MDA, MDD, MDE

Jordi Cabot has an interesting Blog on Modeling Languages. In it (an on LinkedIn) there was a discussion recently on the difference or similitudes between MDA, MDD, and MDE. It’s interesting that Wikipedia treats the last two as the same thing – I like Jordi’s description better.

However, as I read Jordi’s blog posting, I found that his explanation certainly makes sense and is probably correct nowadays, in a more modern sense of the terms.

However, “MDD” has been used for quite a long time to describe model-based (as opposed to model-driven) development. That use of the term would not fit within the definitions presented by OMG as part of MDA (e.g., the CIM/PIM/PSM levels of abstractions and transformations). I suspect that this approach may also still be in use today – although probably not the best way of working with models. This may especially be true of some of the model uses seen in “agile” approaches.

So perhaps there is a need, in the diagram shown on that blog, to also have a model-based development (MBD?) circle that would intersect with MDD, but not the others?

All this also can not be discussed without mentioning the standards, processes, and methods (and the effect of tools on these) surrounding these approaches. Models need to have a standard representation to be useful – and the UML (and SysML) is certainly one that is common these days. However, other notations such as BPMN, ERD, etc., should not be discounted as they represent interesting domain specific modeling languages – and not all can be easily expressed using UML . Tools are too often viewed as a panacea to what ails software development – when they can be a hindrance when one does not understand the standards, processes, and methods they support.

Comments on “IBM And Microsoft Have Dueling Visions For Software Modeling”

According to InformationWeek, IBM And Microsoft Have Dueling Visions For Software Modeling. However, the article only compares Rational’s contribution to the modeling space and seems to completely ignore other Software Groups contribution. The Microsoft part talks about proprietary models that drive business execution directly. That is all fine, but there is no mention of WebSphere Business Modeler (WBM). In WBM, the organisation can be modeled and then code (BPEL) can be generated to drive WebSphere Process Server. Granted, there is a “code generation” step, but it is a lot closer to the Microsoft model than the comparison the article makes with the use of UML. IBM has a richness of environment to help our customers with their various needs – and this article seemed to only concentrate on a piece of our offerings.

And of course, the recent IBM announcement was in regards to the Complex Systems space and Olso is apparently geared towards IT. I wonder how Microsoft’s Oslo would fare in the development of complex systems?!?

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Re: IBM digs in with Eclipse for weapons | Reg Developer

Well, it seems that someone at Reg Developer (IBM digs in with Eclipse for weapons) has seen the announcement regarding the new Systems Tooling announcement I blogged about earlier this week.

There is a bit of sensationalism in there. Granted that these tools can be used to develop weapon systems, they are also used in many other industries not so bent on destruction. I know, the announcement did seem to highlight aerospace and defense systems. And UPDM is based on DoD and MOD standards. But even UPDM is now much more of an Enterprise Architecture tool than one specifically dedicated to the military. This may seem a bit apologetic, but I hope it is not. I was in and I have worked with the military. I just think it would be a disservice to the technology to pigeon-hole it into just that domain when it could apply to much more.

Finally, the EU investigation into IBM’s intent to acquire Telelogic has not been delayed indefinitely, as the Reg Developer posting indicates. The EU has now set a new target date of March 19, 2008 for the completion of the enquiry.

Systems are go!

If there was any doubt about IBM Rational re-insertion in the systems space after the announcement that we intend to acquire Telelogic, these should be put to rest with the announcement made yesterday that New IBM Technologies Help Developers Build Safer Software!

This announcement mentions the new version of Rational Systems Developer, which is now available from Passport Advantage as well as from the support site.

So what is new in RSD 7.0.5? Here’s a quick list:

  • Improved rectilinear routing
  • Configurable Modeling UI
    • Viewpoints let you reduce the UI to only what you need
  • Rich text support for documentation, notes and comments
  • Modeling Reminders
    • “TODOs” for incomplete models
  • Diagram building using drag & drop queries
  • UML 2.1 support improvements
    • Support Information Flow elements (UPDM requirement)
    • Deployment Diagram enhancements
    • Sequence diagram editing enhancements
      • Message and message subset reordering
      • Resizable lifelines
      • Enable/disable message numbering
      • Choose message numbering format
  • BIRT-based model reporting
  • Model analysis and metrics
  • C++ support enhancements – CDT 4.0
  • UPDM

Of course, you also need a testing tool in this space and that’s Rational Test RealTime, which is also mentioned in the article. If you do embedded systems development, you should not have to live without it!

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