Research and experimental development of an automatic generation system of information systems based on Open Source technology from behavioral patterns

DISID has developed R&D Project of "Research and experimental developmen of an automatic generation system of information systems based on Open Source technology from behavioral patterns". This project has been financed by IVACE, The Valencian Institute of Business Competitiveness of Valencian Government, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), inside Operational Programme (ERDF) of the Community of Valencia for the period 2014‐2020.

The aim of the project is to develop a software solution which will allow transform tailor-made information systems with propietary technologies to open source-based technological environments. The scope of the project is divided into 4 areas:

  1. Reverse engineering of source system deploying with Oracle Developer Suite family of products.

  2. Source system specifying to structured notation.

  3. New automatic generation system of information.

  4. Generated information system open source-based technologies.

Within the diversity of propietary systems we chose as a first goal of the project the information system developed with Oracle Developer Suite due to thehuge numbers of applications (millions of lines of code) that they are still in operation without a clear prospect for migrating to a new environments due to their high cost. These are complex and critical systems that save all companies core business.

As an open system to run generated information system we chose the JEE platform, nowadays the most widespread and standardised in the sector. Finally, gvNIX, the open source Java development environment recently chosen as standard for Java development of the Generalitat Valenciana, was chosen as the development platform where components and algorithms for automatic generation of applications will be implemented.

The main technical challenge of the project has been to cover the technology gap between systems by implementing set of reverse engineering processes which allow to analysis of the code, documentation and the behavior of the system which will be migrated to identify their components and dependencies with the aim of drawing a system abstraction that will serve as entry to set of code generation tools which allow to generate a new system semi-automatically with the same behavior of previous system but running with a different technology.

This project has been developed in two related research areas:

  • Through techniques of process re-engineering and techniques of database re-engineering, automatic generation of "pattern system" able to abstract the operation and the structural components of a source information system developed with propietary technologies.
  • On the basis of a "pattern system", automatic generation of a new functional information system and based on open source technologies.

Project reference IFIDTA/2014/87

  • Objective 1. Definition of "pattern system",that is, set of specifications that allow to represent the components of an information system:
    • Structure. Model of structural components of the information system.
    • Behaviour. Model of dinamic components of the information system.
    • User interface. Model of user's interaction interface.​
  • Objective 2. Diseño y desarrollo de componentes gvNIX para automatización de la generación de código del nuevo sistem
    • ​Generation system on the basis of a "pattern system" which generate: the business layer, the control layer and the user's interface layer.
    • The generated code is customizable by developer.
    • The generated code only is using open source technologies.
  • ​Objective 3. Pilot of system

    Se ha realizado un piloto del sistema que ha permitido evaluar la fiabilidad y adecuación del sistema a los problemas presentes en situaciones reales. A pilot trial of the system has been performed which has enabled to evaluate the reliability and the adequacy of the system to the existing problems in a real situation.

  • ​Objective 4. Dissemination and exposure of research work and development

    ​The findings have been published to inform and promote the progress made in the project and to spread the outcomes of research activities.

The objective of the project was to develop a software solution that would allow the transformation of information systems developed with proprietary and non-compatible technologies to open-source software environments that could make use of market-based services that were advantageous, so that technically feasible and the return on investment is guaranteed.

To do this the "Add-on Scene" an OSGi component that fits perfectly into the environment Spring Roo and gvNIX, providing the new required functionality is created.

We are proud of the technological innovation of the project where the proposed solution has one of its strengths in transforming systems developed with proprietary technologies into systems developed with open source technologies. This new business line will open a new framework of collaboration between companies of the Valencian Community.

An important advantage for potential users of the solution, both economically and technically and functionally, can become active participants in development communities.

Currently the costs of such a migration are so high that they are comparable to re-developing the entire application. That is why many organizations do not even raise it.

This is why with this project DISID, in collaboration with Pentec, we have succeeded in semi-automate the migration process of this type of systems, reducing costs at a high level, opening a Market of thousands of systems migrations that are in this situation.

The project has been developed as Spring Roo "Add-on Scene" and as part of the features that the new version of gvNIX will offer.

Valencian Institute of Business Competitiveness (IVACE)

The Valencian Institute of Business Competitiveness (IVACE) is a public entity of the Valencian government attached to the Regional Department of Economy, Industry, Tourism and Employment. The former Institute for Small and Medium Industry of the Generalitat Valenciana (IMPIVA) was renamed as IVACE accordingly to the Restructuring Measures and Rationalization of Public Business Sector and Foundation of Valencian Government (D/L 7/2012, published at DOCV n.6886, october 22 2012).

The objectives of the Institute are managing industrial policy of the Government and business support for innovation, entrepreneurship, internationalization and attracting investment and promoting technological clusters, industrial safety products and industrial facilities, metrology, vehicles and businesses and promoting savings, energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, as well as the management of the regional government's energy policy.

European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020

The ERDF objectives to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the European Union by correcting imbalances between its regions.

The ERDF focuses its investments on several key priority areas. This is known as ‘thematic concentration': Innovation and research; the digital agenda; support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); the low-carbon economy.