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- Model Driven Architecture (MDA) (http://forums.objectsbydesign.com/forumdisplay.php?forumid=21)
-- practical experiences with MDA (http://forums.objectsbydesign.com/showthread.php?threadid=1185)
practical experiences with MDA
Iíd like to get into model-driven application development and MDA, since the first time I visited a course at the university and they said that MDA could be (or already is) "the next big thing". But MDA also seems to be a technology that is either loved or hated.
My question/interests is to get more informationís about practical experiences with this technology in the real life of a software developer.
I would like to have a discussion about your experiences using MDA. Is there anybody who has used MDA in a project and if, which tools did you used? Was it positive or negative to use MDA compared to "non-MDA" projects?
Well, I don't have any practical experience from projects using MDA (not yet anyway, will be starting such a project next week) but I do know some stuff about MDA. I am personally convinced that MDA is the right way to go. If not for the masses, then at least for me. It makes logical sense to me and I also feel attracted to such projects and environments where MDA, in my opinion, can and should be applied. But I wouldn't say that it goes everywhere at anytime. So for me, it is the next big thing but if it's going to be the next big thing for the masses, well, we just have to wait and see. MDA is still in it's startup phase and I think it will take some years before the concept really gets rooted and have some major impact. Parts of the specification are also still in progress, specifically the transformation definition (i.e. how to define transformation from one model to another) and the action semantics (i.e. a UML syntax for expressing logic in more detail).
You mentioned that people either love it or hate it. Well, I believe that this polarization can somewhat be attributed to incompetence in conveying a moderate opinion. People who love it tend to describe MDA as the solution to, if not all then many, of today's software problems. The same goes for people who hate it, hammering down on all the detailed faults the specification might have without mentioning any of it's virtues. I see it like this, MDA is a step in the right direction to higher abstraction of software systems and more durable values. But with so many people involved in working out the specification, there is inevitably going to be compromises that does not make sense to all people. If someone doesn't like the concept MDA, well, that person probably lives and work in a different environment than I do and has no need for MDA. I look forward to my project and I hope I'll learn a bit or two about how MDA can function in practice.
As for the tool, we use ArcStyler (www.arcstyler.com) which I find quite good. Haven't tried any other tool...
Right now I'm involved in a project that uses MDA and all I can say is that it is great! Our current environment increased the productivity of the developers and also made the application more portable and reusable. Since we have a PIM (Platform Independend Model), we can use this model, probable customize it a bit, create generators and use it against the PIM to generate PSMs(Platform Specific Models). This is great specially if you have clients who want to have the same application but on different platforms. It will definitely make the work a whole lot better and easier.
Anyway, we're using IBM's MDA Toolkit with WSAD/XDE as our development environment. All I can say is you should try it.
One of the things that you need to remember is that the MDA modeling tool likely won't be sufficient for all of your modeling needs. At Roadmap for Agile MDA I argue that you still need simple tools such as paper and whiteboards to interact with your clients (and to think the big issues through before you get into detailed modeling with your tool).
As always, use the right tool for the job.
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