CloudTeams - A community growth and collaborative development tool for software teams and end-users

 

CLOUDTEAMS POSITION PAPER FOR CLOUDSCAPE BRAZIL 2017 (São Paulo, Brazil)

 
Author: Sabine Kolvenbach - Fraunhofer FIT (DE), Clemens Putschli - Fraunhofer FIT (DE), Sotiris Koussouris - NTUA (GR)

Focus Area: Privacy awareness and security of cloud applications Cloud supported innovative and inclusive societies

 

Who stands to benefit and how : 

Target customers of CloudTeams are both • start-ups and SMEs, having not the time and money to find a matching user base and gain deep market insights for their planned product, trying to avoid flaws in the software development process as early as possible, interact with end-users and collaboratively develop software that meets the customers’ needs. • tech-savvy customers, being interested in current developments from software teams, willing to do a little work for influencing future developments and making their voice heard by developers.

 

Position Paper: 

Developing software is more than coding and testing an application and putting it on the market. In order to produce meaningful and usable software, there is a need for involving end-users into the software development process in early stages. This helps detecting conceptual and design flaws and avoids increasing costs in the software development process, at the same time ensuring relevance for perspective customers. The development of software involves a number of stakeholders and technical resources. Stakeholders are software developers on the technical side, and potential end-users on the market side. The success of the final software heavily depends on the answer to the question whether the software product meets end-users needs and fulfils the expectations.

 

The CloudTeams collaboration platform (www.cloudteams.eu) bridges the gap between end-users and software developers and helps to follow a methodology for structured project development. It is not a solution for traditional software houses; it is a new way of thinking for agile software development.

 

CloudTeams is a community growth and collaborative development tool for software development teams who build innovative software and for end-users who want to support such initiatives and get better software. Software projects do not only find software testers on CloudTeams, moreover they find early adopters who will love to use the software collaboratively produced through the platform. Software developers register their software project on the CloudTeams collaboration platform, draft campaigns with questionnaires, select their target customer group, and ask end-users for their feedback on the project idea, mock-ups, and prototypes. End users fill in their profile, follow interesting software projects, get notified of and participate in running campaigns, and collect rewards for their feedback. The interaction between the end-user and software developers happens in a privacy respectful way as data of end-user is anonymized. More benefits for software teams are advanced team collaboration and project management tools, and connectors to popular third-party services for software development and testing, such as the GitHub (github.com) issue connector that connects customers’ answers with GitHub issues. Visitors landing on CloudTeams can browse ongoing projects, read project news in the project blog, and find running campaigns. They can investigate the numbers of followers and running campaigns of projects, whether the projects offers rewards for participation, and see the numbers of invitees and completed campaigns. In CloudTeams, we built upon related work by integrating best practices from software development and user participation, extended, integrated and adjusted key features from existing systems to our needs.

Fraunhofer FIT is the coordinator of the EU-funded CloudTeams project, led the development of the CloudTeams Collaboration Platform, and developed the team platform component for the software developer community. The team platform is an extension of FIT’s groupware system BSCW (www.bscw.de) which is in the market since more than 20 years. BSCW has been extended and newly designed to the CloudTeams requirements. This project has received funding from The European Union's Framework Programme for Research and Innovation - Horizon 2020, under Grant Agreement No: 644617. Action full title: 'Collaborative Software Development Framework based on Trusted, Secure Cloud-based Pool of Users'.