Build resilient systems at scale
May 27–29, 2015 • Santa Clara, CA

Maintaining the biggest machine in the world with mobile applications

Lukasz Pater (CERN)
5:05pm–5:45pm Thursday, 05/28/2015
Location: Ballroom AB
Average rating: ***..
(3.67, 3 ratings)

Prerequisite Knowledge

Basic understanding of mobile development concepts


Despite its huge size, the Large Hadron Collider must operate with the precision of a Swiss watch. This wouldn’t be possible without a maintenance management system. Infor EAM is an off-the-shelf, web-based application used at CERN for the maintenance of the technical infrastructure.

Being an expert system dedicated to a particular purpose, it provides functionality and interfaces too complicated for many technicians working in the field, who require only a couple of functions. In order to perform a maximum of tasks in a short period of time, various mobile interfaces have been developed and supplied for particular user groups.

The nature of the laboratory’s activities implies sending teams to perform work and collect large quantities of data in places with no connectivity. Even though this collection is to be done offline, it must be absolutely consistent with the online dataset. The challenge is to make sure that all data collected is always coherent with the existing.

The security aspect of an application that can trigger maintenance actions in a matter of seconds, or where confidential (both technical and financial) data is displayed, is also an extremely important issue. Each mobile application has to conform to CERN security rules, which are strictly enforced.

The presentation shares our experience designing an adaptive architecture able to deliver applications with optimized user experience (as more and more user groups bring in their unique requirements) with a single development framework. It also focuses on the underlying technologies used (HTML5, jQuery (Mobile), web services, Java-based middleware, or native vs. cross platform development just to mention a few), and illustrates how they interact with each other.

Photo of Lukasz Pater

Lukasz Pater


Lukasz is a systems architect/developer with six years experience. He is in charge of the design and development of special solutions for CERN’s Asset Management System (dedicated interfaces, offline mobile apps, online lightweight interfaces, or customised authentication methods). Prior to CERN, Lukasz worked in Frankfurt at DeNIC in the design of ‘.de’ name servers. Lukasz holds a MSc degree in computer science from the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences.