In the Q-Advice project the AristaFlow BPM Suite has been successfully applied to software engineering processes. Q-Advice is a joint research project with four partners – Aalen University of Applied Sciences, University of Ulm, Carl Zeiss GmbH, and FNT GmbH. Q-Advice is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
The overall goal of the Q-Advice project is to assist overburdened software engineers by providing process-centred orientation and guidance through automated workflows. Yet, since there are so many different kinds of issues with ambiguous and subjective delineation, it is difficult and burdensome to universally and correctly model them in advance. Even if this had been possible it would lead to workflows of considerable size and complexity.
The Q-Advice project tries to alleviate this by starting with a basic and simple workflow for each case and then, utilizing context information, dynamically extends it with activities matching the current situation. Overall, Q-Advice provides situational and tailored support as well as guidance for software engineers. In particular the dynamically evolving workflows enabled by Q-Advice are much simpler than completely pre-modeled workflows would be.
Q-Advice relies on the AristaFlow BPM Suite as its process module. Thereby it makes heavy use of the AristaFlow API for automatically constructing and adapting workflows as well as for developing domain-specific activity components. Based on context information a workflow is automatically and dynamically constructed for every software engineering issue. Workflow activities are then assigned to responsible users based on the organizational model maintained by AristaFlow.
The below figure shows an example of a Q-Advice user interface: in the lower section users can view their current task as well as upcoming tasks. In the upper section additional information is provided.
Fig. Domain-specific user client for software engineers