View-based model-driven software development with ModelJoin

Erik Burger, Jörg Henss, Martin Küster, Steffen Kruse, Lucia Happe
Software & Systems Modeling
Fragmentation of information across instances of different metamodels poses a significant problem for software developers and leads to a major increase in effort of transformation development. Moreover, compositions of metamodels tend to be incomplete, imprecise, and erroneous, making it impossible to present it to users or use it directly as input for applications. Customized views satisfy information needs by focusing on a particular concern, and filtering out information that is not relevant to this concern. For a broad establishment of view-based approaches, an automated solution to deal with separate metamodels and the high complexity of model transformations is necessary. In this paper, we present the ModelJoin approach for the rapid creation of views. Using a human-readable textual DSL, developers can define custom views declaratively without having to write model transformations or define a bridging metamodel. Instead, a metamodel generator and higher-order transformations create annotated target metamodels and the appropriate transformations on-the-fly. The resulting views, which are based on these metamodels, contain joined instances and can effectively express concerns unforseen during metamodel design. We have applied the ModelJoin approach and validated the textual DSL in a case study using the Palladio Component Model.