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Secure Systems Group Patrick Morrison September 7, 2006. Model Driven Architecture.

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Model Driven Architecture

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Secure systems group patrick morrison september 7 2006 l.jpg

Secure Systems Group

Patrick Morrison

September 7, 2006

Model Driven Architecture

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Model Driven Architecture - The OMG approach for specifying system as models separate from their implementations, for specifying implementation, and for transforming models into implementations. This is based on a set of standards for describing business and application logic in a machine-readable, technology-independent way. The standards include MOF, UML, OCL, QVT and XMI.

MDA Definition

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MDA Marketing

  • “These (MDA) specifications will lead the industry towards interoperable, reusable, portable software components and data models based on standard models.” - MDA Guide Version 1.01,

  • “Model-driven engineering technologies offer a promising approach to address the inability of third-generation languages to alleviate the complexity of platforms and express domain concepts effectively.” - Douglas C. Schmidt, in IEEE Computer, February 2006

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MDA: A specialization of MDE

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MDE Concepts

  • Models and Meta-Models

  • Domain Specific Languages

  • Transformations

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Models and Meta-Models

  • Models give a high-level, problem-oriented view , rather than a low-level, solution-oriented view of systems

  • Meta-Models are used to describe Models in a precise, machine-translatable way

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(Wikipedia) A programming language designed to be useful for a specific set of tasks. This is in contrast to general-purpose programming language (general-purpose language, GPL), for example Java or C#, or general-purpose modeling languages like UML. Examples of DSLs include spreadsheet macros, YACC for parsing and compilers, Csound, a language used to create audio files, and GraphViz, a language used to define directed graphs, and create a visual representation of that graph.

DSLs have also been called by various names:

Little languages

Macros (in reference to the macro feature found in many applications)

Application languages

Very high level languages

Domain Specific Language (DSL)

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MDA Definitions

  • MDA – Model-driven architecture, a platform for abstracting system details in a machine-readable format [1]

  • Models and Meta-models

    • CIM – Computation Independent Model

      • “Domain Model” – business-level view

    • PIM – Platform Independent Model

    • PSM – Platform Specific Model

  • UML-based (defined by MOF)

  • Machine-readable (XMI)

  • Documented standards

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MDA Definitions (2)

  • UML – Unified Modeling Language

  • OCL – Object Constrain Language

  • MOF – Meta Object Facility

  • XMI - XML Metadata Interchange

  • QVT – Query, View, Transformation

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MOF: A DSL for DSL's

  • MOF can be viewed as a domain language for describing language

  • OMG has used the MOF to define UML, a domain language for graphical modeling of systems

  • This gives UML a precise, machine-readable and translatable definition, for which tool support can be provided

  • The intent of MOF is to allow the precise definition of DSL's by its users

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The MDA (Meta-)Model Hierarchy

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From Models... to Models

  • Query, View, Transformation (QVT)

  • Takes a Model and a Mapping as inputs, produces a lower level model as output

  • Example: Given a CIM and a mapping to a PIM design model, a transformation produces a PIM design model for that CIM

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From Models to Artifacts (Code)

  • With sufficiently detailed PSMs and Platform models, it is possible to generate code and configuration files for environments such as J2EE and .NET

  • The OMG MDA specification doesn't have anything specific on this topic

  • Other MDE systems use a variety of technologies, usually called 'model compilers' or 'generators'

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XMI – XML Metadata Interchange

  • (Wikipedia) The XML Metadata Interchange (XMI) is an OMG standard for exchanging metadata information via Extensible Markup Language (XML). It can be used for any metadata whose metamodel can be expressed in Meta-Object Facility (MOF). The most common use of XMI is as an interchange format for UML models, although it can also be used for serialization of models of other languages (metamodels).

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[2] “MDA Guide 1.0.1”,

[3] “Meta Object Facility Specification”,

[5] “Model-Driven Engineering”, Douglas C. Schmidt, IEEE Computer, February 2006


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Useful Links

  • - site collecting links to MDE-related projects, people, books, papers, sites

  • - Podcasts on software engineering, including MDSD

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