MECASP is a development environment oriented towards maintenance, adaptation and follow-up of applications upgrades, aiming by means of the appropriate tools to reduce corresponding work loads. It enables these composite applications to be diffused more easily in ASP mode. Based on an open metamodel and using new technologies (XML), the project creates a universal development framework for the integration of existing and future tools and applications. It adds original automated merging tools when the components are upgraded in multiple directions. MECASP addresses professional developers and end users, whom it offers the possibility of creating new services intended for small and medium-sized groups (professional services, groupware and personal applications) and of obtaining productivity gains for different purposes: costs, diffusion, reactivity, access.
The main objectives of MECASP are as follows:
a) to supply a tool integration environment oriented towards the adaptation of applications,
b) to make that environment universal and open,
c) to provide benefits of specific developments to each user,
d) to promote the development of rented applications (in ASP mode),
e) to enable the development of applications and services for small groups of users,
f) to promote large-scale personalisation,
g) to facilitate the management of upgrades and adaptation of applications and to automate merger tasks,
h) to facilitate the deployment of applications (installation and configuration),
i) to achieve productivity gains (costs, deadlines and functionalities) on adaptations of applications,
j) to free the suppliers of applications from "specific" management constraints.
MECASP is an open and extensible environment dedicated to the adaptation of applications. MECASP is based on an explicit conceptual representation in the form of a meta-model and models. The meta-model contains a description of the concepts of the application, of the different components of the applications, of the tools enabling the applications to be modified and generated, of configuration and installation activities, of scripts. It plays a central role in MECASP, of which it is the memory. The models describe the applications themselves and are accessed by means of the descriptions and rules set up in the meta-model.
The MECASP platform is broken down into 3 different layers: a) a navigation layer, equipped with an advanced graphic user interface, b) a tool comprising an existing configuration manager and a suite of editors, compilers and automated merging managers (5 tools will be integrated or created for the project: GUI editor, data structure editor, GUI merging, data merging and installation), c) a development repository (implementation of the meta-model and the models).
The software adaptation activity may assume very varied aspects, which MECASP encompasses: a) personalisation of the user interface, b) modification of the structure of the data: for example, adding or eliminating fields in a table and the attached forms, c) development of complementary or new functions and/or which are specific to a particular need, d) integration of software offering a given function with another software package offering a complementary function, e) in the ASP context, putting on line numerous minor variations under a standard software with a view of freeing the operator as much as possible from the management of these multiple variations.
MECASP produces an integrated solution in the form of a demonstrator by means of: a) selection of tools, b) creation of the metamodel and applications models, c) a preliminary test of the metamodel with simple and relevant applications, d) validation in a heterogeneous environment, e) creation of a graphic tool for representation and navigation, f) tools adapted to editing, merging and installation operations, g) integration and testing of the entire system, h) dissemination and promotion of the results.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
06250 Mougins / Sophia Antipolis