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Quality Controlled Component-based Software development


Before Component Based Development will be accepted widely, the quality of the components needs to be guaranteed. Within QCCS we will develop a methodology and supporting tools that can guarantee that a component will perform as specified. Using the methodology will result in formal contracts for the components. Each contract refers to various quality aspects, related to syntax, behaviour, synchronisation, and performance. In the methodology we will use the Aspect Oriented Programming approach to specify each quality aspect separately. Specially designed Aspect Weavers will then weave these partial implementations together, such that the resulting integrated system fulfils a certain contract. We will test this methodology on two case studies and disseminate the results widely. We will actively take part in relevant de-facto standardisation bodies. We foresee to start a joint venture to exploit the results.

Contracts for software components are a novel way of guaranteeing their quality. It is a difficult task to design components that comply with contracts, because different problem dimensions or quality aspects have to be addressed at the same time. To overcome this, the QCCS project will develop a methodology and supporting tools for the development of components that is based on Aspect Oriented Programming. This implies that partial implementations will be developed, each addressing one single quality aspect of the component. These will be woven together by especially designed aspect weavers to a complete component, complying a certain contract. This new approach will be tested and evaluated on two real applications. The results will be disseminated widely, for instance by contributing to relevant de-facto standards. A final objective is to start the commercial exploitation of the results.

Work description:
The QCCS project is divided into six workpackages. Workpackage 1 is dedicated to the management of the project. Workpackage 2 is related to acquiring the user needs. Here we will study the current way of developing components, and improvements the software engineering community requires. The two case studies will be described in detail, and the contracts that are necessary for the components of the case studies will describe informally. In Workpackage 3 the QCCS methodology will be developed. This will start with an analysis of existing Software Analysis and Design methods and component models. The most appropriate ones for QCCS will be selected, and they will be adapted to the Aspect Oriented Paradigm for the chosen target component model. We will use the Unified Modelling Language (UML) as the notation for our QCCS methodology, which means that we will express the contracts in UML. In Workpackage 4, the results of WP3 will be transformed into software prototypes for a development framework and supporting tools. For instance, the Aspect Weavers that are necessary to comply to the standard contracts will be implemented. In Workpackage 5 the methodology as well as the software prototypes are applied and evaluated on two case studies of our users. Workpackage 6 is dedicated to dissemination, standardization and exploitation activities.

At Month 7, the User Requirements will be known. A first complete version of the QCCS methodology will be ready in Month 18. In Month 24, a preliminary (complete) environment, which supports the QCCS methodology, will be ready. The final version of the QCCS system in Month 27, and its evaluation will be ready in Month 30. The exploitation plan will also be ready in Month 30.

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