Blog Category: Sclable Revolution


The future says: Do something! We’re ready.

By Martin Sirlinger,

Great things lie in store for us. Can you feel it too?

The economy is picking up after years of slow growth. Now new ideas and new companies are springing up everywhere, and there’s a new boldness in the air.

Now new opportunities open up at every turn to win new clients, conquer new markets and successfully implement new business models. For many companies, digital transformation is the number one focus. … Continue reading


New Agile Project Formats

By Roland Rust,

New agile project formats

Agile is about delivering. Every business application development team today wants to break out of cyclic and move towards continuous value delivery. That’s what Sclable is made for. From day one of your project.

The time-to-market Challenge

Imagine a business application such as a supply chain management for some highly specialized industry with a lot of company specific functionality. In days like these, requirements are changing on a daily basis, and business applications should be just as flexible. So why can’t those application monsters update regularly just like any of your smartphone’s instant messaging apps? Well, that’s because these monsters are real beasts.

The nature of business applications is complex

We speak of multi and concurrent User Systems. Even for a small company’s order-to-cash process, a number of inter-related business entities within the hundreds is not unusual. Process workflows tend to change a lot. In 1974 Lehman formulated in his famous “laws of software evolution”:

“Observing that most software is subject to change in the course of its existence, the authors set out to determine laws that these changes will typically obey, or must obey in order for the software to survive.”

Taming the Beast

Now that is what Sclable is aimed at. The Sclable Platform is designed to have a fully functioning product from day one. Toolchain, organizational structure, agile method are very important, but honestly, the flavour depends on the nature of the software project you are doing. SCRUM, XP, Waterfall: No matter what flavour you go for, the Sclable Platform let’s you tame the beast itself.

Let’s do some sclabling!

At Sclable we are experimenting a lot with software project formats and agile methods. Let’s roughly sketch out one of our favourite agile software development format, we call “sclabling”. Sending ahead that you should choose your agile method according to the project you want to do, sclabling is just perfect if you know little to nothing about the business application that should be built.

Project kickoff and prototype release day

The good thing with business applications is that product owners seldomly start with just an idea. It is more likely that there is a legacy product or a bunch of such to be replaced. Often POs show up with a lot of additional material. Excel sheets along with calculation macros or other home grown stuff. In short: All that scattered knowledge needs to be structured.

Domain Modelling

That’s where Sclable’s business domain modelling comes into play: Sclable’s Domain Designer allows you to quickly develop the domain model that’s going to drive your business application. Whatever you do within the domain designer, Sclable’s Generic Application will reflect those changes immediately. That way, the project’s PO not only can verify the application at any time, also additional functionality that is not delivered by the generic application can be identified.

Prototype ready under one hour

In fact, from the PO’s first execution of an action within the domain model of your application out of Sclable’s Generic Application, your application’s prototype is born. From our experience, that’s after about an hour from the first time you throw up the domain designer. Most of the time it is some standing data being entered since it is hard to develop a business application without the data in mind.

First release under one day

No matter how far you will go on that project-kickoff workshop day, at the end of that session you can release and deploy. Your software project now consists of the following assets: Your business application is up and running. Of course there are a lot of features missing, but your project’s backlog is filled. At least to some extent and surely enough to plan the next sprint. And to add to your Definition of Done: your domain model represents a full documentation of your business application, which is (automatically) testable, and, because you haven’t touched any code until yet, there are no bugs.

Agile Methods and Sclable

Building upon the Sclable Platform means that you can do feature- test- or behaviour-driven development. You can develop your own breed of all three combined from here. You could go for a SCRUM setup or XP or both. At Sclable we have seen all sorts and have observed teams adopting quite unique flows.

New Agile Business Application Project Formats

A FinTech table prototyping project built upon Sclable. In addition to the tablet prototype, the solution included a full Sclable backend which was build upon Sclable’s Generic Application. A lot of the features and concepts developed in those 3 days wouldn’t be visible for the tablet-front-end user. Amongst these were two different adaptive suggestion engines along with configurable weighting algorithms which would guide through the application. Image: Sclable.com

A Fintech Showcase

Another format has been exemplified in a recent FinTech project initiated by FinTech Specialists at sopra steria and Scrum specialist bor!sgloger. A tablet-PC prototype for a banking advice application has been successfully accomplished together with 25th-floor, 9dots within 3 sessions each lasting 3 days. The SCRUM team included software architects, developers and UX specialists. About 35 additional persons from about 10 companies were involved, which is not unusual for projects within corporate structures.

