This page includes several publications related to xADL and its associated tools.
An Infrastructure for the Rapid Development of XML-based Architecture Description Languages
Research and experimentation in software architectures over the past decade have yielded a plethora of software architecture description languages (ADLs). Continuing innovation indicates that it is reasonable to expect more new ADLs, or at least ADL features. This research process is impeded by the difficulty and cost associated with developing new notations. An architect in need of a unique set of modeling features must either develop a new architecture description language from scratch or undertake the daunting task of modifying an existing language. In either case, it is unavoidable that a significant effort will be expended in building or adapting tools to support the language. To remedy this situation, we have developed an infrastructure for the rapid development of new architecture description languages. Key aspects of the infrastructure are its XML-based modular extension mechanism, its base set of reusable and customizable architectural modeling constructs, and its equally important set of flexible support tools. This paper introduces the infrastructure and demonstrates its value in the context of several real-world applications.
A Highly-Extensible, XML-Based Architecture Description Language
Eric M. Dashofy, André van der Hoek, and Richard N. Taylor
In Proceedings of the Working IEEE/IFIP Conference on Software Architectures (WICSA 2001), Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Software architecture research focuses on models of software architectures as specified in architecture description languages (ADLs). As research progresses in specific areas of software architectures, more and more architectural information is created. Ideally, this information can be stored in the model. An extensible modeling language is crucial to experimenting with and building tools for novel modeling constructs that arise from evolving research. Traditional ADLs typically support a small set of modeling constructs very well, but adapt to others poorly. XML provides an ideal platform upon which to develop an extensible modeling language for software architectures. Previous XML-based ADLs successfully leveraged XML’s large base of off-the-shelf tool support, but did not take advantage of its extensibility. To give software architecture researchers more freedom to explore new possibilities and modeling techniques while maximizing reuse of tools and modeling constructs, we have developed xADL, a highly extensible XML-based ADL. xADL supports run-time and design time modeling, architecture configuration management, and model-based system instantiation. Additionally, xADL has a set of extensible infrastructure tools that support the creation, manipulation, and sharing of xADL documents.
Issues in Generating Data Bindings for an XML Schema-Based Language
Eric M. Dashofy
In Proceedings of the Workshop on XML Technologies and Software Engineering (XSE2001), Toronto, ONT, Canada.
XML’s meta-language aspect and extensive tool support make it an attractive way to build modularly extensible modeling languages. XML’s original meta-language, the document type definition (DTD), is being replaced by the more expressive XML schema. Developing programmatic tools to manipulate models specified in XML schemas is made easier though the use of data bindings. Data bindings model elements and attributes in XML schemas as objects in an object-oriented programming language. We have developed an XML-schema aware generator for Java data bindings called 'apigen'. While developing apigen, we encountered and worked through several issues, both essential and accidental, related to generating XML schema data bindings. These issues, and the solutions we developed, are described in this paper.
Representing Product Family Architectures in an Extensible Architecture Description Language
Eric M. Dashofy and André van der Hoek
In Proceedings of the International Workshop on Product Family Engineering (PFE-4), Bilbao, Spain, October 2001.
Product family architectures need to be captured much like "regular" software architectures. Unfortunately, representations for product family architectures are scarce and a deep understanding of all of the necessary features of such representations is still lacking. In this paper, we introduce an extensible XML-based representation that is suitable as a basis for rapidly defining new representations for product family architectures. We describe some of the details of this representation and present how Koala and Mae, two early representations for product family architectures, can be mapped onto our XML-based representation with relatively little effort.
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