Telecommunications Network Planning revisited, moving away from spreadsheet engineering with Eclipse Technologies
In this session we provide an overview of how Eclipse technologies were applied in an Enterprise application for the Telecommunications industry. A broad set of technologies from Eclipse and other open source communities like Apache have been carefully integrated together to create an advanced automated system and allow rich user interaction.
The Dutch Mobile Internet market has one of the highest Smartphone uptakes in the world. To cope with the strong growth, the mobile operator who introduced the IPhone in Hoilland needed a solution to have full control and visibility of required infrastructure investments. A broad set of requirements was demanded ranging from the ability to aggregate live actual data from the network components as well as to perform calculations to aggregate data and be able to answer common engineering questions like, what is the current utilization status, what is the trend and how does it relate to uptake forecast. When do we need to add capacity and where do we need to do so.
Specialized in this topic, NetXForge thought hard, on what the implementation should look like. One option was to build using off-shelf components like a DWH with ETL components, and a BI system including Reporting functions.
The alternative was to build own components using Eclipse technologies like RCP, EMF, CDO, Xtext, GEF and Data Binding. The advantage here, would be to have control of all aspects, and be able to release the product as Open Source. The latter was chosen and the challenge ahead to make it happen.
After more than one year of development, the first release of the solution is now in production with the customer in The Netherlands. At night statistics are gathered, and loaded in the CDO Repository. Scheduled jobs are executed to perform calculations. The results are written back to the CDO Repo, and a Rich Client application is available to navigate the data. The NetXScript calculations can be entered using embedded Xtext components which interact with the CDO Repo. Data is represented in other formats like graphical form using GEF, SWTChart and exported to spreadsheet or other formats.
In this session we will outline the problem at hand, the technology choices which were made. We will discuss the pro's and con's of the solution, and discuss the way forward for this enterprise application which leverages, so many technologies.
Summary of practical or innovative use of Eclipse technologies:
- Integration of Eclipse form technology, in a custom build UI Handling component.
- Integration of EMF generated UI components in a broader application.
- Integration of JFace databinding and CDO.
- Integration of xText scoping leveraging a CDO backend including invalidations.
- Integration of Quartz Scheduler, working with CDO Enabled jobs.
The NetXStudio product is available in an Open Source SCM repo. Currently NetXForge is preparing all required infrastructure to deploy the product with more customers.