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raghava
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Registered: May 2005
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Posts: 7

Meta Models

Hi,

I guess I posted my previous thread on this topic in the wrong section. I want to know about meta models. Can you please help me by providing links and examples on meta-modeling and how it is done. I have found very few materials on this one.


Thank you.

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Old Post 11-30-2005 05:07 PM
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SZ
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Registered: Apr 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 492

The best way to learn about metamodels is to read David Frankel's excellent book, Model Driven Architecture.

This is not a simple topic, but the author does a better job of describing this subject than most other sources I have seen.

You can expect to see a lot more about MDA over the next several years and this is a great place to start. MDA will catch on slowly but mainstream tools are being rolled out that will pick up the pace of adoption. Of course, the main drivers behind adoption will be cost savings and speed to market for the deliver of complex software.

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Old Post 12-02-2005 07:29 PM
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MDE
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Registered: Apr 2006
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Collections of metamodels

In a simplified way we can state that a metamodel defines a language for writing models. For example the UML 2.1 metamodel defines a language to write UML 2.1 models. In other terms we can state that a UML 2.1 model conforms to the UML 2.1 metamodel. (The word "conforms to" is much more precise than the word "instance of" which is sometimes used by beginners to describe this relation between a model and its metamodel.). The conformance relation between a model and its metamodel is similar to the conformance relation between a program expressed in a given programming language and the grammar of the language.

A metamodel may be expressed in a given formalism, for example MOF 1.4 or MOF 2.0. The only official OMG version for expressing metamodels is MOF 2.0.

Unfortunately OMG has produced until now a very small number of metamodels in formats that could be really used by computers. Most of the OMG metamodels are in fact "description of metamodels" expressed in .pdf or .word documents for humans only. From these descriptions tools vendors may implement their own interpretation of the metamodel in their tools, for example hard wiring the UML 1.4 metamodel in a UML CASE tools.

The situation may be changing now that OMG has clearly defined that metamodels should be expressed in MOF 2.1 and serialized in XMI 2.1. We may see in the future some libraries of OMG metamodels like there are libraries of XML schemas.

However there are other possible formalisms to write metamodels. Microsoft has recently defined such a formalism in their DSL tools initiative. Note that Microsoft use sometimes the word "domain model" to refer to a metamodel.

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Old Post 04-16-2006 05:20 AM
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raghava
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Registered: May 2005
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Hi,

Thanks for the reply.

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Old Post 04-16-2006 09:31 AM
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MDE
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Registered: Apr 2006
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Sample metamodels available as open source

Hi raghava,

If you really want to see what a metamodel is, you may take a look at what they call a "metamodel Zoo" at:

http://www.eclipse.org/gmt/am3/zoos/

The language KM3 is very simple. A description of the language may be found at:

http://www.eclipse.org/gmt/atl/doc/...el [v00.06].pdf

A "model Zoo" is a registry of a number of models expressed in the same formalism. The "Atlantic zoo" is a zoo of metamodels expressed in KM3, a simple neutral domain specific language for specifying metamodels.

The Atlantic zoo contains more than 100 metamodels and is constantly evolving. The quality of these metamodels is highly variable because this is supposed to represent the real life situation.

What is interesting is the concept of "mirror Zoo" where the previous metamodels are translated in various other formalisms.


As of April 2006, the following format were offered:


  • AtlantEcore zoo - An ATL-auto-generated mirror of Atlantic zoo expressed in EMF XMI 2.0, conforming to Ecore

  • Atlantic MOF/MDR zoo - An ATL-auto-generated mirror of Atlantic zoo expressed in MDR XMI 1.2, conforming to MOF 1.4.

  • Atlantic UML zoo - An ATL-auto-generated mirror of Atlantic zoo expressed in MDR XMI 1.2, conforming to UML.

  • Atlantic Raster zoo - An ATL-auto-generated mirror of Atlantic zoo expressed in PNG bitmaps.

  • Atlantic SQL DDL zoo - An ATL-auto-generated mirror of Atlantic zoo expressed in SQL DDL, conforming to SQL.

  • Atlantic Microsoft DSL Tools zoo - An ATL-auto-generated mirror of Atlantic zoo expressed in the DSL Tools specific XML format (with a ".dsldm" extension).

  • Atlantic VB zoo - An ATL-auto-generated mirror of Atlantic zoo expressed in VB (yes Visual Basic).

  • Atlantic XASM zoo - An ATL-auto-generated mirror of Atlantic zoo expressed in XASM which is an open source compiler for Abstract State Machines (ASMs).



The ATL language used to automatically generate these mirror Zoos is a QVT-like language (MOF QVT or Queries/Views/Transformations is an OMG standard recommendation) available from:

http://www.eclipse.org/gmt/atl/


Enjoy

Last edited by MDE on 04-16-2006 at 10:41 AM

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Old Post 04-16-2006 10:30 AM
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raghava
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Registered: May 2005
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Posts: 7

Hi,

Thanks for the information.I will go through them.

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Old Post 04-17-2006 04:25 AM
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