The article A Survey on the Adoption of Patterns for Engineering Software for the Cloud, about good practices on systems development in the Cloud, was recently published in IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, one of the most prestigious international journals in the field of Software Engineering. The authors, Tiago Boldt Sousa, Hugo Sereno Ferreira, and Filipe Correia, are both INESC TEC researchers and lecturers at FEUP.
The work derives from the PhD thesis Engineering Software for the Cloud: A Pattern Language, by Tiago Boldt Sousa – currently working as assistant professor at FEUP -, supervised by Hugo Sereno Ferreira and Filipe Correia .
In this work, the authors address the engineering practices and solutions adopted by software developers working on the Cloud. Based on a survey that evaluates practices adopted at international level, the authors assess the existence of a cause-and-effect relationship in the choice of good practices and their consequences.
“There are several challenges in the development of this type of software, and it is crucial to address them, in order to benefit from the advantages of the Cloud. These are the challenges that lead programmers dedicated to this type of systems to prefer some solutions to others. With this work, we aim to improve the current knowledge about which good practices are actually good for the development of this type of systems, instead of relying on what is empirically accepted as true. We also decided to explore in which contexts they are best suited, as well as other cases they prove to be less useful”, said the researchers.
Moreover, the authors pointed out that “among other conclusions, the study found that the adoption of some of the practices has a correlation with the product and company’s characteristics (namely the number of active monthly users of the system). This allows us to understand when professionals should (or should not) implement different practices. The study uncovered unknown relationships between the practices, helping to identify how they depend on each other, or how they support each other”.
There are few systematic studies on good development practices (usually called “software patterns”), using quantitative methods to assess their efficiency and relevance, particularly by controlling the specific contexts in which they operate. In this sense, “this study makes a relevant contribution to improving the design of architectures for the Cloud”.
The INESC TEC researchers mentioned in this news piece are associated with UP-FEUP.