Portolan: an Eclipse model-based solution for tool cartography
Hugo Bruneliere (INRIA (Institute national de recherche en informatique et en automatique))
Organizations use a large number of software tools in their daily practices. Most of the time, these tools cover multiple inter-connected domains and offer related features. Therefore, analysis of the interoperability and complementarities among these tools is a key element when aligning the efforts in a given project or more generally a company, for instance between its different divisions.
A classical example is the Business-IT alignment problem, in which both business and IT people must cooperate to implement software systems that fulfill the business processes and rules of the organization (e.g. this may imply to be able to connect BPMN and UML tools).
This knowledge is also fundamental when deciding the tool chain to perform a given software engineering activity. The detailed knowledge of the "metadata" of each tool and its relationships with other tools can help in identifying, then evaluating and finally choosing the right tool combination. Tool Cartography is the process of collecting this metadata, building the corresponding "maps" to represent the relationship between the tools, and providing features to handle, analyze and visualize these "maps".
Model-Driven Engineering (MDE) is based on simple core principles and techniques which are highly generic, but also extensible and customizable for dedicated reuses. Thus Eclipse Modeling, with its set of corresponding base MDE technologies (metamodeling with EMF, model discovery with MoDisco, model transformation with ATL, etc), provides an adequate support for designing and implementing such Tool Cartography solutions.
In this sense, we started developing the Portolan tool. This prototype is a concrete illustration of both a model-based and model-driven Tool Cartography solution, implemented using the above-mentioned Eclipse technologies. Thus, the purpose of Portolan is to allow:
- discovering (semi-automatically) maps of given situations in terms of deployed tools and relationships between them;
- easily navigating and editing these maps;
- augmenting or specializing them with both manually-entered and computed information;
- visualizing them, using different customizable ways, in order to facilitate their understanding.
The poster is about introducing this newly developed prototype in terms of overall architecture, provided features and potential applications.
Please, go to the Portolan page to download a PDF version of the poster as well as a bundle of the prototype!
Hugo Bruneliere is an R&D engineer working in the field of Model-Driven Engineering (MDE) since 2006 for the AtlanMod Team (INRIA & EMN), located in Nantes (west of France). His work is focused on the concrete use of Model-Driven Engineering (MDE) for model discovery (Model-Driven Reverse Engineering or MDRE), on global model management (or GMM) and on general tool interoperability (using model transformation technologies such as M2M-ATL). He is the co-leader of the MDT-MoDisco project. He is also an active Eclipse committer on the Eclipse Modeling-GMT project, by leading the AM3 (AtlanMod Megamodel Management) sub-project.