Fazit

With our Platform version 2.0, which is centered around developers, their teams, project setups and development methods, we’ll be definitely seeing more agile project formats in the future. And we’ll be showcasing them a lot. So watch out for more blog post about #Sclable and #Agile!


Sclable Documentation

By Stefan Stifter,

The Sclable Business Application Development Platform continues to grow and gain functionality. Besides developing stunning new features for our Platform, it is one of our biggest challenges to share and spread our knowledge on developing Business Applications with Sclable.

Knowledge only has value when it is available, and even the best tool isn’t worth much if you don’t know how to use it. This is why we have reinvented the Sclable Documentation and the way we transfer our knowledge.

With the launch of the Sclable Documentation as part of sclable.io (our key knowledge hub for Sclable developers), we made a big step towards our goal to make Sclable knowledge available and understandable for every developer out there.

Sclable.io – totally build with our own Sclable Platform technology – will also cover some other features and topics in the near future. You will read about these upcoming exciting news in another blog post. For now it is our biggest challenge to capture and structure the Sclable internal knowledge and transfer it to our developers.

“INFORMATION IS NOT KNOWLEDGE”

Albert Einstein said that. And yeah, probably he is right about that too. It is one thing to inform our developers and users about the power and new features of Sclable.

It’s another to build a structured system to impart knowledge in a sustainable way, and make it available at any time for every developer worldwide.

KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT THEORY AND CLASSIFIED KNOWLEDGE

Before launching a new documentation system, we started to classify what kind of knowledge there is and what we want to share with other people.

According to Michael Polanyi, a hungarian-british polymath, knowledge can be classified into explicit and tacit knowledge.

Polanyi made his thoughts about knowledge, knowledge transfer and what kinds of knowledge there are, back in the 1960s. That was long before the term “knowledge management” came up in the early ’90s by people like Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi. And even longer before it got hyped at management boards and chairmen’s speeches in companies all around the globe.

Nonetheless. What Polanyi pointed out and Nonaka, Takeuchi and many others made clear with their researches, were some basic ideas on how to capture, develop, share, and effectively use organizational knowledge.

EXPLICIT AND TACIT KNOWLEDGE

As Michael Polanyi pointed out, there are two different kinds of knowledge. Explicit and tacit knowledge.

Explicit knowledge is that kind of knowledge that can be articulated, written down and is relatively easy to store. It can be understood as a kind of “people-to-document knowledge”. It makes sense to write explicit knowledge down, as it marks a fact. For example, “That’s an entity. It has attributes, states and actions.”

With tacit knowledge it is a little more tricky. Tacit knowledge cannot so easily be written down. It is more complex to transfer tacit knowledge to another person. In fact it is sometimes not even easy to realize that it is (very important) knowledge.

Tacit knowledge can be things people just do in their daily life, without imagining, that it could be really important knowledge for other people. Like the engineer, who knows that on a particular hydraulic press he has to unlock the protection safeguard twice in order for the machine to work properly.

These knowledge “between the lines” (also called people-to-people knowledge) is very hard to document, but all the more important for a successful knowledge transfer.

THE SCLABLE DOCUMENTATION – KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER IN THREE PARTS

When we were planning how to share our knowledge best and how to structure it, we knew that the Sclable Documentation had to cover both, explicit and tacit knowledge.

Our explicit knowledge on the one hand, is easy to transfer. It includes fundamental concepts, descriptions of layers within the Sclable Platform and so on.

Our tacit knowledge on the other hand, is more complex to add to the Sclable Documentation. Yet, it was the kind of knowledge we were interested in even more:

It’s one thing to know (and read) everything about Sclable Entities, but it’s even more productive to understand why in a certain domain model some references were implemented the way they were by our business analyst and domain modeller.

It’s even more helpful to grasp the benefit of selections and action triggers through a hands on example of one of our domain specialists than just read about how these things work out.

We came up with a solution that consists of three parts, which we believe is the most effective way to transfer our entire knowledge:

1. Explicit knowledge:
Captured within the Documentation menu. The place for plain concepts and descriptions. The theoretical foundation for developing with the Sclable Platform

2. Tacit knowledge:
Captured within the Tutorials section, this is where you find solely specific solutions for your specific problems. We tried to bind as much tacit knowledge as possible to here. All the little hints and tricks an experienced Sclable developer makes use of are shown and explained.

