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Why the Internet of Things (IoT) as a special theme for SATURN 2016?
by Amine Chigani and Jørn Ølmheim

Over the past decade, SATURN has built a community of software architecture practitioners and researchers that is passionate about advancing the state of practice and quality of software development through software architecture. So who is better than this community and this conference to cut through the hype and discuss real architecture challenges and solutions to building IoT reference architectures, products, and services?

Now, why IoT and not some other theme?

The short answer is that it feels like everyone is talking about it. But the more intriguing motivation is the 2015 World Economic Forum identifying IoT and related technologies in its top ten priorities.

OK, but who is creating the hype?

Well, Gartner projects that around 50 billion devices, machines, and objects will connect to the Internet in the next 5 years. This is compared to a few billion people who are currently connected to the consumer Internet (and they are still a challenge to handle). A variety of large organizations such as ABB, Cisco, General Electric, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, National Instruments, Siemens, and many others are focusing large resources in this emerging area. Venture capital is spurring a lot of IoT startups too. Unlike other waves of Internet technology transformations, IoT is touching both the consumer and the industrial sectors alike. One club where both of these worlds meet now is the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC). After incubation on March 27, 2014 with only five founding members, the IIC now boosts more than 200 members from across the globe and is growing weekly.

What Industrial Internet are you speaking of?

Oh! This IoT thing goes by many names. The folks at the Industrial Internet talk about an internet of big things spitting out exabytes of sensor data. In China, there is a reference to Internet+. Of course, Germany has to have its own initiative with a cool name: Industry 4.0. To be even more inclusive, Cisco goes as far as the Internet of Everything. By the time we hold the conference, we will have few more perhaps.

I see. Why should architects care?

That's a good question! Have you heard about the Industrial Internet Reference Architecture that recently came out of IIC? The European Union folks spent a couple of years coming up with their IoT Architecture too. Let's stop at these two examples without going into the plethora of reference architectures and platforms for IoT that are out there. How many of these architectures can the SATURN community call architectures with capital A?

So this is real for architects. There are many software architects and engineers who are in in the midst of the IoT hype, and have to guide business leaders and technology executives to make sense of emerging IoT platforms, products, and services. Many are leading efforts to architect and build the technology infrastructure and solutions to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by moving into a more connected enterprise. This is why we thought we would highlight this theme and see what we can say about it.

How do we intend to run the IoT track?

We will bring together software architecture practitioners and researchers to share and learn from real-world experiences tackling architecture challenges in the IoT space. Don't worry! This will continue to feel like an architecture discussion. We will organize the track in a way that addresses the following questions:

  • What architecture challenges do IoT problems highlight?
  • What are the key quality attributes of IoT solutions, products, or platforms?
  • What architecture patterns and tactics are best suited to address these problems and to achieve these key quality attributes?

The IoT theme is intended to provide a relevant, large-enough problem space for attendees to engage in deep discussions and learning about real-world applications of architecture principles. Building on the software architecture technology and best practices of the past 25 years, speakers will share novel design and architecture advances in machine-to-machine connectivity, time-series data, big-data analytics, containerization, microservice design, cloud-native development, platforms, user experience, and cyber security as well as other architecture topics that provide the foundation for IoT solutions.

We will put together a track that blends both methodology and practice, but with a little bias toward submissions that demonstrate the value of software architecture in the successful delivery of quality software solutions in IoT space.

How can you contribute?

Submit a session proposal to this track and share this blog with your network. If you stumbled across this blog post by searching for what is happening in the IoT space, then check out the SATURN 2016 Call for Submissions.

Now that you found this blog, bookmark it and come back again as we plan to keep the discussion going. So stay tuned!

Amine Chigani, GE Digital
Jørn Ølmheim, Statoil

SATURN 2016 Technical Co-Chairs

The 12th SEI Architecture Technology User Network (SATURN) Conference 2016 will be held at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina in San Diego, California, May 2-5, 2016. We are pleased to announce that the co-technical chairs of SATURN 2016 will be Amine Chigani of GE Digital and Jørn Ølmheim of Statoil.

The SATURN 2016 Call for Submissions is now open.

What's New for 2016

SATURN 2016 will feature the Internet of Things (IoT) as a theme for one of its four tracks. This theme is intended to inspire the SATURN architecture community to cut through the hype and discuss real architecture challenges and solutions to building IoT reference architectures, products, and services. For more about the decision to dedicate a track to IoT, see this post by Amine and Jørn.

This year's technical program is organized into four tracks: (1) Architecting for the Internet of Things, (2) Architecture Methods and Design Patterns, (3) Technology and Tools, and (4) Leadership and Business. More information about these tracks and about session types and lengths is available in the SATURN 2016 Call for Submissions.

All proposals must be submitted to the online submission system no later than January 15, 2016. Presenters whose proposals are accepted will receive free or discounted admission to the conference depending on the submission type.

Lots more information about SATURN 2016 will be forthcoming here on the SATURN blog and on the SEI and SATURN 2016 websites. We hope you will begin making plans to join us in San Diego next May and that you will consider being part of the technical program by submitting a proposal.

One of our goals every year with SATURN is to create a solid technical program that is informative, engaging, and lasting. When evaluating proposals for the program, the review committee uses the following guidelines to help decide whether a proposal is a good match for this year's conference. In these guidelines, the term "session" is used generically to describe any talks, workshops, tutorials, and so on in the conference program.

