The Deliverable 8.1 describes the general framework to be further used in D8.2 and D8.3 for the socio-economic impact assessment of MIDAS automated SOA testing infrastructure.
In software engineering, a service-oriented architecture (SOA) is a set of principles and methodologies for designing and developing software in the form of interoperable services. These services have well-defined business functionalities that are built as software components, which can be reused for different purposes.
Expected success from the implementation of a SOA is usually put in relation to specific and measurable attributes, the so called quality attributes. When assessing the quality of a SOA, two main different points of view must be taken into consideration:
1) The SOA solution buyer (businesses, enterprises, firms) concept of quality
2) The SOA solution provider (and integrator) concept of quality With reference to point 1), SOA quality depends on the SOAHspecific attributes/features for which SOA buyers, mainly enterprises and firms, hold a positive value.
More in detail, positive value is attributed by SOA buyers to all the SOA-specific features generating direct or indirect benefits to their activities/businesses. With reference to point 2), quality can be defined as the technical compliance of a SOA architecture with some predetermined standards.
Testing can be considered as one of the main means to improve SOA quality, both from a buyer and from a provider perspective, but, even though software testing has a long tradition and many tools have been developed to provide a good quality testing, on the contrary, SOA testing is quite a new domain, where some specific SOA features make testing activity very difficult to perform.
Despite such difficulties, MIDAS automated testing environment will dramatically improve the quality of testing: such a platform, in fact, would lead to not only better testing for existing architectures, but also to the testing of SOA that are not currently tested.
The main direct impact of MIDAS, therefore, will be, at first place, the production of higher quality level SOAs; as a corollary, higher quality SOAs will bring a positive impact on SOA solutions providers’ and buyers’ welfare.
An appropriate measure of such impact is the utility differences of SOA solution providers and SOA solution buyers between conditions with the current testing infrastructure/tools (base case) and conditions with the counterfactual infrastructure (in our case MIDAS). This can be expressed by summing over all SOA solution providers and buyers utilities as follows:
Δ economic welfare = ΣΔSOA provider utility +ΣΔSOA buyer utility.
More in detail:
a) SOA providers utility will be positively affected because of:
- higher profits due to both a mitigation of the expenses for reengineering the produced SOAs after they are developed and released, and to a higher demand and market price.
- better market reputation and higher (future) market share.
b) SOA solutions buyers utility will be positively affected because of:
- higher profits due to a reduction in costs for buying and managing a higher quality SOA and to an increment in revenues generated by selling the product (good or service) the SOA user produces (the SOA, in fact, must be considered as an input, whose quality affects the quality H and, therefore, the price H and the quantity of the final product, hence affecting firms revenues);
- higher market reputation, and higher (future) market share, due to the higher quality of the goods or services produced/offered by the firm.
In addition to the above benefits generated on MIDAS direct stakeholders utility functions, more intangible and longHterm benefits will also be generated to the whole society, in terms of:
- incremental network effect that may derive to firms sharing “inter-communicating” technologies;
- incremental trust in technologies;
- higher sustainability of the digital ecosystem.
Once identified the main fields impacted by MIDAS, the approach proposed for measuring such impacts is based on the SEQUOIA methodology for socio-economic impact selfHassessment automation, adapted to the specific topic of SOA testing. More in detail, the proposed assessment process is articulated into 4 steps:
- Mapping the areas of impact
- Describing the situation “without” the introduction an automated SOA testing technology;
- Describe the counterfactual situation, “with” the introduction of an automated testing technology;
- Exercise final assessment analyses
The final assessment report will be done through a multicriteria and multimensional description of all the considered impacts, by using the most suitable metric for each.