3. Hands-on and knowledge mix up:
Captured within the Get Started section. The idea was to give an easy jumpstart into Sclable. Set up your Sclable environment, start building a first application and check out our Phonotronic Sample Application. Away from theoretical jabbering just start developing with Sclable and gain knowledge through experience.

SCLABLE DOCUMENTATION FURTHER DEVELOPED

Basically, these are the main ideas behind the new Sclable Documentation. Our aim was to transfer knowledge with a straightforward approach. Explicit knowledge and tacit knowledge had to be included as well as guided walk-throughs to just “sclable around” and gain knowledge passing by.

Nonetheless, we are just standing at the beginning when it comes to transferring our knowledge. As this is an ongoing iterative process, new content for our Sclable Documentation will be added and updated continuously.

Stay tuned!


It is one thing to take off, it’s another to stay in the air

By Petra Breitfuss,

Sclable aligns with experienced IT Investor and Business Developer

Sclable meets the challenge of our ever-changing world with an intuitive platform for agile business application development. Companies need to adapt faster to internal and external changes. Applications supporting the company’s processes need to be just as fast and flexible.

The Sclable Platform allows to develop, test and use business applications simultaneously – during ongoing operations. Sclable offers an armada of productivity tools to help get a prototype ready under one hour and a first release out in a day. Changes can be applied in hours, not months. Compared with conventional technologies, Sclable provides a saving potential of up to 70% in financial and time resources.

To know more about us, have a look at our videos: https://sclable.com/get-started-with-agile-development-tool/videos/

Thomas Streimelweger

Speed and flexibility are the major success factors in today’s business world. Just like the Sclable Platform facilitates agile developing, Sclable as a company subscribes to the principles of agility. With Thomas Streimelweger, Sclable found a partner whose personal approach and job history is based on the same maxim.

In this current phase of business expansion, many decisions and investments need to be made. This calls not only for financial resources, but also for the experience and the network of a business expert like Thomas Streimelweger. He built up the S&T AG from an idea to a 3000-employee company with which he went public.

Not only will this top manager with excellent connections in the American and Eastern-European market contribute his business expertise, but he will also fully support Sclable’s global expansion.

Peter Kerschhofer (CEO Sclable) is happy. “In Thomas, we found somebody that will not only contribute his investment and expertise, but also fits our team perfectly on a personal level.”

For his part, Thomas Streimelweger says, “Sclable is on top of all these proprietary, slow and inflexible systems and enables companies to break open old structures without large investments. It is a typical development platform and will very soon create a big community and spread. I believe in the disruptive power of the Sclable Platform. It reflects my philosophy of ’getting things done’ to the maximum extent.”

Let’s talk success to date

Sclable has what it takes to be internationally successful. The innovative and high-quality technology meets the needs of modern companies. Founders Peter Kerschhofer, Markus Nenning, Roland Rust, Martin Sirlinger have combined 37 years of entrepreneurship and hands-on experience in founding and operating businesses. Backed by a culturally diverse and growing team of 9 passionate experts, they are building upon the success of the last two-and-a-half years.

Number of employees

  • Increased from 0 to 13

Clients

  • Projects in the entire DACH region (Austria, Germany, Switzerland)
  • Recent customer success stories have shown particular use of Sclable for FinTech Applications (Risk Management, Process Automation, Private Banking) as well as Applications in the Food and Publishing Industries (Manufacturing Processes, Supply Chain Management, ERP, CRM and more). (Read more: http://sclable.com/success-stories/)
  • Current clients include Bank Austria, LexisNexis, Nestlé, Wiberg, Kochabo, Heinzel, Leica Shop

Research

  • After a research project in evolutionary domain models in 2014, a second research project on data visualization is supported by the FFG, the Austrian Research Promotion Agency in 2015.

Media

  • In December 2014, Forbes.com mentions Sclable as a “Start-Up to Watch”.

Accelerator Programs

  • Currently participating in the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Accelerator Program
  • Chosen by the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (“Go International Initiative”) as one of 16 Austrian startup companies that will participate in the accelerator program “Go Silicon Valley” and spend 3 months in the USA at one of the partner business accelerators of the Austrian Trade Commission.

Where is the journey heading?

Sclable is providing a fully functional platform for agile development of business applications.

