Model Driven Language Engineering.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, Computing Laboratory.
(Full text available)
Modeling is a most important exercise in software engineering and development and one of the current practices is object-oriented (OO) modeling. The Object Management Group (OMG) has defined a standard object-oriented modeling language the Unified Modeling Language (UML). The OMG is not only interested in modeling languages; its primary aim is to enable easy integration of software systems and components using vendor-neutral technologies. This thesis investigates the possibilities for designing and implementing modeling frameworks and transformation languages that operate on models and to explore the validation of source and target models. Specifically, we will focus on OO models used in OMG's Model Driven Architecture (MDA), which can be expressed in terms of UML terms (e.g. classes and associations). The thesis presents the Kent Modeling Framework (KMF), a modeling framework that we developed, and describes how this framework can be used to generate a modeling tool from a model. It then proceeds to describe the customization of the generated code, in particular the definition of methods that allows a rapid and repeatable instantiation of a model. Model validation should include not only checking the well-formedness using OCL constraints, but also the evaluation of model quality. Software metrics are useful means for evaluating the quality of both software development processes and software products. As models are used to drive the entire software development process it is unlikely that high quality software will be obtained using low quality models. The thesis presents a methodology supported by KMF that uses the UML specification to compute the design metrics at an early stage of software development. The thesis presents a transformation language called YATL (Yet Another Transformation Language), which was designed and implemented to support the features provided by OMG's Request For Proposal and the future QVT standard. YATL is a hybrid language (a mix of declarative and imperative constructions) designed to answer the Query/Views/Transformations Request For Proposals issued by OMG and to express model transformations as required by the Model Driven Architecture (MDA) approach. Several examples of model transformations, which have been implemented using YATL and the support provided by KMF, are presented. These experiments investigate different knowledge areas as programming languages, visual diagrams and distributed systems. YATL was used to implement the following transformations: * UML to Java mapping * Spider diagrams to OCL mapping * EDOC to Web Services
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