Coordinated Reuse and Deployment for Scientific Software Prototypes with D-UEA-ST
Software developed as part of Software Engineering research typically is intended for use as part of a software development process, such as requirement analysers and code generators. But as is the nature of scientific research, such tools tend to be one-off prototypes developed in isolation which can lead to repeated implementations of common components in subsequent and collaborative development efforts. This extends delivery time of prototypes and hinders the ability to get regular feedback of potential users during development. This is at direct odds with best development practices in the software industry that focusses on maximising reuse (application frameworks, software product lines) and fast delivery (continuous integration and delivery, agile development and DevOps). The D-UEA-ST framework, developed at the University of East Anglia, is a tooling framework that facilitates the coordinated reuse of software components across research software prototypes. D-UEA-ST defines a clear and flexible plugin framework with access to a range of tools and libraries that researchers can use, such as knowledge representation models, parallel code execution etc. In addition researchers can easily add new functionality they develop as part of their own prototypes to facilitate its reuse in future project through the D-UEA-ST framework. Further D-UEA-ST defines communication bridges to externals tools such Astah UML Modeller to aid researchers in easily achieving visual feedback for their tools.
To complement this reuse infrastructure D-UEA-ST provides an easy delivery mechanism for prototype tools developed using the framework. D-UEA-ST itself is a plugin for the Eclipse IDE making the prototype easily distributable and usable in evaluation studies. In addition D-UEA-ST is supported by a continuous integration and deployment stack to streamline collaborative development within and across research groups as well facilitate easier updates to users of scientific prototypes. D-UEA-ST is available with full documentation and code examples at http://seg.cmp.uea.ac.uk/software/dueast/
Poster Presentation and Demonstration
The poster and presentation will focus on introducing the capabilities of D-UEA-ST and how it can aid developers of scientific software in achieving reuse and easier delivery of prototypes. If allowed we would like to demonstrate D-UEA-ST as well by running through development scenarios that illustrate its use for development as well as provide a more in-depth explanation of the development process using the continuous integration stack and how that has benefitted the coordination and implementation of research prototypes and student projects at the University of East Anglia.