Informative sessions share meaningful insights with lessons that attendees will be able to apply directly with their teams after the conference.

  • Is the information proposed relevant to one of the topic themes in this year's conference?
  • Are there succinct lessons supported by real-world examples, research, or direct experience?
  • Is the topic of broad or general interest?
  • Can the lessons be applied beyond small sub-communities of practice?

Engaging sessions create an active learning environment that promotes information retention and generally gets attendees excited about the topics discussed.

  • Did the speakers have an impact on their organizations related to the lessons or insights proposed?
  • Do the speakers appear to be knowledgeable of the topics proposed?
  • Do the speakers have a history of successful, engaging, educational, energetic, passionate, or entertaining presentations?
  • Have the speakers shown an attention to detail in preparing their proposal?
  • For participative sessions and tutorials, will the proposed session create an effective learning experience for attendees?

Lasting sessions have appeal beyond current fads and attempt to weave new ideas into our overall understanding of how we develop software systems.

  • Does the proposed session advance the current state of practice?
  • Does the proposed session improve our depth of understanding in software architecture?
  • Does the proposed session present a unique or novel project experience?
  • Does the proposed session offer a unique or fresh perspective on "classic" topics?

Our intent in sharing this information is to help you to write the best proposal possible. Use these evaluation guidelines to tailor your proposals and help create the best SATURN Conference yet. Strong proposals will have some "yes" answers in each of the guidelines. Also note that these are only guidelines and not hard-and-fast rules. We are excited to see all the great ideas that are proposed!

- Amine Chigani
- Jørn Ølmheim
SATURN 2016 Technical Co-Chairs

SATURN 2016 will be held in San Diego, California, May 2-5, 2016. See the SATURN 2016 Call for Submissions to learn how you can submit an abstract to present your ideas at SATURN 2015. Please submit proposals for 15-, 30-, and 90-minute sessions to the online submission system no later than January 15, 2016. The technical committee will offer discounted conference attendance to those selected to be part of the program; specific compensation details will be posted on the SATURN 2016 website soon.

For those who were unable to attend the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) Architecture Technology User Network (SATURN) 2015 Conference, videos of many SATURN 2015 presentations are now available to view online

SATURN 2016 will be held at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina in San Diego, California, May 2-5. The SATURN Technical Committee will release the Call for Submissions for SATURN 2016 during the first week in September. We are opening the Call early this year to allow more time to submit proposals for the outstanding presentations you have come to expect from SATURN as the premier architecture conference for senior engineers. Watch for an announcement here soon!

Software engineering educators gathered August 3-5 at the SEI's Pittsburgh headquarters for the 12th annual Architecture-Centric Engineering (ACE) Workshop for Educators. The SEI hosts this event to foster an ongoing exchange of ideas among educators whose curricula include the subjects of software architecture and software product lines. The SEI's Grace Lewis and Robert Nord led the workshop, which was attended by 16 educators representing institutions located in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Peru, and Thailand.

Read more about the workshop on the SEI website.

If you would like to participate next year, please send email to get added to our mailing list for the event.

The Software Engineering Institute (SEI) is conducting design research on the SEI website in an effort to make the site more user friendly. We are asking for the help of those with a technical background to take a brief usability test, which requires technical knowledge though there are no right or wrong answers. The test should take about 10-15 minutes, and those who take it will be entered into a raffle to win a $50 Amazon gift card (you will be asked for your email address, which will be used to select the winning participant).

The test will be open until Friday, August 21 and can be accessed at http://ows.io/tj/y3u67ty6

Thanks in advance for your help!

Software: Catalyst of Change

With the increasing reliance on and penetration of software into everyday lives, the need for organizations to predictably develop, acquire, and sustain high-quality software systems has never been greater. To address this need, the Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute (SEI) is pleased to announce that it will host its first Software Solutions Conference (SSC) at the Hilton Crystal City in Arlington, Va., from Nov. 16 through 18.

Review the conference program here.

The conference is designed to focus attention on emerging technologies and technical strategies for assuring quality, timeliness, trust, and affordability in current and future software-reliant systems. These technologies and strategies are vitally important to the missions of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), government agencies, and the industry that supports them.

Highlights of the technical program include

  • sessions in three tracks: Project Experiences, Research Topics/Emerging Technology, and Acquisition Practice
  • a broad range of presentations on key topics including legacy-system modernization, large-scale Agile development and Agile for defense programs, system complexity, system and software testing, high-assurance software for real-time systems, systems of systems, acquisition, risk, cloud computing, decision-support systems, computing at the tactical edge, DevOps in the federal government, measurement and analysis, software architecture, software sustainment, and technical debt
  • an expert-panel discussion about open systems architecture
  • joint presentations by SEI staff with DoD and government collaborators
  • a summary of the SEI research program by SEI Chief Technical Officer Kevin Fall
  • a question-and-answer panel discussion with senior SEI leaders
  • social events and opportunities for attendees to network with industry leaders, conference speakers, peers, and experienced innovators, and to influence the SEI technical research agenda.

Registration is now open. Discounted registration will be available to U.S. government and military personnel, employees of small businesses, and attendees whose organizations send three or more people to the conference.

To review the full conference schedule, go to http://www.sei.cmu.edu/ssc.