Engineering Long-lived Applications using MDA

T. Seifert, G. Beneken, and N. Baehr (Germany)


Software Development; Software Maintenance; ModelDriven Architecture


Creating long-lived software systems requires a technol ogy to build systems with good maintainability. One of the core ideas of the Model Driven Architecture (MDA) is to ease the change of the run-time platform by raising the level of abstraction in which just the business aspects are modelled, and by separating business aspects from techni cal issues and implementation details. This article anal yses the MDA approach with respect to maintainability. We argue that MDA systems will become even harder to maintain because the maintainability depends on the sys tem's (development) environment. MDA, UML and other base technologies are still under development, therefore the tools will change considerably. While the MDA possibly eases the change of the run-time platform, we show that it is quite difficult to exchange a link in the development tool chain. Our argumentation is based on the general proper ties of software evolution and the dependency chains in the development and run-time environments. It is backed by experiences with MDA development as well as by analo gies to general maintenance experiences.

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