News about otris software AG.
24. September 2021

News from the otris development – funding application convinced BMBF

With the Research Grants Act (Forschungszulagengesetz, FzulG), the federal government supports companies that conduct relevant research and development. The funding is intended to help strengthen Germany as an investment location. otris' funding application convinced the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

A project is supported on the question of whether and how the currently used relational database structure of the otris products can be supplemented or even replaced by NoSQL database technology. A challenging project – because research into model-driven software development in combination with NoSQL is still in its infancy.

JANUS software generator

Otris emerged from a research project over 20 years ago. The current board members of the company developed the JANUS software generator at the Ruhr University. Constantly improved and expanded, the JANUS platform still exists today and forms the basis of all otris solutions. Closely linked to the JANUS software development are relational databases, which form the basis of all otris products. The advantages of relational databases are obvious: the widespread and standardised database model is comparatively easy to implement and ensures high data consistency with low data redundancy. But there are also disadvantages.

Why non-relational databases?

For certain use cases, especially when processing large amounts of data, the relational database is not an optimal solution. The alternative: non-relational databases (often summarised under NoSQL). The advantage of non-relational databases is that they are more flexible, do not require a fixed table schema and thus have better performance when processing large amounts of data..

Benefits for otris software development

With the JANUS software generator, otris creates executable applications from object-oriented analysis models. The strength of JANUS lies in classic, commercial application systems. However, the rigid relational data storage limits the development of software services that can be integrated into software systems; both in terms of changing data structures and large data volumes. One possible solution: the use of a flexible NoSQL database.

Research Projects

With this research project, a specially formed project team is investigating which NoSQL technology is suitable for use. In a second step, the OOA modelling language must be extended to include model elements to support the generation of NoSQL database structures in JANUS. And finally, there is the challenge of integrating the NoSQL database into JANUS and checking whether existing applications can be migrated to the new system..

Project manager Dr Veit Jahns is looking forward to many new insights: “We are excited to see whether and how our project works. Model-driven software development in combination with NoSQL is a current topic in research. If everything works as we envision, we can raise the application possibilities and benefits of all otris products to a new level.”