Successful with Open Source Software

Successful with Open Source Software

Implementing customised software solutions quickly, securely and cost-effectively through the use of open source software was the topic of the presentation by Dr Thomas Freudenmann (Co-CEO) and Heinrich Blatt (CTO) of EDI GmbH at this year's StackConf, the Open Source Infrastructure Conference, which took place in Berlin from 19 - 20 July 2022.

EDI GmbH excels in process monitoring, control and optimisation through artificial intelligence (AI) with EDGE and cloud-based infrastructures as a platform ecosystem. The use of open source software plays a central role in this. The various parts of our EDI hive IoT framework, which we use to develop artificial intelligence-based custom applications, are implemented using the Python framework Django, Ruby on Rails and Node JS. They are orchestrated using Kubernetes, the platform for automated deployment, management and scaling of container-based applications. Additionally, Streampipes is used to connect, semantically capture and analyse IoT data streams. 

The biggest advantage of open source software is that it avoids a so-called vendor lock-in: The dependence on a manufacturer who, as a commercial company, has the sole power to influence the software used. In contrast, open source software with open and specified interfaces offers decisive advantages: flexibility, transparency and freedom. The required software components are available free of charge for use and further development. The previous development and the planned further developments are open and transparently traceable. Thus, in the sense of platform economy, other service providers can supplement their solutions and maintain services that have already been implemented and add any missing functionality. This is an important aspect to secure investments and to guarantee compatibility and further development of an individual software solution in the future. 

EDI GmbH acts according to this paradigm. As an example of this, Dr Thomas Freudenmann and Heinrich Blatt presented the well-being barometer at StackConf, a solution for seniors who live alone or in an assisted living facility and who still manage their daily lives independently. The well-being barometer detects the current well-being of seniors. Caregivers and relatives are informed immediately of any changes. In this way, accidents are prevented and the seniors feel well looked after at all times. The senior's movement pattern, which is recorded by a sensor, is transmitted securely and scalably via streampipes, among other things. Changes in behaviour are transmitted in aggregated form and displayed clearly and intuitively in a dashboard for the caregivers or relatives. 

From the project, which aims to develop smart product service systems for SMEs for various applications, the use case of the company Unicorn Energy was presented. EDI GmbH was able to realise a first implementation for a customised software solution quickly and cost-efficiently by using open source standard modules. This turned Unicorn's innovative modular battery storage systems into a smart Product Service System (sPSS) in just a few days. The EDI software solution enables the automated creation of a digital twin of the battery storage systems. Through the use of additional services, a guarantee can be given for a defined energy supply over the entire service life of the individual battery modules.

At StackConf it became clear: EDI GmbH is not only well positioned through the use of open software, but also through the corresponding mind-set that goes hand in hand with it. At EDI GmbH, for example, there are no separate silos in which developers, administrators and other experts, such as DevOps engineers, work side by side. The EDI-SCRUM 2.0 process developed by EDI, which we use in our daily work, enables us to flexibly exchange experts between interdisciplinary teams. This allows us to react quickly to new requirements and changes at the customer and their users. Without the usual friction loss in classic silos, which often costs a lot of time, we are able to make new functionalities available quickly. From the first development, through testing, to updates during operation, a robust and efficient use of the digital product is guaranteed at all times. 

EDI is thus a good example of a lived product mind-set: every employee and every team is focused as much as possible on the customer problem to be solved.

One example of EDI's particular mind-set is GitOps, which we use as a variant of "infrastructure as a code". It clearly shows how we use open source software for the development and deployment of cloud-native applications as customised digital products in our daily work. In GitOps, Git, an open source system for software version control, is used as a "single source of truth" for infrastructures and applications. The entire configuration of the instances is stored as declerative code (yaml). Changes are thus only made in the Git repository and then rolled out by a GitOps tool (e.g. ArgoCD). This contrasts with the traditional administration-driven approach, where administrators use their tools to manage instances in a decentralised way and (semi-)manually make changes on each instance.

Tested updates of software components can thus be provided automatically. GitOps ensures that testing and production instances have absolutely the same configuration status. This enables traceable development, good scalability over a large number of instances and a secure rollout procedure that excludes manual errors.

True to the motto trust is good, control is better, our Icinga2-based monitoring reports 24/7 via the messenger Telegram whether our provided services are online. Our checks continuously monitor the availability and functionality of various areas of our system. An automatic browser check also monitors whether everything looks as it should for the user. The entire monitoring guarantees high availability and the secure use of our customised software solutions.

Benefit from optimising your processes together with us through the use of artificial intelligence in combination with open source software in a cost-efficient, effective and fast way. We follow a very result-oriented approach. The focus is always on a quick return on investment, which can be guaranteed above all by the robust operation of the implemented solution. If we have aroused your interest, simply get in touch with us. We look forward to hearing from you!


Interested? Do not hesitate to contact us. Let's take the next step together!

Your contact person:
Kerstin Kauselmann de Suárez

Tel.: +49 721 79199 155

Kerstin Kauselmann