  • The focus is in the evolution of the product and in constantly extending the scope of functions and productivity tools. The hotlist of upcoming features is in http://sclable.com/roadmap/. The launch of an app store for specific business functionality and even entire business applications is scheduled for the end of 2015.
  • The Sclable Academy is the place where the most experienced Sclable developers share their knowledge. A fully featured development environment is the knowledge hub for developers and includes documentation, white papers, videos, etc.
  • The partner network of experts and integrators that use Sclable to build individual business applications for their customers will be extended.
    The red-stars.com data AG invests a sum in the high-six-digit range in Sclable. With this investment, the path that Sclable started can be continued and growth on international markets can be guaranteed.

Effect on company management

In terms of operations, the company will be managed as before. It stays in the hands of the founders Peter Kerschhofer (CEO), Markus Nenning (CBDO), Roland Rust (CVO) und Martin Sirlinger (COO). Thomas Streimelweger will participate as an active advisor and will contribute his extensive knowledge.

Let’s do this!

The investment of the red-stars.com data AG in Sclable is a great feedback and testament of the work carried out so far and shows its trust in the future of the company. We could not have done this alone. This is why now is the time to thank the Sclable team for all the excellent work!
Thomas’ business experience and access to the investor network assures that the path that Sclable started will continue and international growth will be guaranteed. We are happy to be accompanied in it by an experienced expert, that sees Sclable not only as an investment, but believes in our vision and the people behind it.


Sclable Domain Designer 2.01

By Roland Rust,

Prior to the 2.0 release of Sclable’s Business Application Development Platform, the Domain Designer was part of the generic application and vice versa. As of Platform 2.0 the Domain Designer is not only a standalone application, but also a good showcase of what can be achieved upon Sclable besides extending the generic application.

Extensibility through packages

Sclable’s Domain Designer is a complete re-write and re-design. It is available as a package from the Sclable Factory, our centralized package hub, and can be installed via BOB, our build tool. The Domain Designer allows you to access any of your local or remote Sclable installations via a web service, which is a package of its own. Both packages serve as a good example of how functionality can be packetized when extending Sclable.

Model, visualize and explain complexity

Sclable’s Domain Designer is developed with large and complex business domains in mind. On the one hand we want the tool to let you be quicker than copy and paste. On the other hand it should be as useful for you as a developer when you need to visualize and explain the complexity of a business domain to others.

In-Graph Editing

Since ERD and Workflow graphs are used a lot when modelling business domains, we decided to drop server side rendering with GraphViz in favour of client side rendering with dagre/dagreD3, so you can watch the graphs morph while modifying the domain model. This helps a lot to stay focused, especially when you are editing large graphs, giving the tool a generally more responsive feeling.

Sclable workflow graph. This image shows a workflow from our sample package featuring a ticketing process. The example shows a highlighted action named “set to solved” which is a workflow action of the type “edit”. It lets you set tickets to the state “solved” regardless of their pre-state. This is especially useful for interactive data cleaning after deleting a state when instances of the entity referencing the state get decoupled. Image: "Sclable.com"

Sclable workflow graph. This image shows a workflow from our sample package featuring a ticketing process. The example shows a highlighted action named “set to solved” which is a workflow action of the type “edit”. It lets you set tickets to the state “solved” regardless of their pre-state. This is especially useful for interactive data cleaning after deleting a state when instances of the entity referencing the state get decoupled.
Image: “Sclable.com”

Workflow Edit Action

Actions of type “edit” can have a post-state while not having a pre-state. This allows instances to be set into a specific state from any state. An example use case for this feature is a “cancelled” state within a order workflow for example, when you want an order to be able to be cancelled anytime.

Editing Action Attributes. This image shows how action attributes can be defined as of Sclable 2.0. From ‘invisible’ over ‘read only’, ‘editable’ and ‘required’ different levels of user access to an attribute’s value can be set. What’s happening behind that is quite a complex combination of modelling actions: setting ‘invisible’ in fact deletes an action attribute from the sclable core domain, ‘visible’ adds the action attribute with a boolean flag for ‘readonly’ set to true, ‘editable’ sets the ‘readonly’ boolen to false and ‘required’ creates a corresponding restriction along with the action attribute. Image: "Sclable.com"

Editing Action Attributes. This image shows how action attributes can be defined as of Sclable 2.0. From ‘invisible’ over ‘read only’, ‘editable’ and ‘required’ different levels of user access to an attribute’s value can be set. What’s happening behind that is quite a complex combination of modelling actions: setting ‘invisible’ in fact deletes an action attribute from the sclable core domain, ‘visible’ adds the action attribute with a boolean flag for ‘readonly’ set to true, ‘editable’ sets the ‘readonly’ boolen to false and ‘required’ creates a corresponding restriction along with the action attribute.
Image: “Sclable.com”

Workflow Action Attributes

Attributes can be assigned to an action within a workflow with an additional “read only” attribute. This allows you to specify accessibility levels: invisible (attribute is not an action attribute) to visible (attribute is an action attribute but set to “read only”), editable and required.

