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Nua as an R&D project

Here’s how the Heilmeier Catechism applies to the “Nua” project:

  1. What are you trying to do? Articulate your objectives using absolutely no jargon.
    Nua is aiming to create an open-source system that helps organizations manage their web applications from start to finish. This includes everything from the development and packaging of the applications, to their deployment, maintenance, and security.

  2. How is it done today, and what are the limits of current practice?
    Currently, organizations use a variety of different tools and systems to manage their web applications, which can be inefficient and expensive. These tools often do not communicate well with each other, leading to duplicated effort and potential errors. The maintenance and updating of these systems can also be a significant burden.

  3. What is new in your approach and why do you think it will be successful?
    Nua’s approach simplifies this process by providing a single, integrated system that covers the entire life cycle of a web application. It focuses on using established standards and technologies, making it easier for developers to use. Its design principles aim to reduce unnecessary complexity, improve security, and allow for future expansion. By meeting the specific needs of organizations and developers, and by leveraging the benefits of open-source software, Nua has the potential to be a valuable tool in the market.

  4. Who cares?
    - Small and medium-sized businesses, associations, public services, and any other organizations that use web applications could benefit from Nua. These organizations often lack the providers to manage their web applications effectively and could greatly benefit from a streamlined, integrated solution. This is particularly true for organizations looking to gain digital autonomy by prioritizing open-source software.
    - Developers and software developing organizations (SDOs). Nua will allow them to focus on their core business, rather than spending time and effort on managing their web applications.

  5. If you are successful, what difference will it make?
    If successful, Nua will significantly reduce the time, effort, and cost associated with managing web (i.e. modern client/server) applications. It will improve the quality and security of these applications and could enable more organizations to adopt and benefit from open-source software.

  6. What are the risks?
    Risks include:
    - The challenge of gaining adoption in a market that has already several competing approaches to similar problems.
    - Not being able to keep up with the rapid pace of technological change.
    - Failing to meet the diverse needs of different organizations and developers.

  7. How much will it cost?
    The initial budget for the project is ~€500,000, funded in part by Abilian and its customers, in part by a research grant from the French government, and in part by tax breaks. This funding will cover the development of the platform and its initial deployment within Abilian. Additional funding will be required, after the R&D bootstrap phase, for further development and deployment, as well as for marketing and promotion. The total cost of the project is difficult to estimate at this time, but could potentially reach €1,000,000 or more by 2028.

  8. How long will it take?
    The project has already been under development for two years. The timeline for full maturity and widespread adoption is uncertain, but could potentially take several more years, given the scope and complexity of the project. An initial “V1” (MVP) release is planned for 2023.

  9. What are the mid-term and final “exams” to check for success?
    Mid-term checks include successful deployment and use of Nua within Abilian and a handful of other organizations. Feedback from these early adopters will be crucial.
    The final “exam” will be widespread adoption and use of Nua by a wide range of organizations, with demonstrable benefits in terms of efficiency, security, and digital autonomy.