Developing backend application in big data environment

OData support
Dr. Lengyel László
Department of Automation and Applied Informatics

One of the notable tendencies in our rapidly developing world is information technology gaining ground in new (often unexpected) areas. A great example of this is the case of smart cities. Smart cities utilize Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to improve liveability, make themselves more environmentally friendly, or reduce the costs of operation. Smart city solutions are still considered young today, but recent economical processes and environmental issues such as the global climate change have generated more interest than ever in the possibilities offered by this concept, and this is why more energy and resources need to be put into research in this area.

This thesis is the documentation of the planning, development, operation and improvement of a server application that is part of project SOLSUN, a European Union project which fits into the smart city concept. Its aim is to prove and present that a smart city infrastructure can be developed and maintained in a cost-effective way.

The development of the backend application began during my summer internship, and continues now as this thesis. In the current state of the project, city sensors and sensor data are provided by foreign partners. The data is retrieved by the server from a REST (Representational state transfer) online source, and then made available to the client applications either aggregated or as it is. A considerable emphasis is put on the integration of the server into the application structure, because it needs to constantly align itself with the scheme of the retrieved data (which may change often), and has to ensure unified, reliable access for the client applications that run on different platforms. This requires the use of general, standardized methods and easily interpretable documentation. The programming language of the backend is Javascript, which is the prominent script language of the web world, and thus provides easy integration into the web environment, but this language is traditionally used on the client (browser) side. Special support is needed for its server side deployment, and that is the Node.js runtime environment, built on the Google V8 JavaScript engine.


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