Reference Types

These can be edited via the all new relation editor from within the entity view. Reference types become important for the definition of migration paths, where the domain designing developer defines how relational migration issues should be resolved upon deletion of an instance.

Sclable Domain Designer: entity editor tabs. This image shows the workflow-, attribute-, relation- and agenda editor tabs of the entity editor. The ? key will show a context sensitive hot keys cheat sheet, alt+h displays inline hot keys as seen in the screenshot. Our goal with hot key support is to allow for domain modelling without using a mouse. Image: "Sclable.com"

Sclable Domain Designer: entity editor tabs.
This image shows the workflow-, attribute-, relation- and agenda editor tabs of the entity editor. The ? key will show a context sensitive hot keys cheat sheet, alt+h displays inline hot keys as seen in the screenshot. Our goal with hot key support is to allow for domain modelling without using a mouse.
Image: “Sclable.com”

Hot Keys

The ? key will bring up a hot key cheat sheet, alt+h will display contextual hotkeys inline. Domain modelling now can be done from the keyboard without using a mouse. We will subsequently extend the set available hotkeys to in-graph editing and navigation as well.

Upcoming Features for 2.1

Subsequently we will add every Sclable Core Engine Feature to the Domain Designer. Depending on the complexity of the functionality itself it might take one minor release’s time for a core feature to be fully implemented by the Domain Designer. For the 2.1 release we plan to implement the Agenda/Action Binding Editor and the Selection Editor.


Making Smart Cities smarter

By Petra Breitfuss,

The world we live in is constantly in motion. Global and city changes influence our daily life. Smart Cities need to adapt to these changes. Fast and in real time.

They want to enhance performance and wellbeing. And they want to engage more effectively and actively with their citizens.

With the Sclable Business Application Development Platform Smart Cities have the digital technology to keep the necessary advantage and stay ahead of changing conditions.

(Too much) Resource-consumption – Smart Cities vs. Smarter Cities

Today, the importance of big cities as hubs of scientific, technological, cultural and social innovation is as big as never before.

As cities continue to grow due to increasing population and dynamic migration, they will continuously face the challenge of social innovation in various fields: from healthcare to mobility and infrastructure, from energy and environment to ICT.

Smart Cities need to embrace the challenges of rapid change as opportunities of progress and dynamic growth – unthinkable without intelligent and systematic use of cutting-edge digital technology.

To position themselves as a venue of innovation and new solutions, the Smart Cities’ institutions need to have an Application Development Platform at their hands that exactly maps their world in software. And – maybe even more importantly – that is prepared to follow process changes. Immediately. In the moment they take effect.

In an ever faster turning world, Smart Cities have to recurrently handle changes in their processes, as they want to adapt to the needs and requirements of their citizens. Most conventional IT systems are having a hard time adapting to that.

A living Application adapting to changing processes

At Sclable we developed an Engine that knows to program. It helps to streamline processes of any organization and allows to map them exactly in a domain model. It can connect domains and brings them to life immediately as enterprise-grade, ready-to-go business application.

The Sclable Business Application Development Platform provides an environment for designing, developing and running business applications.

The Platform consists of software components and development tools with a clear focus on solving problems occurring during the development and the maintenance of business applications.

As one of the main benefits, Sclable provides a valid domain model along with a ubiquitous language for the business domain the application is build for.

Sclable comes with a generic web application which helps you developing web-based business applications very quickly. About 90% functionality a classic business application needs is provided. If your main concern is speed and an accelerated time-to-market for you application you are best off with using what Sclable has on board.

Just like generic functionality, a Sclable business application is provided as a package.

Smart Cities. The Sclable Architecture. Core Engine and Productivity Layer.

The Sclable Architecture. Core Engine and Productivity Layer.

