A Language and Environment for Architecture-Based Software Development and Evolution

TitleA Language and Environment for Architecture-Based Software Development and Evolution
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsMedvidović, N., D. S. Rosenblum, and R. N. Taylor
Conference Name21st International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE '99)
Date PublishedMay 16-22
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Conference LocationLos Angeles, CA
Keywordsarchitecture description languages, software architecture, software architecture to implementation

Software architectures have the potential to substantially improve the development and evolution of large, complex, multi-lingual, multi-platform, long-running systems. However, in order to achieve this potential, specific techniques for architecture-based modeling, analysis, and evolution must be provided. Furthermore, one cannot fully benefit from such techniques unless support for mapping an architecture to an implementation also exists. This paper motivates and presents one such approach, which is an outgrowth of our experience with systems developed and evolved according to the C2 architectural style. We describe an architecture description language (ADL) specifically designed to support architecture based evolution and discuss the kinds of evolution the language supports. We then describe a component-based environment that enables modeling, analysis, and evolution of architectures expressed in the ADL, as well as mapping of architectural models to an implementation infrastructure. The architecture of the environment itself can be evolved easily to support multiple ADLs, kinds of analyses, architectural styles, and implementation platforms. Our approach is fully reflexive: the environment can be used to describe, analyze, evolve, and (partially) implement itself, using the very ADL it supports. An existing architecture is used throughout the paper to provide illustrations and examples.