Registered: Apr 2001
Location: New York
ArcStyler, first impressions...
I downloaded and test-ran ArcStyler to get some impression of how far along MDA has come.
ArcStyler comes with an EJB tutorial which demonstrates a Hello World bean, transformed from a Rational Rose UML model to all the required EJB artifacts. ArcStyler right now works in conjunciton with Rational Rose. So you have to have a Rose license and you have to like Rose. Integration with other UML tools is planned.
ArcStyler did a reasonably good job creating Java EJB classes, an Ant build file and EJB XML descriptors. In addition it created a JUnit skeleton file.
One immediate downside, typical of many framework-generating tools, is that ArcStyler creates 'markers' throughout the Java source code it produces to allow developers to add processing logic to their methods. To a code purist, these markers are downright intrusive, if not ugly. Are they necessary?
Another tool which competes with ArcStyler is OptimalJ, which we are waiting to evaluate.
However, it is disappointing that TogetherSoft gets scant mention in the analysts' reports about the MDA market. Take a look at the TogetherSoft EJB development demo to get a point of comparison. This demo can be found on the following page under the title Model-Build-Deploy with ControlCenter 6.0. In short, TogetherSoft has been doing 'MDA' for close to two years now. And it is largely 'markerless' during code generations.
For a good book to understand MDA, see MDA Explained, published by Addison-Wesley. This book gives the OptimalJ perspective. Another book, Convergent Architecture plugs the ArcStyler tool.
Don't harbor any illusions: MDA is missing a key component, which is a standardized transformation language. One candidate, QVT, is still on the drawing board.
Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged