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Focus on software intensive products

The Software Engineering Department provides expertise specifically focusing on the prerequisites for developing software-intensive products and bringing them onto the market. An understanding of various aspects of this domain, including software development, the product, the organization, the business, go-to-market and scaling, is crucial. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that our expertise covers a number of supporting technologies, including cloud computing, security and added value-focused design.

Our very own Nick Boucart has offered his thoughts in his personal review of the year on our blog.

Projects in 2016

Security monitoring in the cloud with SeCloud

Interconnected software-controlled systems are everywhere these days, with numbers still increasing dramatically all the time. Typically, no security features are built into the design of most of these systems. With the growing trend towards miniaturization in online systems - as demonstrated for example by the Internet of Things - and the booming expansion of SaaS, and the steadily increasing attacks on cybersecurity which have ensued, more focus needs to be placed on security and privacy in the design stage.

The Brussels-based SeCloud initiative examines the state of the art for various information security issues and presents these to users.

Some interesting articles:

NebuCom supporting migration to SaaS and the cloud

Software as a Service (SaaS) is rapidly changing how software companies market their products and services. With SaaS meaning that companies can now instantly reach a global audience, many software developers are now considering switching to SaaS solutions. NebuCom, working with its project partners Sirris, Agoria, IMEC and LSEC, is supporting Belgian software companies in this transition with workshops and information sessions helping them to understand the challenges and solutions associated with the cloud and SaaS. 

Some interesting articles:

Flex4Apps project addressing the challenges of monitoring and optimizing large cyber-physical systems

The transition from on-site software to SaaS is presenting many software developers with new challenges, given that switching from developing software to developing digital services means adopting a whole new perspective. In this brave new world, factors which were previously of less importance such as cost of acquisition and customer lifetime value now rank among the top KPIs.

A lot of SaaS companies want to know how they can combine working on a large scale (hyperscale) with a personalized service (hypercare). Data-driven product management and analysis become core competencies when companies start explicitly developing their added-value design . The European Flex4Apps project, bringing together partners from Germany and Belgium, including Alcatel-Lucent, Fraunhofer, Genode Labs, Evolved Analytics, Inventive Designers, and Sirris, is all about helping these companies.

Moments of inspiration

Workshop on JavaScript security tackling security vulnerabilities

On March 19, 2016, VUB/SOFT and Sirris organized a SeCloud workshop on JavaScript security.

Research into JavaScript security is needed because like the most popular programming languages, it was designed with no explicit security requirements in mind. This makes both the language and the underlying object model and operating platform (the browser) vulnerable to attacks. The workshop aimed to demonstrate techniques that reveal these vulnerabilities and deploy JavaScript language features to force through runtime execution rules.

The workshop included two presentations on static verification and dynamic enforcement of security principles in JavaScript applications. In the hands-on session the participants hacked Juice Shop, a fully functional web application which has however deliberately been made insecure.

Around 20 enthusiastic participants from 10 companies attended the workshop.

Some information on the BlueKript presentation is available here.

Sirris organizes ITEA workshop on digital transformation

As a partner in two (out of three) selected industrial research projects from the European ITEA program - ACCELERATE, tackling the acceleration of ICT companies' go-to-market, and InValue (Industrial Enterprise Asset Value Enablers) - Sirris was invited to organize and roll out the first ITEA masterclass, looking at the digital transformation.

The masterclass offered participants key insights into the digital transformation process currently gripping the world - and industry in particular. Time was set aside for workshops in which the participants could discuss the issue with the experts from the three selected projects, each of them with relevant experience in this regard.

The first masterclass was held on October 19, 2016 at Vinnova (the Swedish government agency providing State funding for R&D projects) in Stockholm. Plans are currently being made for a follow-up event.

Discover our full range of cloud computing and SaaS services.