Dr. Reinhard Schütte, Professor of Business Informatics and Integrated Information Systems at the University of Duisburg-Essen.
Last year, Software AG formed a Scientific Advisory Board to provide it with a scientific perspective on trends – and potential trends - in technology. In this series of blogs, we highlight each Scientific Advisory Board member’s area of expertise and some of his views for the future.
Today, we feature Dr. Reinhard Schütte.
"Objects in the real world are increasingly merging with information technology objects that are part of information systems. This development, which is expressed in many key digitalization terms such as smart homes, smart cities and smart cars, will be subsumed under the heading Internet of Things.
The IoT presents software architectural challenges to the institutions that want to link these smart objects with each other using software architecture. In contrast to traditional (also called monolithic) architectures with the shared use of software or hardware resources, the application scenario of distributed objects will require a high degree of independence of the shared-use resources. The architecture style based on microservices is currently a particularly promising architecture approach for distributed applications.
'Services' are software programs that support a dedicated technical or business task. Microservices can be considered a radicalization of service-oriented computing. Software systems are quasi-automated through microservices in that they map out cohesive and independent processes in software components that only interact with each other via messages. A microservices architecture is conceived for distributed applications in which the individual components are microservices.
The independence of microservices from each other, and the focus on function or processes that serve to realize the task, represent the advantages of this architecture style. The independent conception, design and development are needed to use dedicated databases for a service, for example. As a result the maintenance, ongoing development, testing and operation of software systems are not subject to such strict integration restrictions as is the case with monolithic approaches.
The IoT offers decentralized objects with a diverse array of data, including from sensors or actors, and connect a decentralized software technology with control of the objects. Centralized coordination would not allow the distributed and ongoing development of software in this innovation environment. It requires more diverse, technically motivated platform specifications—including those affecting connectivity, security and visualization. A semantic standardization of domains seems central, yet impossible in light of the necessary speed of realization.
The discrepancy between the factual software-based architecture and one based on microservices generally represents a transformation problem for companies. Software architecture approaches like ADAMOS as an IOT platform offer an opportunity to meet the requirement for agile software development, based on a platform that provides the necessary services."