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Model Driven Architectures for Telecommunication System Development and Operation


The result is the Prototype of the MDA toolset – and its extension the Prototype Integration with EMF (Eclipse Modelling Framework). Both tool vendors, Interactive Objects with ArcStyler and Softeam with Objecteering/ UML, have provided MODA-TEL use case developers with modified tools in order to cover the features required by the MDA approach being experimented in these use cases. This result represents the work done on these tools in the MODA-TEL context, which resulted in additional features of the existing tools of both tool vendors. Experimental work was carried out in MODA-TEL on a common Java API between ArcStyler and Objecteering/UML. The improvements on the MDA tool ArcStyler that were accomplished in the scope of the MODA-TEL project include: - Integration of a model transformation engine (AIM/QVT) into ArcStyler 4 - Tool repository integration with Objecteering (JONI/EMF). The enhancements and modifications of Objecteering/UML that have been made in the MODA-TEL context are: - The MDA Tool Suite composed of a UML Modeler tool and an MDA Modeller tool. The MDA Modeller can be used to develop MDA components that can be later deployed in the Objecteering/UML Modeller to increase/modify its functionalities and modelling capacities. - An open Java API based on EMF that has been developed to establish interoperability between Arc Styler and Objecteering/UML at the repository level.
This result represents the PIM and PSM mapping for the three use cases that have been prototypically implemented in the MODA-TEL project, namely: - Voice applications based on VoiceXML, which aims at defining voice based telecom services in a platform independent model and provide the transformation to a platform dependent model based on the existing infrastructures at France Telecom and Telenor. - A Quality of Service (QoS) aware video service, which aims at combining model driven development with aspect oriented modelling in order to augment an existing video service at T-Systems, with additional quality of service support. - A Customer and service management use case based on the implementation of the specification of the Telecommunication Service Access and Subscription (TSAS) specification. This result includes the applied steps, of an overall methodology being developed in MODA-TEL. These steps include the: - Definition of a suitable meta model for the specific use case domain - Definition a concrete notation for the PIM modelling - Platform description defining the platform dependent meta-data - Definition of a notation for platform specific models - Definition of the overall transformation process - Definition of PIM to PSM mapping rules - Development of the code generator For each of the use case this result covers specific requirements of the use cases and the concepts and methods adequate for implementing them. As a next step for each use case the platform independent model (PIM) is specified and covers the used meta-models, the notations and other methods relevant to the PIM development. After the PIM development step and in order to derive the platform dependent model (PSM) the platform descriptions, meta-data and notations for the specification of the PSM are specified. As a final step in the MDA trajectory the transformation rules are specified, including the mapping rules for the PIM to PSM transformations and the code generation. A significant part of the result id knowledge about model transformation techniques. Model transformation is a development pattern explored extensively in MDA. A model transformation is the generation of one model from another model. More concretely transformations are performed at the level of the model elements of the source models and their corresponding model elements of the target model. For example in the context of telecoms design and specification languages (such as the ITU-T family of languages) provided that transformation rules are defined, these languages can be used in the context of MDA.
The Software Process Engineering Metamodel (SPEM) as defined by the OMG defines a meta-model to allow the representation (modelling) of all known software development processes in a common meta-model. Because any software development processes is not fixed ? they all allow variants and tailoring of the more general processes to specific enterprise oriented processes ? this meta-model allows the modelling of those specific variants of the software development processes. MODA-TEL has developed a methodology, which can be applied in MDA-based development, and has used SPEM for its definition. According to SPEM a software development process can be defined as collaboration between abstract and active entities called process roles that perform operations called activities on concrete, tangible entities called work products. Process roles can interact or collaborate by exchanging work products and triggering the execution, or enactment, of certain activities. The overall goal of a process is to bring a set of work products to a well-defined state. Using the SPEM terminology the MODA-TEL methodology identifies phases, each of which consists of activities. The following activities are identified by the MOA-TEL methodology: 1. Project management: aims at organising and monitoring the project; 2. Preliminary preparation: aims at identifying modelling and transformation needs; 3. Detailed preparation: aims at obtaining the modelling and transformation specifications; 4. Infrastructure set-up: aims at making tool support and metadata management facilities ready to use; 5. Project execution: aims at producing the necessary software artefacts and the final products. The project management phase includes the activities: (a) Software Development Process (SDP) selection, (b) Project organisation (identification of roles), and (c) Quality management. The preliminary preparation phase includes the activities: (a) Platform identification, (b) Modelling language identification, (c) Transformations identification, and (d) Traceability strategy definition. The detailed preparation phase includes the activities: (a) Specification of modelling languages, and (b) Specification of transformations. The infrastructure set-up phase includes the activities: (a) Tool selection, and (b) Metadata management. Finally the execution phase includes the activities: (a) Requirements analysis, (b) Modelling, (c) Verification/Validation, (d) Transformations, (e) Coding/Testing, (f) Integration/Deployment, and (g) Operation/Maintenance. An important qualifier for the specific application of the methodology is the type of project that should apply the methodology. The following classification of project types have been identified by MODA-TEL: 1. Engineering: Building an application from scratch, possibly using available components. 2. Integration: Integrating two or more applications. These applications may or may not have been developed according to the MDA principles. 3. Reverse-engineering: An available application that has not been developed according to the MDA principles needs to be reverse-engineered for some reason. It implies that there exist no platform-independent models of the application, and possibly also no usable documentation. 4. Re-engineering project: Modifying an application without changing the target platform. These modifications can range from modifications of the structure of the application to modifications in the details of the application functions. 5. Migration: Porting an application from its current platform to a new one.