Author Archives: admin

Experiences from Identifying Software Reuse Opportunities by Domain Analysis

We got a paper accepted at the Industry Track of the 17th International Software Product Line Conference (SPLC2013) to be held August 26th-30th in Tokyo, Japan: In the paper, we describe how we applied existing domain analysis approaches for software product line engineering and tailored them to include a feature analysis as well as architecture evaluation. We report our experiences from applying the approach in two subdomains of industrial automation.


Architecture maps reconstructed from several industrial software systems during a domain analysis.


Come to SATURN 2013!

The Software Engineering Institute (SEI) Architecture Technology User Network (SATURN) Conference will take place at the Marriott City Center in Minneapolis from April 29 to May 3, 2013. Olaf Zimmermann and me served as program co-chairs this year. The conference features an exciting program with keynotes from Stephan Murer (Credit Suisse), Scott Berkun, and Mary Poppendieck as well as more than 30 talks from renowned industrial speakers. Early registration runs until April 1st!

Evolving an Industrial Software System for 30 Years

Yesterday, I gave the industrial keynote at the Workshop on Managed Software Evolution of the DFG Priority Programme 1593. It was held in conjunction with SE 2013, the german multi-conference on software engineering. Slides will be posted soon.
Abstract: Long-living software systems are a necessity in the industrial automation domain, where automation devices are typically operated for decades. Thus, it is a major challenge to design, implement, and maintain such software-intensive systems. This talk presents the case of an industrial control system called MicroSCADA, which has an evolution history of already more than 30 years. We analyze several technical and organizational factors that contributed to the successful evolution of the system since the 1980s. By this, the talk argues for more empirical research in the area of long-living software systems. The talk concludes with an overview of some recent approaches for sustainable software architectures at ABB Corporate Research.

2nd International Workshop on Software Engineering Challenges for the Smart Grid

Together with Ian, Jenny, Anne, and Mazeiar, I am organizing SE4SG’13, the 2nd International Workshop on “Software Engineering Challenges for the Smart Grid” at the International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) 2013 in San Francisco, US. This 2nd workshop will focus on understanding and identifying the unique challenges and opportunities for SE to contribute to and enhance the design and development of the smart grid. Thanks to all members of the program committee for providing great reviews to the paper submissions. The workshop will be held on May 18th and will feature five paper presentations and a working session.

Web Performance Meetup Karlsruhe

Yesterday, I gave a talk at the Web Performance Meetup Karlsruhe on Performance Modeling at ABB. The presented case study demonstrates the capabilities of various modern performance  modeling tools and a design space exploration tool (i.e., PerOpteryx by Anne) in an industrial setting, provides lessons learned, and helps other software architects in solving similar problems. The meetup group targets web developers and is held roughly once per month. There have already been talks from Facebook and

Rapid Performance Modeling by Transforming Use Case Maps to Palladio Component Models

Paper accepted at ICPE 2013: We introduce a novel model transformation from Use Case Maps (UCM) to the Palladio Component Model (PCM), which enables performance modeling based on an intuitive notation for complex information flows. The resulting models can be solved using existing simulators or analytical solvers. We validated the correctness of the transformation with three case study models, and performed a user study. The results showed a performance prediction deviation of less than 10 percent compared to a reference model in most cases.

Why ABB is a software company

The latest issue of ABB’s corporate technical journal “ABB Review” features the theme “Software”. With around 3,000 software developers in 40 countries worldwide and impacting about one quarter of ABB’s revenue, there is no doubt that ABB is a major software company. The theme issue provides an overview on some of ABB’s latest activites for embedded, system, and enterprise software as well as software processes. Check out how we prepare our controllers for the multi-core challenge and how we use performance modelling to plan the capacity and software architectures of our back-end IT.

Because much of the software was, until recently, embedded in other products, ABB was not recognized as being an obvious software company. This changed with the acquisition of enterprise software companies such as Ventyx and Mincom, rendering ABB much more visible on the software scene.