Perspectives is a new method to design and generate software for co-operation between people on a peer-to-peer network. It is fully scalable, private by design and ecologically sound.
Since the nineties the client-server model has dominated the internet. In the same period filesharing over peer-to-peer networks proved to be fast, reliable and fully scalable. But software on P2P networks has always remained a fringe phenomenon. The IT industry has never investigated it seriously.
Perspect IT has researched this area since 2015 and Perspectives is the result. It’s a system with excellent non-functionals (Confidentiality, Integrity, Availability). It is
- private by design (confidential); each user automatically keeps all necessary data – and nothing more – on his own devices;
- based on data with extremely high integrity
- arbitrarily available (because the end user can configure automatic backups on any number of trusted parties – including his friends and family)
- fully scalable (because of Bring Your Own Device);
- ecologically benign because no datacentra are needed (no servers): end user devices – active anyway – carry the entire process.
We have support in Sparx Systems’ Enterprise Architect ™. The Perspectives Diagram Language (PDL) uses only five symbols. The plug in incrementally generates prototype screens for end users so a model can be validated on that level.
Alternatively, the analyst can write a model in the Perspectives Specification Language (PSL, fully compatible with the diagram language). We have plugins for the Integrated Development Environments Atom and VsCode to check syntax and semantics and for smart autocompletion. A model runs on the Perspectives Distributed Runtime (PDR) with standard screens and is fully scalable. Using our proprietary React library, a programmer easily creates custom screens.
Perspectives bridges the gap between business and IT because the method uses just four concepts, known to each child from year four on: role, context, action and property. Perspectives draws on the source of psycho-social knowledge each human needs to function in a social context.
Perspect IT is the only party entitled to use the software on the B2B market, until it is published under an Open Source License. Commercially, the company will be built on three pillars:
- Consultancy by creating software scale models. A scale model is executable in Enterprise Architect™.
- Education (in-company or otherwise) of analysts, modellers and screen programmers.
- Strategic co-operation with one or more large IT partners (monetising exclusivity).
Exclusive access to Perspectives’ new technology can be a great strategic advantage for existing IT parties. The time has come for another model on the internet. The magic of the large Silicon Valley companies has given way to the same suspicion towards Big Tech that has fallen on Big Finance and Big Pharma. The public sees companies that have become shockingly rich while evading taxes, spying on civilians and exploiting Big Data Techniques to auction very personal insights into one’s private life all over the world. By now it is self-evident that the innovative disrupters from Silicon Valley perform their disruption here, at home, in our society! Millennials have left Facebook, WhatsApp is under fire and the distressing poverty and dependency that Amazon’s couriers live in, have been exposed in the media.
Until recently There Was No Alternative (TINA). Blockchain brought hope, but no solution. It is an ecological disaster (Bitcoin mining uses as much energy as the Republic of Ireland) and technically hardly more than database decentralisation and sharding with a cryptographic sauce.
Recently startups have received funding – mostly in the US – to work on alternatives. See for example Decentralisation: the next big step for the world wide web in The Guardian. Sir Tim Berners-Lee has put his reputation at stake by advocating a more decentralised web with Solid. Origin promises a protocol for a decentralised market and fetched $38 million in funding.
Currently, Perspect IT has a technological head start of several years.
Why would a business choose a distributed IT model? In other words, who will be Perspect IT’s customers? Actually, quite a few good reasons exist today.
- An organisation dealing directly with consumers or civilians can capitalise on showing commitment to tackle major social problems (goodwill).
- An organisation can save on hardware costs (bring your own device). Companies have massively outsourced their customer contacts with portals and webstores, to these same customers; now this trend can be continued by outsourcing part of the infrastructure, too.
- The Perspectives method is fast and prevents expensive modifications in later project stages.
- By tapping into an existing distributed infrastructure (see InPlace) a company offers its customers single sign on++
- Instead of having to re-enter personal data, the client shares previously entered data by accepting a role offered by the company.
- A client will experience this as superior service.
- The company saves on work and maintenance.
- Moreover, client data will be actual and of high quality.
- Privacy protection will be seen to be superior.
So a company can have excellent motives for moving part of its software onto a distributed infrastructure. Obviously, this does not hold for companies that base their business model on the monopoly that the client server model offers. But a business with a bona fide service that adds real value does not depend on client-server architecture. Put concisely: only when possessing and selling customer data is essential to make a profit, a company must stick to the client-server model.
InPlace is the Perspectives Distributed Runtime with a pleasant user interface, in combination with a repository for models to use at home and in public life. Users subscribe by paying € 3,- per month to have unlimited access to this repository. Community members can contribute models to the repository and receive a fair share of the subscription fees. This creates a peer-to-peer network that organisations can tap into. Website of InPlace.