Data, Processes, People

The Sclable Business Application Development Platform is at your hands wherever data is managed by processes involving people: A digital technology with an extensive field of action in all areas that are of interest to Smart Cities, for example regarding resource preservation, innovation and new technologies, or improvement of the quality of living.

Sclable is perfect for all types of e-government solutions. From G2C, to backend processes in G2E and G2B applications. In addition, Sclable’s APIs provide a technical foundation for any G2G project.

It also provides flexibility in adapting to changing process requirements. Whenever you need to change your process, your application follows. In real time, with changes effective immediately and almost no programming work.

In a nutshell: Flexible processes – Smarter Cities

The Sclable Business Application Development Platform makes Smart Cities even more flexible and efficient. It maps the exact processes in software and allows flexibility through immediately effective, fast changes.


Sclable goes Video

By Petra Breitfuss,

At Sclable we make a great effort regarding content creation. To challenge ourselves we often look at what we do with the eyes of somebody that has never heard of Sclable before or visited our homepage.To help our first time visitors to get the big picture, we decided to support the written content with videos that sum up all the Sclable essentials. We want to make life easier for our users, which, after all, is a crucial element of our vision.

3 things you need to know to start sclabling

To sclable your world you need to know only three things. Each of them is the bases of a video.

 

VIdeo 1: Sclable Business Domain Modelling.

 

The foundation of your Sclable Application is your business. Based on your individual Domain Model that represents your business knowledge, the Sclable Core Engine generates a living application that can be changed fast any time – in real time.

The video demonstrates on the bases of a concrete example how you use Sclable to build your specific Business Application.

 

VIdeo 2: Sclable Business Applications.

 

Sclable is built by developers. For developers.

Every aspect of a Sclable application can be changed, replaced or extended. And it is suitable for almost every data processing functionality from commandline tools and machine to machine interfaces to Web- or native applications. If you want a web-based business application centered around human interaction, Sclable gives you a 90% head start.

The video shows you how to assemble your own functionality into packages and make use of packages other Sclablers have published on the Sclable Cloud.

 

Video 3: Sclable Business Application Integration.

 

Sclable comes with a generic web application which helps you developing web-based business applications very quickly. About 90% functionality a classic business application needs is provided. If your main concern is speed and an accelerated time-to-market for you application you are best off with using what Sclable has on board.

Just like generic functionality, a Sclable business application is provided as a package. The video shows you how to integrate your application package with the Sclable ecosystem by registering your development repository with the Sclable factory.

The final result

We were working on the visualization of these three aspects together with the support of visual graphics experts from im Kollektiv and video production experts from Atzgerei Productions. See the final result here.


2015, a look ahead

By Petra Breitfuss,

We see the new year as a chance to set new goals and define our milestones for the upcoming months.

Based on the progress we made in the two years since our foundation in the end of  2012, we have good reasons to stay ambitious:

 

Turnover

Doubled each year

Number of employees

Risen from 4 to 12

Customers

By now, our customers are found in almost all sectors of industries

Sclable is used by SMEs as well as big enterprises or startups

More and more of our customers use Sclable to build their own business application. This means we do not provide Sclable anymore only as a service but as a platform.

Research

We concluded a research project on “Domain Model Evolution”, kindly supported by the FFG, the Austrian Research Promotion Agency

Media

Forbes.com mentioned us twice as a startup to watch

CI

In fall 2014 we launched our new homepage with a new CI matching better our lean and agile way.

 

Thank you!

Great, talented people accompanied us on our exciting way in these last two years. Now it is time to give something back and be grateful: Special thanks to partners, clients and media for the inspiring, motivating and sometimes critical support we received from you. We couldn’t have done it without you! And a big thank, of course, goes to the hard working Sclable team!

2015 will be a year in which we are going to extend the limits even further.

Let’s look at what we plan to do and what we want to accomplish in 2015 from 3 different perspectives: Technology, Methods & Research, Developer Relations & Partnering and Communications.

Technology, Methods & Research

We make organizations all over the world work better and users’ lives easier by radically rethinking technology. During the next year we will continue doing what we always did: be passionate about what we do to extend the limits.

1.  Continuous improvement is the key to delivering the best product possible. In 2015, besides building up a developer portal, we are working on improving our Core Engine as well as the Framework and more. See our roadmap for further details.

2. New Technologies always open up possibilities to rethink design patterns and managment methods: Together with agile project management experts from boris gloger consulting, UX specialists from 9dots and enterprise architecture engineers from 25th-floor, we are combining the best out of Design Thinking and SCRUM with Sclable.

