Research grant in the program SME-innovative of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Ulm University

Together with PITSS GmbH, the working group of Prof. Manfred Reichert has been awarded a grant by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for a funding project on digital software documentation and process-oriented software analysis for the period 2021 - 2023. The project "Development of methods for retrograde process analysis" (SoftProc) will be funded by the BMBF in its research program SME-innovative (KMU-innovative) with a total of 630,000 euros, of which approx. 180,000 euros will be allocated to DBIS.

Software development and modernization fail, are delayed and devour vast sums of money. One of the main reasons for this is poor controllability, which is usually due to a lack of documentation for the implemented software. Only those who understand the respective software well can work with it in a meaningful way. Well-documented software saves enormous costs, avoids errors and allows for  an easy start of new colleagues or development partners. In practice, however, software applications or their underlying requirements are usually developed under time pressure, and savings are made on documentation. As soon as the software applications have to be adapted, extended or modernized, this sparse documentation and lack of knowledge of the work processes supported by the software does not help, but rather creates further irritations. As a consequence, the costs and times for maintaining the software explode.

In the SoftProc project, the Institute for Databases and Information Systems (DBIS) at the University of Ulm and PITSS GmbH are developing an innovative approach that systematically analyzes a software application with everything that makes it tick, from the program code to the database schema to the processes it supports, and assembles them into a picture that everyone can understand - a kind of real-time documentation fed with the latest program statuses and with productive data from running applications. Corresponding knowledge enables decisions and makes implementations simple and reliable. Details about SoftProc can be found on the newly established project homepage.

SoftProc is an example of the promotion of innovative SMEs. With the initiative "KMU-innovativ", the BMBF has established a fast lane for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In this program, SMEs can submit their project ideas in the field of information and communication technologies and are supported by simplified funding and accelerated approval procedures.

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