preporučili smo ga i našim prijateljima koji se bave razvijanjem čistih Web API-ja.

Koje probleme rješava S-CASE

Zamislite da ste Vi i Vaš prijatelj suosnivači male tvrtke koja razvija mobilne aplikacije. Vaša su tehnološka ekspertiza mobilne aplikacije, međutim, u gotovo svim projektima trebali ste neke pozadinske servise u oblaku kako biste prenijeli korisničke podatke i pokrenuli vanjske web servise, primjerice, meteorološke servise koji su Vam bili potrebni u zadnjoj aplikaciji. Kako niste eksperti na području web servisa, možete ili razvoj back-enda riješiti pomoću outsourcinga, što povećava trošak, ili se time baviti sami, što povećava vrijeme do izlaska na tržište.
Dodatno, uvijek postoji rizik od podbačaja, posebice u smislu pouzdanosti i sigurnosti. A zacijelo Vam je poznato koliko je tržište mobilnih aplikacija kompetitivno i neumoljivo.

Iskušajte S-CASE već danas

S-CASE platforma omogućava Vam da (polu)automatski generirate REST web servise temeljem specifikacije zahtjeva uz pomoć inženjerstva temeljenog na modelima (Model-Driven Engineering). Povećajte svoju produktivnost i pojednostavite razvojni proces od začetka ideje sve do puštanja u rad i održavanja.

S-CASE Project Newsletter – German


Wie kann S-CASE Ihnen helfen?

Mittels S-CASE können Sie robuste und skalierbare Web Services im Backend für mobile Anwendungen entwickeln. Wir nutzen S-CASE selbst seit einem Jahr und sehen mehrere Vorteile. Wir konnten den Anteil an „Boiler Plate“-Code reduzieren und damit den Programmieraufwand verringern. Zusätzlich sorgt S-CASE durch die Benutzung von Design Patterns und Best Practices für sauberen Code. Außerdem gibt es dank S-CASE keine Divergenz mehr zwischen Anforderungen und Implementierung.

Die Nutzung externer Web Services war noch nie so einfach. Sie beschreiben die gewünschten funktionalen und nichtfunktionalen Anforderungen und S-CASE schlägt Ihnen eine Liste alternativer Kandidaten vor und integriert die Auswahl in Ihr Projekt.

Auch wenn Anwendungen sehr individuell sein können, basieren sie doch oft auf gleichen Services. Durch S-CASE ist es möglich, ähnliche Funktionalitäten, Anforderungen, Code bzw. Services zu erkennen und wieder zu verwenden. Dadurch wird das Erstellen von Web Services deutlich einfacher. Nachdem wir gesehen haben, wie S-CASE unsere Arbeit erleichtert hat, schlugen wir es gleich unseren Kollegen in der Web-Entwicklung vor.

Welche Probleme löst S-CASE?

Stellen Sie sich vor, Sie und Ihr Freund sind Mitbegründer einer kleinen Firma für mobile Anwendungen. Ihre Expertise ist die Entwicklung mobiler Anwendungen, aber für fast alle Ihrer Projekte brauchen Sie Dienste in der Cloud, die Nutzerdaten verwalten und Web Services anderer Anbieter nutzen (wie z.B. Wetterdienste). Ohne entsprechendes Backend-Knowhow bleiben Ihnen zwei Alternativen: Entweder Sie lassen diese Dienste extern entwickeln, was zu erhöhten Kosten führt, oder Sie entwickeln sie selbst, was wertvolle Zeit und Ressourcen kostet.

Zusätzlich müssen Fallstricke wie ungenügende Sicherheit und Zuverlässigkeit umgangen werden. Und Sie wissen sicher selbst: Der Markt für mobile Anwendungen ist anspruchsvoll und verzeiht keine Fehler.

Starten Sie mit S-CASE noch heute

Mit der S-CASE Plattform können Sie (halb-) automatisch RESTful Web Services erzeugen. Ausgehend von den Anforderungen wird über einen modellbasierten Ansatz der Dienst generiert und gestartet. Steigern Sie Ihre Produktivität und vereinfachen und konsolidieren Sie den gesamten Entwicklungsprozess von der Konzeption über die Entwicklung bis zur Bereitstellung und Wartung.

S-CASE Blog | Importing UML Activity Diagrams

One of the main goals of the S-CASE project is to extract requirements from formal models such as UML diagrams. In order to achieve this goal, a robust mechanism for the transformation of formal UML models into the S-CASE ontology is needed.

CERTH has recently focused on applying image recognition techniques and algorithms for the detection and recognition of UML Activity Diagrams representing workflows of stepwise activities and actions.
This process imposes research challenges such as the detection and recognition of the UML glyphs, as well as the recognition and discrimination of the text contained in the diagram. The prototype tool that has been developed analyses UML Activity Diagrams of bmp, jpg and png image formats and produces the XMI scheme representing the original Activity Diagram.

The produced XMI scheme is compliant with the Eclipse Papyrus open source platform, thus the S-CASE user may apply corrections in case of recognition errors through a graphical interface. Future work will be focused the production of a tool that effectively recognises UML Use Case diagrams. These two tools will be wrapped as a single Eclipse plugin and will be available to the Eclipse modelling community.