3.  Our main research areas 2015 are:

– Hyper Domains: Blueprints for domain snippets

– Visualization of complex domain models

– Distribution and providing of mass data in the Cloud as contextual knowledge

Developer Relations & Partnering

2015 is moreover the year to further improve our relations with the increasing Sclable developer community and with partner companies, continuing to support each other.

1. Worldwide Meetup Groups: The Sclable developer community is growing, and it is time to create Sclable Meetup Groups all over the world. Sclable Meetup Groups give you as a developer the chance to talk about topics like DDD with PHP and Agile Software Development or to get and receive concrete support.

2. Sclable Academy: While you sclable your world, we provide you with all the necessary knowledge from A – Z. In workshops, white papers, forums or personal assistance you will find all the support you need.

3. Partnering: We strongly believe that the future does not belong to individual organizations, but to ecosystems where knowledge, services and resources are distributed to the community of cooperating enterprises. We are searching for complementary partner companies to mutually profit from each other.

Communications

Engaging in conversation with our community and providing high quality content is of great concern to us. While in the last 2 years our focus layed clearly on the technological development of our product, 2015 will be a year with increasing communication efforts.

1. Spreading our expertise on Agility and Domain Driven Design

Events: We will share the experience and knowledge we gained through researching and developing over the years at several international events and conferences. The objective is to present our extensive knowledge about Domain Driven Design and Agile Software Development with other developers and to encourage a joint discussion about the topic.

Blog: At the very heart of our communication strategy is the blog we started in October 2014. We use it to post deep content that is valid in the long-term. In the next year, we will increase the frequency of blog posts to 3 – 5 a month. Sclable experts and guest bloggers will write and connect with us. Stay tuned for inspiring, captivating content written by interesting experts.

2. Increasing our social media efforts: Through our community member’s feedback and participation we will intensify the dialogue with our community. Follow us on Twitter, connect with us on LinkedIn or friend us on Facebook and become an active part in this conversation.

3. Intensifying media contacts: Our message is very clear, “We make organizations all over the world work better and users’ lives easier by radically rethinking technology.”  By providing our intuitive tool for modelling business domains, we empower great organisations to adapt to new challenges flexible and fast. We are strengthening contacts with journalists from quality media who will become our partners in spreading this message.


Sclable is looking forward to an exciting 2015.

And we think we are still on time to wish you too a fulfilling New Year!


A Brief History of the Domain Model

By Roland Rust,

The IBM Blue Gene/P supercomputer, around 1974

Lehman’s law of software entropy

It was in 1974 when Professor “Manny” Lehman started to publish his “Metrics and Laws of Software Evolution”. What every software engineer calls “Lehman’s Law” since then can be simplified by stating that

 

increasing growth in complexity makes a software less satisfactory.

 

What was true in 1974 is still true today. For developers as well as for users. And it is true not only for enormous enterprise software architectures, but for smaller business applications as well.

 

At Sclable we found that smaller businesses tend to opt for a single solution containing all of their business processes yielding often an enormous complexity. Whereas big corporations use their resources to maintain a large amount of isolated applications and systems each with a limited set of features, therefore maintainable and in the worst case replaceable.

Dead locked by the separation of concerns

As a result to Lehman’s research, the theory of Normalized Systems has been established. Its first theorem is called the “Separation of Concerns” which, for business applications, lead to the golden rule that a software engineer should always

 

separate business logic from business data.

 

As a result, people responsible for the business logic and database architects are often hindering each other. That’s why the saying “Never touch a running system” has become so popular. At Sclable we aim to disapprove the theorem far enough to neutralize all the excuses IT people have for this saying.

A new concept: the domain model

Martin Fowler, one of the most influential thinkers in all things software development published his famous book “Patterns of Enterprise Architecture” in 2002, introducing the concept of the Domain Model as

 

an object model of the [business] domain that incorporates both behavior and data

 

What? How can we have both, the Separation of Concerns and a Domain Model? As discussions [1][2][3] show the topic is still controversial. The Sclable approach is to break with the rule of the separation of concerns. At least as far as the storage logic is concerned.

From the domain model to domain driven design

Eric Evans started a new era in 2003 with his remarkable book “Domain Driven Design” introducing a language for software design patterns around the domain model. Like every software engineer, Evans has a simple claim:

 

Tackling Complexity in the Heart of Software

 

as the subtitle of his book states. Since then the DDD-Community has grown yet waiting for a clear and profound direction how to implement DDD patterns properly.

