FAQ

Our FAQ provides answers to the most frequently raised questions about Faktor-IPS. You can find more helpful information at Documentation and also at our Support pages.

What does Faktor-IPS stand for?

Insurance Product System by Faktor Zehn.

What is Faktor-IPS?

Faktor-IPS is an MDSD tool for modeling business models (domain models) of insurance-related applications. Particular support is given to modeling products. Specific products can be configured based on the model. The underlying philosophy of Faktor-IPS is simple: while software architects and engineers handle the object-oriented modeling and programming, the business departments can focus on maintaining product information. No programming is necessary for defining products in the context of a model. Apart from the pure product data, specific product aspects can also be defined in a formula language similar to Excel.

Faktor-IPS is based on Eclipse and just like other MDSD solutions it consists of the following components:
• Modeling tools
Modeling is done directly in Eclipse with the respective editors.
• Generators
The generation of the source code is also integrated in Eclipse.
• Runtime
The runtime provides access to the product information and is available in the form of a library. This library is based exclusively on the JRE. There are no other dependencies. The runtime can thus be provided on any platform on which Java is available.

In addition, Faktor-IPS offers the following components:
• Product definition tools
The definition of products is done in Eclipse with the respective editors. Wizards and views are also available, e.g. to copy products or browse the product structure. A table editor helps to maintain product information in tabular form. The product definition tool can be either used as a feature in a “regular” Eclipse installation or installed as a separate application.
• Test tools for defining and executing business test cases

For which lines of business can you use Faktor-IPS?

Faktor-IPS can be used for all lines of business. It is already in productive use for P&C, auto, and health insurance.

Can other industries also use Faktor-IPS?

In general, it is possible to use Faktor-IPS in other industries. It makes most sense for industries that use products or services similar to insurance products, as for instance is the case in banking.

What are the differences between Faktor-IPS and a UML tool?

UML tools model all kinds of software systems and different aspects of the software. In general, they are characterized by excellent graphical support of modeling. Faktor-IPS, an MDSD tool, enables modeling business models (domain models) and also maintaining product information. In contrast to UML tools, Faktor-IPS offers the following components:
• Ready-made source-code generators
• Runtime for accessing product information
• Product definition tools
• Test tools

Do you plan on including a graphical model editor in Faktor-IPS?

No graphical modeling of its own is yet being planned. However, an integration with the Eclipse UML2 tools is provided, which allows you to generate diagrams. Modeling business functions is the only exception here. The main focus of modeling business functions lies on visualizing the process so that the business department understands how it works. To this end, we use a simplified form of UML activity diagrams.

What are the differences between Faktor-IPS and openArchitecureWare?

openArchitectureWare is a generator-framework. Specific MDSD solutions can be developed based on openArchitectureWare. Faktor-IPS is a specific solution for model-driven software development in the insurance industry. Among its features are a tool for product definition and a test tool.

On which platforms can you use the runtime or the generated code?

On all platforms on which JVM 1.6 or higher is available. Apart from Windows and Linux, this is especially the case for z/OS. The runtime is already in productive use on all of these platforms.

On which platforms is the development environment or rather the product definition environment available?

On all platforms on which Eclipse is available. Up to now, it is in productive use under Windows and Linux.

Is it possible to modify or exchange the code generators of Faktor-IPS?

Yes, it is. An own ArtefactBuilderSet can be assigned to any Faktor-IPS project. The assignment is done in the „.ipsproject“ file. An ArtefactBuilderSet is a set of builders (generators) for generating artefacts such as source code or XML files. Faktor-IPS defines an extension point for ArtefactBuilderSet. New ArtefactBuilderSets can be made available as a separate plugin via extension. This is also how Faktor-IPS works internally. The standard generators are realized as separate plugin and registered as an extension.

Does Faktor-IPS use templates for generating code?

Yes and no. After experimenting for a long time with various template-based generators, we reimplemented parts of the Faktor-IPS code generator to XPand templates in version 3.8. The other part of the code generator still uses our present framework.

Does Faktor-IPS support any other programming languages besides Java?

Currently, Faktor-IPS exclusively supports Java. The standard code generators generate Java source code and the runtime is available in Java. In principle it is no problem to write generators for other programming languages that work with a corresponding runtime. One project is already making use of this possibility and generating C code.

Questions on the License

Why AGPL?

The AGPL is an established open-source license, which enjoys very wide acceptance and is recognized around the world.

Is it allowed to license one’s own extensions to Faktor-IPS under one’s own terms of agreements?

Yes, Faktor Zehn GmbH approves the licensing of your extensions under your own terms of agreements.

Is the generated code or rather content also subject to the AGPL?

No, the generated code or content constitutes an output as defined by the AGPL and may be used and licensed independent of the AGPL.

When is Faktor-IPS available under the AGPL?

Faktor-IPS is available under the AGPL starting with release 3.11.

How much is the licensing fee?

There is no licensing fee for using Faktor-IPS.

Can licensees carry out the maintenance of Faktor-IPS themselves?

No problem at all, the Faktor-IPS source code is included in the download. Faktor Zehn also offers training workshops to help familiarize your employees with Faktor-IPS.

Can other IT service providers participate in developing Faktor-IPS?

The responsibility for the further development of Faktor-IPS lies with Faktor Zehn. Other IT service providers can become involved in the development of Faktor-IPS. A prerequisite for the involvement is that the developers work according to the processes and quality standards established by Faktor Zehn.

What are the advantages of using open-source applications?

  • Cost advantages: initial development for free, further development and maintenance based on cost-sharing
  • Open source code creates transparency—which ensures quality
  • No long-term commitment/dependencies of companies to a provider
  • Custom developments can be done at any time