S-CASE Blog | Web Service Quality Representation

On the blog today we explore the S-CASE approach to Web Service Quality Representation courtesy of Davide Tosi from the Università degli Studi dell’Insubria.

We recently presented the S-CASE Approach of Web Service Quality Representation at the International Conference on Service-Oriented System Engineering (SOSE 2015) in San Francisco Bay, USA. This was a great opportunity to present the S-CASE platform and to focus on the tool we developed to semantically annotate Web Services (WS) with quality aspects.

Quality is an important issue for WS-based software systems, like for any other software system. Quality is intrinsically a multi-faceted concept and is usually defined in terms of several quality attributes, quantified via a number of measures. In addition, relations may exist among the different quality attributes and among their measures. A quality attribute may positively or negatively influence another quality attribute. Each stakeholder needs to be able to evaluate the quality attributes that are of interest in his or her applications for his or her goals. For instance, WS users can evaluate specific quality attributes to decide whether to use a WS. WS providers can use quality attributes to set quality goals for a WS so that Service Level Agreements are satisfied.

However, a limited number of qualities of individual and composite WSs have been studied so far, e.g., reliability, response time, and availability. In addition, none of the available specifications are able to describe the relations among the different quality attributes. In the context of the S-CASE project, we developed a comprehensive approach to representing quality attributes in WS. While compatible with existing specifications defined by OASIS, our representation (we called WSQR: Web Service Quality Representation) adds several important elements that take into account a number of important developments in the Software Measurement research and practice. Our representation proposal therefore enriches these specifications and provides a comprehensive reference model that can be used to syntactically specify internal and external quality attributes and their measures, along with their characteristics and relations. Our proposal is also compatible with the theoretical aspects required by the general literature on Measurement and with the ISO/IEC25010 quality standard.

To read more about Web Service Quality Representation you can read my conference paper from SOSE 2015 right here.

– Davide

S-CASE Blog | In Conversation

In our latest blog we spoke to Andreas Symeonidis and Kyriakos Chatzidimitriou Project Coordinator and Technical Coordinator, respectively, as they discuss the real-world benefits of S-CASE at the recent NetFutures event in Brussels.

We started by asking them what the biggest user need, or pain point, that S-CASE addresses?

Kyriakos: Imagine you and your friend are, for example, co-founders in a small mobile development shop. Your real technical expertise is in the development of mobile apps, but for almost all of your projects you need some back-end services running on the cloud in order to upload or download user data and contact 3rd party web services.

Andreas: It could be some weather services needed for your latest app, say.

Kyriakos: Not being web service tech-savvy, you’ll either have to outsource the back-end development, which will cost you more money, or you’ll have to do it yourselves which slows down time-to-market.

 Is this where S-CASE comes in?

Andreas: Practically, there is the potential risk of under performing, especially in terms of reliability and security. And you know how competitive and unforgivable the mobile market can be! You would almost certainly adopt an open source solution that would help you alleviate this pain, wouldn’t you? Especially one with an active community, some successful case studies and a well documented website with lots of tutorials and examples. In a nutshell, this is exactly what S-CASE is all about!

How will the S-CASE solution really benefit the end-user?

Kyriakos: S-CASE would help you build robust and scalable back-end web services for your mobile apps. We’ve been users of S-CASE for almost a year now and we’ve started to see several benefits in action.

Andreas: We can avoid writing boilerplate code for our RESTful web services, which reduces lead times. Also, S-CASE incorporates good design practices and patterns in our codebase. Through S-CASE, we keep requirements and the respective source code always aligned, which has been really great to see happening in actuality.

Kyriakos: External web services were never easier to use, really. We can now add to our codebase, almost automatically, the web service we want by just describing the functional and non-functional requirements it must satisfy.

How does S-CASE achieve this?

Andreas: S-CASE is able to recommend a list of services to select from. So that even though your apps may be customized per client, the back-end services are quite similar in terms of functionality. Through S-CASE you are able to identify similar functionality and re-use requirements, code and web services for every new app you build.

Kyriakos: Building back-end services has never been easier. In fact, seeing how S-CASE has facilitated our workflow, we also pitched it to our friends working on pure Web API development.

Thanks very much.

Both: You’re welcome.

To find out about S-CASE involvement at other developer-focused events, or to find out more about the project in general be sure to take a look at the project blogAndreas and Kyriakos work at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki who are coordinating the S-CASE project. NetFutures engaged several project and for more information look here

S-CASE Ontology Repository

In today’s blog we take a look at the S-CASE Ontology Repository being developed by CERTH.

The S-CASE ontology repository is intended to facilitate interoperability by standardizing a series of logically well defined relationships that act as a connectivity tissue for bringing together heterogeneous ontologies.

In this way, domain ontologies remain independent from the network as a whole and so can each undergo development processes without impacting on one another in complex and difficult to control ways.

This approach can be seen as a continuation and extension of several research and development threads begun in a range of large-scale engineering areas, including software engineering and the efforts within ontological engineering of other European projects.

Each operation will be supported through the web user interface along with the corresponding REST API for accessing the functionalities remotely by any application or module. It will host all ontologies that will be developed within the S-CASE project and will be provided as a Cloud Service over the S-CASE Cloud infrastructure.

The technical infrastructure will support among others the operations of ontology navigation, browsing, searching, visualization, uploading and downloading.

Find out more about the S-CASE concept.