Talking DDD, doing DDD

About at the same time Sclable had the first successes with domain model based application generation in 2011, Dan Haywood published Domain-Driven Design Using Naked Objects. His challenge was:

 

how do you bring the domain model to life so that it can be checked, verified, and refined?

 

After all those concepts and discussions, his practical point of view was relieving. For the first time doing DDD seemed to be a reasonable thing to do on every software project. On the other hand it blurred the difference between Object-Orientation and Domain Driven Design [4], something that the industry has still a hard time to recognize.

“All the calculations show it can’t work. There’s only one thing to do: make it work.”

In early 2013 Vaughn Vernon published “Implementing Domain Driven Design” starting off the book’s preface with this quote from Pierre-Georges Latécoère, an early French aviation entrepreneur. Being very practice-oriented, he teaches us not to focus all too much on architecture, since architectural influences come and go. From him we learn to

 

place more emphasis on the domain model, which has greater business value and will be more enduring.

 

Vernon very profoundly explains the groundwork to be done when you want business application development that just flies. It is exactly the business value of the domain model we are focusing on. That’s why Sclable is a product, not a philosophy.

Radical approach

By merging business logic with data storage logic, we broke some golden rules for enterprise software development. And it didn’t hurt. To the contrary: doing so set us free to implement a contemporary version of Fowler’s Domain Model. We simply call it “Sclable Business Domain”. In fact our core engine does that groundwork Vernon speaks of for you and lets you focus on the descriptive part of the domain model.

Supercharged Domain Model Development

Today we are not only able to automate a great amount of design patterns introduced by the pioneers of the domain model but can as well provide a Framework around that automatisation engine.

What comes next?

Now that Sclable Business Domains merge data and logic our most burning questions are: Can we enhance domain models to contain all transformations that the business domain has been undergoing since its existence? And if so, will a Sclable Business Domain be able to transform back to a previous state? Or a projected future one?

Commencing countdown, engines on

We decided to start a research and development project that is just about that. Imagine seamless, automated data migration upon complex domain model changes! Imagine test-driving an altered business process within the production environment! And probably revert to a previous state after data has been managed through the altered process for a while…

First concepts have been proofed and are very promising. And learnings have been made. A lot. Stay tuned and you’ll see.


Why we run a blog

By Petra Breitfuss,

In our blog we will share the knowledge we collect through research, experience and inspiration with our community. Additionally we will give insights to what we develop. Before we got started we were thinking about the right format to present our content.

We decided to run a blog – why?

We have an elaborate homepage and we are represented on social network sites. But while our homepage informs merely about our product, and our tweets or Facebook posts transport short-dated and very dynamic content, our blog shows long-term content with a wider range of topics and takes a closer look at things. What we publish on our blog demands classic reading and you will need to take some time for that.

In a nutshell: We run a blog, because we need more than a couple of seconds of your attention.

In order to stay on top we need to go to the bottom of things.

We are convinced that our radical approach towards technology forces us to dive deeper into the knowledge that is connected with what we do. This makes us continue to think outside the box and stay open for new approaches and ideas. We believe that sharing the content we reflect about with our community can be an inspiration for any reader.

What can you expect?

Basically our knowledge is divided into two groups:
–    Ourselves – through research and experiences that we make developing our product
–    Others –  who inspire us and we can learn from

We formed three categories to present these two kinds of knowledge:

Sclabel Revolution – This is where you can take a look behind the scene. Get insights from our Sclable experts, see how we develop our product. Read about the Sclable experience of our customers. You think that what we announce on our homepage sounds too ambitious? Here is prove that we can actually walk the talk.

TechTalk – Agility, Domain Driven Design with PHP and Business Application Development. Read articles of authors with profound expertise in these and other upcoming topics. Sclable experts and friends take a closer look and go into detail in topics of their field of expertise.

What you always wanted to know – Learn more about fresh topics everybody talks about. Get instructions of what actually works. Or find out what it takes to fail for sure.

Be a part!

One of our core values is transparency, because we deeply believe in promoting openness and sharing our findings with others. Not only are we open about making information and knowledge available, we are also open about receiving it – in the form of feedback, through participation of guest bloggers etc.

We are inviting guest bloggers to write with us, if you are interested, contact us!